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Cub Lake – 4.9mi / 7.9km
The hike to lily pad covered Cub Lake is as much about the journey as it is the destination.
Just after starting the trail, you cross over the Big Thompson River where it flows into Moraine Park. You continue along Moraine Park which extends out as a remarkably flat expanse with large lateral moraines on either side. As you skirt the park, going gently over solid granite foothills, keep an eye out for herds of elk that frequent the valley.
The trail eventually turns up the valley, following a series of ponds and wetlands towards Cub Lake. Thankfully, your feet will stay dry as you head up the valley along the dry hillsides. Keep an eye out for deer, elk, and moose through this section. Eventually, at the head of the valley, you begin climbing through a cool, damp forest on your way up to Cub Lake. Access to the lake is limited, and the surrounding hillside has been burned making this lake less photogenic than others in the area.
Turn around and head back down or continue up and over to The Pool and out to the Fern Lake bus stop for a 5.9mi/9.4km loop.
Trailhead: Follow Bear Lake Road and turn onto Moraine Park Road, then down Fern Lake Road to the Cub Lake Trailhead, or park at the Park & Ride and take the park’s free shuttle to the trailhead.
Elevation Gain: 600ft / 180m – Elevation Loss: 600ft / 180m