East Portal Loop – 5.8mi / 9.3km
Find a piece of solitude on this forested walk near the East Portal. Walk past the gate and follow the road to the pond at the East Portal. This is the outlet to the 13.1mi/21.1km Alva B. Adams Tunnel which ports water under the Continental Divide from Grand Lake into the Wind River.
The trail continues past the pond steeply up a road before peeling off through the forest, following the now much smaller river. The forest is interrupted by marshy meadows with small ponds. Take a right at the junction to climb over the slight ridge. Take another right on a trail that is heavily used by the horse concessionaires. Near the Glacier Basin Campground, follow the trail right once again as you skirt below Emerald Mountain and drop down across an open hillside towards the pond.
Trailhead: From Hwy 36, just west of Estes Park, take Colorado Hwy 66 towards YMCA. Follow Colorado Hwy 66 to the end of the road and park in the parking lot near the gate.
Elevation Gain: 950ft / 285m – Elevation Loss: 950ft / 285m