Fern Falls – 5.1mi / 8.3km
An easy walk up the Big Thompson River followed by a short steep climb takes you to this forested cascade.
Tall trees along the river give way to open vistas as you follow the river upstream past towering cliffs and the Arch Rocks to The Pool (see The Pool in 0-5 Miles for description). Continue upstream where the trail leaves the river and steeply climbs along Fern Creek. At the second switchback, you reach Fern Falls. While not Rocky Mountain’s most picturesque waterfall, it is still lovely as it drops 40ft/12m, then continues crashing through the trees into to the valley below.
Consider climbing up an additional 1.1mi/1.8km to Fern Lake (see Fern Lake in 5-10 Miles for description).
Trailhead: Follow Bear Lake Road and turn onto Moraine Park Road, then down Fern Lake Road to the trailhead at the end of the road, or park at the Park & Ride and take the park’s free shuttle to the trailhead.
Elevation Gain: 700ft / 210m – Elevation Loss: 700ft / 210m