Green Mountain Loop – 7.6mi / 12.2km
A quiet, forested hike leads to the scenic Big Meadows on a pleasant loop on the park’s west side. Taking the loop clockwise from the Onahu Trailhead, you quickly leave the meadows and begin working your way through the trees.
Stay right at the junction as the trail works its way along the hillside, eventually crossing over Onahu Creek. The trail climbs up along the cascading creek before leveling out through an open lodgepole forest. At the head of one of the meadows, the trail crosses over the crashing creek. Stay right at the junction to climb up over the ridge. An obscured pond, set in a wet meadow below, signals the top of the climb before you descend through a forest of beetle-killed pines.
Stay right once again as you drop down alongside Big Meadows. This boggy fen is teeming with birds, flowers, and bugs earlier in the spring. Keep an eye out for moose and deer as you work your way along this beautiful meadow. You’ll pass a couple of old, dilapidated, homestead cabins that were set to enjoy the views of the hillsides opposite the meadows. At the end of the meadow, stay right at the junction where the trail briefly climbs up and over a slight ridge. From here you’ll follow a small stream as it repeatedly trickles across the trail, then slows in small meadows. Once you reach the Green Mountain Trailhead, follow the trail that parallels the road back to your car.
Trailhead: Turn into the signed Onahu Creek Trailhead parking area 3.1mi/5.1km north of the Grand Lake Entrance off the Trail Ridge Road. Alternately start at the Green Mountain Trailhead 0.5mi/1km to the south.
Elevation Gain: 1,400ft / 420m – Elevation Loss: 1,400ft / 420m