“A long trail that rises to over 12,000' from Grand Lake to Flattop Mountain.
— Brian Smith
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
North Inlet Trail
follows the North Inlet Creek most of the way from its mouth at Grand Lake all the way to its headwaters atop the Continental Divide at Chiefs Head Peak. This trail has its own trailhead - The North Inlet Trail
- located just north of Grand Lake.
Head east on the trail as it follows a wide valley and enjoy the views of the marshlands. Soon after starting out, the trail enters a narrower, more rugged landscape. The lower reaches of this trail are very well-traveled and meander at lower grades along the creekside. There are numerous attractions along the way including Cascade Falls and Big Pool
Eventually the trail comes to a junction with Lake Nanita Trail
which branches off to the south. Immediately following this junction, North Inlet Trail
changes character as it rises steeply through a series of switchbacks and ends above treeline.
The upper reaches of North Inlet Trail
are much steeper and more rugged as the trail ascends towards its terminus near Flattop Mountain. This terminus is a three-way junction with Flattop Mountain Trail
and Tonohutu Creek Trail
Flora & Fauna
RMNP is a massive park that is mostly characterized by a montane ecosystem. Here are some of the Flora and Fauna that you may encounter along this trail:
Flora: Ponderosa pine, douglas fir, wildflowers, shrubs
Fauna: Elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, coyotes, black bears, cougars, butterflies.
For more detailed information regarding the park's diverse ecosystems, click HERE.