Trail Run Project Logo

A beautiful run showcasing some of the most scenic trails that Estes Park has to offer.


Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

10.7

Miles

17.2

KM

81%

Runnable

9,231' 2,814 m

High

7,778' 2,371 m

Low

2,361' 720 m

Up

2,387' 727 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Overview

One of the most popular loops in Estes Park, this loop passes through open meadows and wooded areas, all while giving the runner stunning views of unique local geology. With one steep ascent, and rolling trail after that, any trail user is sure to feel the burn on this loop.

If you have time, the extra trip up to Bridal Veil Falls adds a beautiful viewpoint, as well as a great place to take a much-deserved break!

Runner Notes

With a variety of terrain, this is a great run to take clockwise. You can warm up on the milder Black Canyon Trail, before getting into more difficult sections!

Description

If you choose to take this loop clockwise, you'll be starting out headed towards the Black Canyon Trail. Take the Lumpy Ridge Trail to start, and then branch to the left at the first junction.

The Black Canyon Trail starts on a gentle descent, so take your time getting warmed up. This section passes through open grasslands, so there are plenty of unobstructed views. Take in the scenery, and enjoy Estes Park's unique geology as you start to ascend to your next trail junction.

At this junction, take a right-hand turn onto the Dark Mountain Trail, which will connect you to the Cow Creek Trail. Once on Cow Creek, you'll be following the trail's namesake creek. Bridal Veil Falls is located at the top of the creek, and the view is worth the detour if you're up for the extra mileage!

Once you're ready to continue on to the Gem Lake Trail, take another right at the junction with the Cow Creek Trail. You'll want to save a little bit of energy for the end, as this trail travels through rugged outcroppings. The travel will be mostly downhill at this point, so keep an eye on your footing.

Contacts

Shared By:

Mikhaila Redovian

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 44 votes

#2

in Estes Park

#255

Overall
  4.5 from 44 votes
5 Star
55%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Estes Park

#59

in Colorado

#255

Overall
58 Views Last Month
21,572 Since Sep 24, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
2%
24%
27%
46%
0%

Photos

Looking south across Gem Lake on a calm spring morning
Jul 9, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
On the trail to Gem Lake with permission from dreamer 200
Jan 8, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
The view hiking down from gem lake
Sep 12, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
Elk near Estes Park CO
Jan 8, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Gem Lake
Dec 8, 2017 near Estes Park, CO
Yet Another RMNP Panorama
Dec 7, 2017 near Estes Park, CO
loading

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 63 days ago
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 17, 2023
Jordan G
Lumpy Ridge Loop + Balancing Rock Spur; Aspens starting to turn and beautiful, especially early morning coming down Cow Creek behind Needles. 12.7mi — 2h 45m
Dec 27, 2022
Trevor Edie
Fun loop, great views. 10.7mi
Apr 4, 2022
Amir Erez
quite a bit of snow on cow creek side. wait a few more weeks to do full loop.
Dec 3, 2021
Brian Belleau
Beautiful loop! Great solace late season before the snow. — 2h 20m
Oct 17, 2021
Erin Weingarten
Jun 14, 2020
Matt T
Fun trail with some steep climbs. Lots of people on the front side, but a lot fewer on the back. 13.2mi — 2h 31m
Aug 31, 2019
Trent Hillier
Aug 10, 2019
Kat trail_kat
With Bridal Veil out and back 3028' 13mi — 3h 45m
Welcome

Join the Community! It's FREE

Already have an account? Login to close this notice.