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Rocky Mountain National Park: Lone Pine Lake via East Inlet Trail

Following an ancient glacial retreat, this 13.5-mile out-and-back on the East Inlet Trail traverses moose country toward a couple of lonely alpine lakes.

Rating

This trail winds from the East Portal Trailhead through a jaw-dropping valley, rolling over to two family-friendly destinations—the Adams Falls overlook at mile 0.4 and a spectacular valley viewpoint at mile 1.5—before tucking into a pine-strewn forest and veering uphill. An exposed wall of twisted metamorphic rock lines the trail before it flattens around a river rapid overlook. Another uphill push leads 1.3 miles to an island campsite less than 0.5 mile from Lone Pine Lake, a perfect shoreline for fishing or exploring.

Above Lone Pine, the trail stays on the valley’s northern side as it approaches Lake Verna. The 4 mile round trip between the lakes is great as an early morning wake-up when alpenglow casts an otherworldly aura over its half-mile long surface.

Note: Backcountry campsites along this trail can be difficult to find. If you’re looking for a specific site, with the exception of the two mentioned above, ask rangers for a detailed description of the campsite area.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm

PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations accepted ($20 administrative fee for permits during peak season). nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/backcntry_guide.htm

CONTACT Rocky Mountain National Park, (970) 586-1206; nps.gov/romo

-Mapped by Kristy Holland

To Trailhead

From downtown Grand Lake, head west on W. Portal Rd./CO 278 for 2.5 miles to the East Portal Trailhead.

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