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Easy, Secret Rocky Mountain National Park Trail

Under-the-radar, peaceful and serene. This trail is a perfect hike for the young family.

Now unused, this used to be a ranger guard station.

I was exhausted.

I had flown out to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) to do some adventures and get some photography for my new book (www.fiftyclassics.com) during the Covid epidemic. They didn’t shut the park down, but they did require you to get hard-to-get reservations or you could enter the park before 6:00 am. So each day I would get up really early. One day I got up even earlier at 4:00 am in order to do the Sky Pond adventure hike, and one day I got up at 3:00 am in order to scramble up Long’s Peak. The biggest problem is that I was staying at a campground in Estes Park and it was very noisy so I couldn’t get to sleep early.

On this day I wanted to explore Old Fall River Road, an old gravel park road built in the 20s that manages to scare away most motorists. It is not that bad. I stopped at Chasm Falls to get some photos and then my goal changed to finding a place for a nap.

Well, about 5.5 miles up Fall River Road, on the left hand side in the middle of a sharp right hand turn, there is a gated road. You can park either on the left before the gated road or even on the right after the turn.

A short walk leads you to an old ranger station and beyond that you can find a trail that loops through the meadow. Actually there are several braided trails but it is hard to get lost here with the open meadow and steep terrain on all sides. It is a perfect under-the-radar hike for a young family or just a rest-day hike after doing something big.

For me, I walked a short distance into the woods, set up my tent in order to keep the mosquitos at bay, and took a very long nap.

Chasm Falls, just a short walk from the road
Look, regular passenger cars going up Fall River Road – not that bad.

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