Hello Woodland Creatures ...
From what I hear the trail should be past the mushy stage by Thursday. I am bringing traction devices just in case there are shady ice patches left. Use your best judgment. Dress in layers, bring enough drink and food, know your hiking abilities, hike at your own risk, bring a smile and happy conversation (this is most important).
Please email or post questions or comments. See you soon!!!
(I will need to ask for a second driver if we go over 5 hikers)
Cub Lake Trailhead
Cub Lake is a family-friendly, 3-4 season destination highlighted by the Big Thompson River, large elk herds of Moraine Park, and vibrant autumn colors.
The trail heads south over Big Thompson River and undulates gently along the western fringe of Moraine Park, a vast meadow where glaciers once settled and receded, leaving a broad, level expanse in its place. Bordering ridges - called moraines - were formed by glacial movements that push churned land to its margins. Today Moraine Park is braided by the Big Thompson River and Cub Creek, which give rise to bountiful grasses teeming with life.
Every fall large elk herds congregate in these food-rich meadows for their annual rut, a spectacular ritual where dominant bulls battle for mating rights. Mule deer gather in smaller numbers and are a common sight throughout the year.
Smaller residents such as squirrels, voles, rabbit and hare attract larger predators such as coyote, fox, bobcat and raptors, while bears seek out late summer berries along the meadow's perimeter and stream beds in preparation for their long winter hibernation.
The trail reaches an unmarked split for South Lateral Moraine Trail and bends decisively west up valley (.55 miles : 8,095'). Small-medium sized ponds and thick grass beds dot the valley floor, ideal habitat for seeing elk. Well-spaced ponderosa, spruce, aspen and fir create good wildlife viewing lanes across the lower valley.
The trail moves quickly on a mild grade that steepens past 1.75 miles (8,285') and enters a thick aspen grove. Enjoy this colorful section from the trail, as the stream-laced forest floor is covered in ivy.
The winding trail relaxes on the edge of a marsh at the Cub Creek Backcountry Campsite spur (2.2 miles : 8,603'), and continues west to the northeast corner of Cub Lake (2.3 miles : 8,624').
Cub Lake is ringed by thick timber, limiting access and extensive exploration. Its east shore and outlet area are open but marshy. A social trail drops down to and traces the lake's north shore, while the main trail rises over the lake for .3 miles to the Mill Creek Trail junction (2.6 miles : 8,725'). Consider hiking to this point for additional perspective and better afternoon lighting.
The Cub Lake Trailhead is located off of Moraine Park Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Directions to Trailhead
From the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station, travel .1 mile west to Bear Lake Road and make a left. Follow Bear Lake Road 1.2 miles to Moraine Park Road and turn right (look for signs for Moraine Park Campground). This road follows the north side of Moraine Park for a half-mile to another junction. At this junction, turn left (south) toward the Fern Lake and Cub Lake Trailheads. Cub Lake Trailhead is about 1.2 miles from this point. Spaces are limited.