Backpack to Lake Verna
Colorado › East Inlet Trailhead
Added by Ian Glass
Relaxing backpack get-a-away on the quiet side of Rocky Mountain National Park with amazing views, potential moose, and high alpine lakes.
Want to get away it from it all and enjoy some high alpine lakes?
The East Inlet Trail is just outside Grand Lake, on the westside of Rocky Mountain National Park, 2.35 miles east of Highway 34 on West Portal Road. From the trailhead, one can access 8 different campsites. The campsites are as follows:
1) Lower East Inlet backcountry campsite (2.35 miles)
2) Cats Lair backcountry campsite (3.8 miles)
3) Gray Jay Group campsite (5.05 miles)
4) Lone Pine Lake (5.4 miles)
5) Slick Rock backcountry campsite (5.7 miles)
6) Solitaire backcountry campsite (6.0 miles)
7) Upper Inlet backcountry campsite (6.6 miles)
8) Lake Verna backcountry campsite (7 miles)
The East Inlet trail offers tranquil sections through pine forests, beautiful wetlands that are home to a myriad of animals including moose, and a number of small alpine lakes that lead up to Verna. One should be encouraged to hike to Lake Verna for the weekend and enjoy life along the lakeside. It is an amazing place to chill out, use as a basecamp for additional day-hikes, photography, or fishing (*with a valid Colorado fishing license).
The East Inlet Trail is a well established trail that has clear signage and clearly denotes all campsites. Camp safely away from dead trees, as close as possible to the metal arrowhead posted at each site. Red flags on trees provide additional guidance to each campsite from the main trail. It should also be noted that fires are not permitted. One should only use gas stoves.
Phone reservations (970-586-1242) are accepted from March 1 - May 15, and anytime after October 1 for a permit in that calendar year.
- Permit http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Water filter
- Clothing layers
- Rain jacket/pants
- Chair (optional)
- Book (because reading next to a lake is nice)
- Fishing gear (optional *with permit)
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Fishing, Hiking, Photography
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Away From Crowds
This was an awesome backpacking experience for a couple of beginners. It wasn't too strenuous to the Upper East Inlet campsite. We had an area to cook away from our tent. The views were gorgeous. After about 2 miles there were few people on the trail, especially compared to the east side of the park. I would recommend the hike to anyone and think it's a great trip for someone who wants to get their feet wet with backpacking!
More Adventures Nearby
Catch a Sunset Above Milner Pass
Colorado / Alpine Visitor Center
This is a great place to be at sunrise or sunset. Bring a camera & tripod and check the weather ahead of time. Take Trail Ridge Road all the way to the top and park at the Alpine Visitor Center.
Hike the Shanahan Ridge Trail
Colorado / Shanahan Ridge Trailhead
Starting on the edge of a neighborhood in South Boulder, this 3.8 mile loop begins its 869 foot elevation gain by meandering through a pine forest.