Hike to Big Meadows and Granite Falls

Colorado Green Mountain Trailhead

Added by Ryan Mckinney

Amazing Wildlife Viewing OpportunitiesGreat Trout FishingGranite Falls (who doesn't love waterfalls?!)10.3 Mile Out-and-Back HikeDuration: A few hours

The Green Mountain Trail is part of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) which is a foot path from Mexico to Canada. Big Meadows is a great place to view elk, moose, and deer. Other animals you can see in the area are abert squirrels, river otters, weasels, and black bear.

Big Meadows is 1.8 miles from the parking lot. The first half mile is a steady and moderate incline. The trail levels out with a few short steep sections. Granite falls is just over 3 miles from big meadows. The trail is fairly flat then has a moderate incline about a half mile before the falls. This is a well marked trail which makes it easy to navigate. There are great opportunities for fly fishing in the Tonahutu Creek(I saw 20+ brook trout ranging from 6-12").

If you are looking for a longer hike, you can continue past the falls to Haynach Lakes or Flat Top Mountain which is 11.3 miles one way.

If you are looking for backpacking there are 5 back country campsites before you reach Granite Falls(Green Mountain, Big Meadows, Sunset, Sunrise, and Lower Granite Falls). For information on Rocky Mountain National Park's backcountry camping permits visit: NPS.gov

On this hike you will pass the Big Meadows burn area where 653 acres burned after lighting sparked a wildfire in 2013.

The entrance fee for Rocky Mountain National Park is $20 (I recommend purchasing an annual pass for $80, which is an interagency pass that works more than 2,000 federal recreation sites).

Pack List

  • Hiking Essentials
  • Fly Rod
  • Lunch
  • Water(There are plenty of places to filter water if you want to save weight)
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Repellent
  • $20 entrance fee for Rocky Mountain National Park
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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

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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Photography, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

10.3 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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How to Get There

8 months ago

Big Meadows is the best!

Very few people hike on this side of the park. Always very peaceful, you can often see moose up in Big Meadows

8 months ago

9 months ago

Big Meadows

Did the 1.8 to the and 1.8 back, due to the fact I only got on around 7 pm and the sun sets at 8! Easy trail, lots of nice bridges and absolutely gorgeous woods. There's plenty of meadows on the way up! But the most striking is obviously at the top! A little steep at first but evens out quickly. Highly suggested

9 months ago

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