Hike to Big Meadows and Granite Falls

Colorado Green Mountain Trailhead

Added by

Amazing Wildlife Viewing Opportunities. Great Trout Fishing. Granite Falls (who doesn't love waterfalls?!). 10.3 Mile Out-and-Back Hike. Duration: 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
Read More

How to Get There

11 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

11 months ago

12 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

12 months ago

Activities:

Camping, Fishing, Photography, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking

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

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

More Adventures Nearby

Mountain Bike the Notch Trail

Colorado / Notch Trailhead

The trail is shared by mountain bikers and ATV users. The Notch Trail is located in the San Juan National Forest.  Photos: William Snow, Davey Nin, and Kent Kanouse

Hike the Hidden Valley Loop

Colorado / Hidden Valley Loop Trails

The trail is shared by mountain bikers, hikers, and trail runners. The Hidden Valley Loop offers amazing views of the Animas Valley, especially when the foliage changes in the fall.

Hike the Jones and Dutch Creek Loop

Colorado / Jones Creek and Dutch Creek Trail

The trail is well maintained and is dog friendly. Bring extra water if using this trail in July or August.  Photos: Chris M Morris and Daniel Weber