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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

East Inlet Trail - RMNP, CO

Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 8.45 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,421 feet
Elevation Gain 2,095 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,554 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.96
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
14  2009-09-11 gummo
8  2009-08-10 michaelg
7  2009-06-09 nonot
Author nonot
author avatar Guides 96
Routes 236
Photos 2,001
Trips 483 map ( 4,568 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Aug, Jul, Jun, Sep → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  4:57am - 7:22pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

No scenery for you!
by nonot

Likely In-Season!
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Overview: This hike description will start at the East Inlet Trailhead in the town of Grand Lake, visit Adams Falls, and go to Lone Pine Lake and return.
11.4 mi / 1,650 aeg / 5 hours

The trail can be followed further to Verna Lake, Spirit Lake, Fourth Lake, and beyond. However, snow, nightfall, and hitting the marathon mark (26 miles in a single day) prevented me from making it past Lone Pine on my first attempt. Statistics above and to the left only reflect the Lone Pine Lake Portion. Add about 2 miles for Verna, maybe 0.75 for Spririt, and another 0.5 for Fourth.

Warning: Snow and rainstorms are common in the afternoon in the Rockies, bring a warm hat and waterproof jacket.

Hike: Imagine a gorgeous canyon with snow-melt fed streams, waterfalls, and cascades. Your job, if you were the trail builder, is to avoid all the scenic spots and build the East Inlet trail next to ugly rock escarpments, muddy bogs, and route the trail 200 yards away from any waterfall. Plus, for kicks through in some extra unnecessary elevation.

From the Trailhead, walk a short distance uphill until you see the turnoff for Adams Falls Loop. Take the turn to the right and view the falls. The falls are pretty impressive, powerful, and in early June, strewn with logs and trees. Continue along the loop trail until you reach the junction with East Inlet and turn right onto the trail.

Heading a bit more uphill you will reach a spectacular view of a gorgeous meadow. The snow capped peaks in the distance are set against the winding creek in a lush, green meadow. Take it all in. I recommend you turn around and head to your car, having hiked 2 miles.

Noticing that there are some 10 miles still to hike, let's pretend you want to waste the rest of your day. Continue climbing uphill along the trail. You will hear sounds of waterfalls, cascades, but you will not get close enough to see them! At one point the trail makes a meager attempt to get to what is a pretty impressive waterfall, but climbs down from above the falls and goes too far above it to get any good views of the water.

From this point continue to climb, now in the mud, until you finally reach Lone Pine Lake. View Lone Pine Island, a solitary piece of rock with, what I presume, originally just had one pine tree growing on it. The tree is long gone as there are several decade or two old trees fighting for space. Lone Pine Lake is really wonderful, but whether it is worth the 5 miles each way to see it from the meadow is debatable.

If you do intend to go this far, I'd recommend planning for a full day hike so you can see Verna, Spirit, and Fourth Lakes. I imagine they would be gorgeous. Unfortunately in early June, the trail disappeared into snow and it was beginning to get dark, so I could not determine where the trail goes after Lone Pine Lake.

Water Sources: Plenty with a filter

Camping: There were dispersed sites marked throughout the whole trail, however I saw few flat spots. The Pine Mountain Beetle has destroyed 80% of the trees in this valley so any flat areas are littered with tree trunks falling every which way. There are signs all over Lone Pine Lake that indicate no camping there.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2009-06-16 nonot

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    Information is listed below

    Rocky Mountain National Park
    $20 per vehicle, good for up to 7 days. It is free to hike but backpacking/camping permits are extra. View NPS Info

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Granby, Colorado, take highway 34 North. When you see the sign for the town of Grand Lake, turn right into Grand Lake and obey the 25 mph limit. In a mile or so there is a junction, continue straight (left fork) following the sign towards the boat launch. Stop at a stop sign. Continue straight ahead. The road splits again basically when you are at the boat launch, take the straight (left) fork towards the sign for Rocky Mountain National Park Trailhead.

    Note: RMNP charges per vehicle, good for up to a week of re-entry. Camping permits are extra. However, this trailhead lies outside the entrance gate to the park, so I have no idea how they would enforce you needing a permit. I imagine you could hike in without the permit, but assuming you will be headed over trail ridge road to the east side later or the next day, it may be worth picking up your permit by passing up the Grand Lake exit, grabbing the permit, and then coming back. On June 2009 there was nothing to place on your vehicle designating you've paid, so it may be on the honesty system, unless of course a ranger is there checking permits.
    page created by nonot on Jun 15 2009 11:17 pm
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