Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking

Rocky Mountain National Park
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Wild Basin

Wild Basin hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park is a great way to see the beauty of the park, with waterfalls and snowy peaks as a backdrop to your adventure. Read More

  • Hike to Thunder Lake from the Wild Basin Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • This hike is a 13.6-mile out-and-back trek
  • Hiking this trail is a moderate hike with 2,318 feet in elevation gain
  • The trailhead is 20 minutes south of Estes Park off of Highway 7


The Wild Basin Trailhead provides the outdoor lover the opportunity to get into the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park, and the chance to enjoy the natural beauty that will surround you. The hike to Thunder Lake will take you through lodgepole, aspen and fir forests, past Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades, and beautiful sparkling lakes. Span the bridge at the base of Ouzel Falls and continue to Thunder Lake.


The trailhead for Wild Basin is off of Colorado Highway 7. You enter Rocky Mountain National Park through the southern-most entrance, 20 minutes south of Estes Park. Watch for signs for Wild Basin Trailhead. Follow the dirt road around Copeland Lake until you reach Wild Basin Ranger Station and the trailhead at the end of the road.


  • Distance – 13.6 miles
  • Average Time of Hike – 8 hours
  • Elevation Gain – 2,318 feet
  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Trail Type – Out and back

Plan & Prepare

You can hike this trail all year, but in the winter it will be longer and more strenuous. You may have to start as much as a mile from the official trailhead.

When coming in summer, you need to arrive early at the parking area, as there is limited parking at this trailhead.