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Forest Canyon Overlook

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park

Northern Front Range, Colorado

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Forest Canyon Overlook

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  • Short interpretive trail leading to Forest Canyon Overlook.- Forest Canyon Overlook
  • Forest Canyon Overlook (11,716 ft).- Forest Canyon Overlook
  • View of Trail Ridge, including Sundance Mountain (12,375 ft).- Forest Canyon Overlook
  • View south across the Thompson River Valley from the Forest Canyon Overlook (11,716 ft), Rocky Mountain National Park.- Forest Canyon Overlook
  • View south of Longs Peak (14,259 ft) and the Continental Divide.- Forest Canyon Overlook
  • View south of Longs Peak (14,259 ft) from the Forest Canyon Overlook (11,716 ft), Rocky Mountain National Park.- Forest Canyon Overlook
  • View southwest from the Forest Canyon Overlook (11,716 ft), Rocky Mountain National Park, with Hayden Spire and Terra Tomah Mountain (12,718 ft) across the Thompson River Valley.- Forest Canyon Overlook
  • Yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) near the Forest Canyon Overlook.- Forest Canyon Overlook
  • View west from the Forest Canyon Overlook (11,716 ft), Rocky Mountain National Park, with Mount Richthofen (12,940 ft), top right, in the distance.- Forest Canyon Overlook
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Panoramic vistas of park. Easily accessible. Kid-friendly.
Cons: 
Road closed from mid-October through June.
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Region:
Northern Front Range, CO
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

The topography of the Rocky Mountain National Park is a smattering of towering and craggy peaks framing expansive valleys and bubbling rivers. The Forest Canyon Overlook is an ideal place to take it all in. 

With uncontested views of the iconic Long's Peak (14,255 feet), Stones Peak (12,922 feet), Hayden Gorge, and the ice-blue Gorge Lakes, this vantage point is second to none with respect to accessibility. A short 0.2-mile walk from the parking lot on a paved walkway provides access to the overlook, and yellow bellied marmot are frequently spotted among the granite boulders. 

Over the last 2 million years, behemoth glaciers have painstakingly carved away the newer and weaker top layers of rock, leaving behind an interesting patchwork of geology along with deep valleys, impressive alpine lakes, and the crumbling peaks for which the park earns its name. Even in the summertime, the altitude of this 11,716-foot vantage point means there can be unexpectedly cold temperatures and gusty wind.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(55 within a 30 mile radius)

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