Boulder Brook Trail, Storm Pass Trailhead, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Boulder Brook Trail - 4.8 miles
Storm Pass Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||4.8 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||8,831' - 10,311' (10,311' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+1,430' net elevation gain (+1,478' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Boulder Brook Trail - 4.8 Miles Round-Trip
The Boulder Brook Trail connects Rocky Mountain's Bear Lake Road corridor with the North Longs Peak Trail, offering an alternative and seldom used overnight route to Longs Peak.
This unassumingly attractive trail closely follows Boulder Brook through the upper-montane zone into archetypal subalpine forests. Solitude seekers will enjoy its lively waters, diverse riparian vegetation, terrific autumn foliage, and good views of the Continental Divide and Mummy Range:
The trail drops from the trailhead to the brook, crosses a bridge (.12 miles) and gradually rises away through a tall lodgepole forest. It continues south past the Sprague Lake connector (.25 miles) and Glacier Creek - Storm Pass trail split (.37 miles), where it officially becomes the Boulder Brook Trail.
Horses are not permitted beyond this point.
The trail rejoins Boulder Brook at .55 miles (9,095') and turns sharply uphill. A steep climb beside the creek is highlighted by several waterfalls, aspen, deep green mosses and lush ground vegetation. Autumn colors are notably good on this stretch.
The grade eases through .75 miles (9,430'), where small clearings yield good views of Hallet Peak (12,713'), Flattop Mountain (12,324'), Otis Peak (12,486') and Thatchtop (12,668') to the east, glimpses of Longs Peak (14,259') and Storm Peak (13,326') to the south, and sweeping views of the distant Mummy Range to the north.
These water-lined meadows are also good places to find wildlife activity, particularly elk and deer.
The trails makes consecutive stream crossings to Boulder Brook Backcountry Campsites #2 and #1 (2.05 miles and 2.15 miles, respectively). The trail ends rather unceremoniously at its intersection with the North Longs Peak Trail (2.4 miles : 10.311').
A few steps along it to the west is a bridge spanning an attractive section of the brook, a good place to rest before retracing your steps back to the trailhead.
- N40 19.008 W105 36.944 — Start of Boulder Brook Trail
- N40 18.845 W105 37.001 — First sounds and sight of the Boulder Brook
- N40 18.685 W105 37.015 — Brook crossing #1
- N40 18.490 W105 37.057 — Brook crossing #2
- N40 18.362 W105 37.040 — Brook crossing #3
- N40 17.644 W105 37.044 — Brook crossing #4
- N40 17.610 W105 37.045 — Boulder Brook Backcountry Campsite #2
- N40 17.520 W105 37.047 — Boulder Brook Backcountry Campsite #1
- N40 17.341 W105 37.044 — End of Boulder Brook Trail ? Backcountry group site
- Mosquitoes can be a nuisance - bring insect repellant.
- There's a privy at the Boulder Brook Group Backcountry Campsite, located at the trail's intersection with the North Longs Peak Trail.
- Parking is very limited at the Storm Pass Trailhead so arrive early to ensure a spot.
- Permits are required for backcountry camping.
- This trail is also accessible from the Bierstadt Lake Trailhead.
Camping and Backpacking Information
There are 3 backcountry campsites along the Boulder Brook Trail:
- Boulder Brook Campsite #2: 2.05 miles from the trailhead (10,085')
- Boulder Brook Campsite #1: 2.15 miles from the trailhead (10,160')
- Boulder Brook Group Campsite #2: 2.4 miles from the trailhead (10,311')
*Note that Boulder Brook Campsites #2 and #1 do not appear on some maps
- There is no suitable fishing along the Boulder Brook Trail.
Directions to Trailhead
The Boulder Brook Trail begins from the Storm Pass Trailhead off Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. Shortly after the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station near Estes Park, turn left on Bear Lake Road and drive for about 6.5 miles to the Storm Pass Trailhead which will be on your left. This is a very small parking area and is marked only by a small green sign stating "Storm Pass Trail". Park in the lot and take the Storm Pass Trail about .3 miles to the start of the Boulder Brook Trail which will veer off to the west.
Rocky Mountain National Park
1000 Highway 36
Estes Park, CO 80517-8397