Old Fall River Road

Estes Park, Colorado (Larimer County)

Last Updated: 07/16/2021
4.4 / 5 ( 7 reviews )
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Seasonal Closure
Typically Open: 06/25 - 10/05
Permit Information: Permit Required - Click Here
Length: 9.16 miles
Highest Elevation: 11796 feet
Duration: About 1 hour, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Estes Park
Nearest Town w/ Services: Estes Park
Official Road Name: Old Fall River Road
Management Agency: National Park Service
District: Rocky Mountain National Park


Highlight: Old Fall River Road
Old Fall River Road, or Dog's Trail by the Native Arapaho, is a historic roadway crossing through Rocky Mountain National Park. It was built between 1913 and 1920 by 38 convicts from the Colorado state penitentiary, resulting in it being the very first motor route to cross the park. Following the construction of Trail Ridge Road in 1932, Old Fall River Road was designated a one-way route and continues to be today. Your journey up Old Fall River Road and around the slopes of Mt. Chapin, will take you through three of the life zones, or ecosystems, that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer. Awarding you one of the best journeys through the park you will have, in my opinion. You will not forget your journey along this historic road. So take your time, drive it slow, and get out and enjoy what it has to offer.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Start (0 mi)
Take the right side of the fork to begin your journey along historic Old Fall River Road. The left fork will take you to a picnic area alongside Fall River, where you can enjoy the birds and the sound of flowing water while you enjoy a snack or just relax before starting your journey. You may wish to take the opportunity to stop for a moment and pay the $2 cash and purchase the Guide to Old Fall River Road. Available from a self-serve post on the north side of the roadway, before the gate.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Estes Park

From Estes Park: Take highway 34 or highway 36 west and into the park. Passing through either the Fall River or the Beaver Meadows park entrances respectively. Travel either 3.6 miles from the Fall River entrance or 4.8 miles from the Beaver Meadows entrance. Turning west onto Endovalley Road and continuing straight for 1.8 miles to Waypoint 1. From Grand Lake: Travel north on highway 34 for 39 miles. Turn left at Deer Ridge Junction, continuing on highway 34 for another 2 miles. Turn left onto Endovalley Road and continuing straight for 1.8 miles to Waypoint 1.


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Trail Reviews (14)

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Writer Information

Nik Verbeck

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Nik is an passionate overlander, general outdoors person, as well as an avid homebrewer. Taking every chance they can to get outdoors and discover new areas, trails and campsites. When not enjoying the outdoors, you can find them wrenching on the truck, enjoying another great brewery, or working the day job designing computer systems and writing software.
For individual use only, not to be shared.