The Pool and Fern Falls are two, easily accessible, attractions in Rocky Mountain National Park. The trailhead is located in the Moraine Park area approximately two miles down a dirt road off of Bear Lake Road. Signs mark the way. Get on the trail early to avoid Summer and holiday crowds. I hiked this trail mid-day the weekend before school started here in Colorado and the trail and parking areas were packed.
A kiosk with a map and trail rules marks the beginning of the path (elevation 8,155 ft.). The trail to The Pool is an easy 1.7 mile hike (one-way) along the clear Big Thompson Creek. The path is a little rocky, but mostly flat. Along the walk, hikers will pass through areas alternating shade and full sun.
There are great views of The Pool from a bridge that crosses the Big Thompson and from cliffs above the creek.
To reach Fern Falls, follow the trail signs and continue another one mile along the path. The trail gets steeper as it winds its way uphill to the falls. Along the way, small cascades can be seen to the right. You’re not to Fern Falls yet. Keep going. Fern Falls sit at 8,800 feet above sea level, about six hundred feet higher than the trailhead.
The trail to The Pool and Fern Falls is part of a larger network of trails, so those wanting more of a challenge can easily stretch this hike. Fern Lake, Cub Lake, and Odessa Lake can all be easily combined with a trip to Fern Falls and The Pool.