- Date hiked: 09/20/2020
- Hiked from: Wild Basin Trailhead
- Distance hiked: 6.1 miles – 1 way (campsite shortcut)
- Total elevation gain: 2,074 ft
- Maintained trail: Yes
- Overall Difficulty: 6/10 – Long hike with steady elevation gain.
- Overall Views: 7/10 – Mostly surrounded by forest with views of Mt Alice and Pilot Mountain.
Thunder Lake is located in the Wild Basin of Rocky Mountain National Park. There is backcountry camping allowed with a permit. It also features a old historic Park Ranger Cabin.
Video of Thunder Lake at Sunrise
From the Wild Basin Trailhead, continue past Copeland Falls on the Wild Basin trail. In about 2 miles you will come to a trail junction for the backcountry campsites. The campsite trail will save you approximately .7 miles in distance. Stay left, and you will get to see Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls, which are two amazing waterfalls and are the most popular destination in the Wild Basin.
If you take the Ouzel Falls path, make sure to keep to the right and take the Thunder Lake trail, not the Ouzel Lake trail once you leave the falls. Rejoin the Thunder Lake trail and hike for about 2 miles on the maintained trail through dense forest until you reach your destination.
The overall trail to Thunder Lake is steady with elevation gain. It’s pretty rocky in some places but overall it’s in pretty good condition.
There are many backcountry and cross country destinations from Thunder Lake. Some of these include Box Lake, Eagle Lake, Frigid Lake and Eagles Beak, Mertensia Falls, Indigo Pond, Falcon Lake, Lake of Many Winds, The Cleaver, Pilot Mountain, Boulder-Grand Pass.
Wilderness Camping at Thunder Lake
Thunder Lake has 5 different campsites around it. 3 individual campsites, 1 stock campsite, and 1 group campsite. Permits are required for backcountry camping everywhere in Rocky Mountain National Park and only allowed at designated areas. More information about the Thunder Lake campsites.