Alluvial Fan
Alluvial Fan
4.5

Top ways to experience Alluvial Fan and nearby attractions

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles338 reviews
Excellent
249
Very good
81
Average
7
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Mhrice
Seneca, SC112 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Family
Alluvial Fan was the first hike we took in RMNP during our April 2022 trip. The day we went it was 19 degrees, Snowing and extremely windy. We bundled up and got out of the car anyway. The entire path is paved. There are two different parking areas that you can use to get to the same spot - just decide if you want a longer path or one with a little steeper grade. This was a neat spot and we were glad that we decided to brave the elements and check it out. This is a short hike/walk and on a beautiful 70 degree sunny day I'm sure its easy but up hill against that wind in the snow even this short hike was difficult at times. I would 100% try it out while in RMNP though.
Written April 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rebecca L
Atlanta, GA1,562 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
I'm so glad we took the short hike this time. Because we had driven by this area on a previous trip, I thought we'd seen everything. Not so. This short trail takes you to Horseshoe Falls and you see how large the rocks (created from two floods) really are.
Written June 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathrine
Pennsylvania589 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Couples
We went early in the morning for photography. The walk is easy and short from either parking lot. Make sure to read the signs at the overlook explaining the fan. There is a nice picnic area from the parking lot. We saw elk and Steller’s Jays in the falls picnic area. From the lot you can walk Old Fall River Road as far as you’d like to go. On that walk we saw a large herd of elk and Magpies.

What we wish visitors would remember is to respect the park. We saw a woman decide to take her dog out for a bathroom break on the rocks along the path to the falls. Fortunately, a ranger was in the area and quickly approached her and immediately walked her and her dog to the car.
Written October 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wirttravelers
West Virginia566 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
We came in early June and there was a lot of water over the Alluvial Fan. The hike is easy from either parking area with a wide, smooth path. On our second trip to the falls, we were greeted by a moose who decided to cross the stream to eat the leaves on the other side.
Written June 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Suzanne
Dallas, TX233 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Couples
Short walk from the parking lot to a bridge to view the cascades of waterfalls coming down over the fallen rocks. You can walk up amongst the rocks to jockey for pic as others were doing as well. Really beautiful area to view without having to hike or climb far. Nice stop!
Written October 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DutchTX
The Woodlands, TX736 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Take the Old Fall River Road; the first part (from park entrance) is two-way, and you can get to the Alluvila Fan, and go back. However highly recommend to continue on the one-way dirt road (Old Fall River Rd.) it gives you more appreciation how people 100 years ago traveled.
Written September 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

angeleyes27
Brigantine, NJ5,290 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
This trail is one way with a parking lot at either side. It is fairly short and level so even handicapped people can enjoy it. Parking can be difficult although the lot is a good size. A flood had happened here and 3 campers died.
Written February 26, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MelissaL0715
Tampa, FL917 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
We visited these falls while on our “winter in the park” tour. We parked and only had a 5-7 minute walk to visit the falls. Beautiful photo ops along the way and the walk was quite simple. Not difficult if you are not a hiker. Definitely worth a stop if you were going through Rocky Mountains National Park.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard R
Westminster, CO893 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Family
When visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, be sure and take a few minutes to explore the Alluvial Fan on the west end of Horseshoe Park. To reach the Alluvial fan you must get to US 34 on the west end of Horseshoe Park and take the road that takes you up Endo Valley to the start of the Old Fall River Road. When you turn off US 34 and head towards Old Fall River road you will almost immediately drive past the Lawn Lake trail head. In a few hundred yards you will come to a small parking lot which is on the east side of the Alluvial Fan. Continue on and you drive across the actual Alluvial Fan and reach the west parking lot. The West parking lot is the larger of the two lots and has restrooms and picnic tables. There is no fresh water available in either parking lot. Be warned that the Alluvial Fan is a very, very popular place and the parking lots fill early. On weekends there is very little parking available in Endo Valley and you may have to do some searching for a parking spot or visit later in the day when the crowds subside. If the lots are full, your best option is to go back out on US 34, turn to the right, heading west and drive 1/8th mile to a large parking lot on the left hand side of the road. Park here. Then you can add a leisurely stroll through Horseshoe Park and Endo Valley onto your visit to the Alluvial Fan. Once you are situated with parking, you can begin your exploration of the Alluvial Fan. Before the Lawn Lake Flood in July, 1982, the emptying of the Roaring River into Endo Valley was quite unremarkable. If you stand in the west parking lot and look into the forest to the west you can see what the valley floor looked like before the Alluvial Fan was formed. Very peaceful valley and forest. Then, on July 15, 1982, an old irrigation dam on Lawn Lake, miles from and 2,500 feet above Endo Valley failed and a flood washed down the Roaring River scouring out trees, topsoil, rocks and boulders down to the bed rock. Three people in the Park lost their lives in the flood waters and the many, many thousands of tons of debris was washed out the mouth of the Roaring River and deposited on the Endo Valley floor to create the Alluvial Fan. Driving up Trail Ridge Road you get amazing views of the destruction when you get beyond Many Parks Curve. Then, starting on September 9, 2013, a low pressure weather system stalled over the Big Thompson drainage and for the next few days, rain storms dumped inch upon inch upon inch upon inches of rain, saturating the soil and causing another flood on the Roaring River. All the trails and bridges the Park had built on the Alluvial Fan were washed and scoured away as thousands more tons of rock and debris were washed down the Roaring River. There is a sign on the west side of the Alluvial Fan that gives a good visual reference of how much additional debris came down in the second flood. The river bed moved to the far west side of the Alluvial Fan as a result of the flood waters and debris. The Park decided to leave the Alluvial Fan in its new condition without and major reconstruction. So what you see today is pretty much what the first visitors saw when the flood waters subsided. As you explore the Alluvial Fan from the parking lots you will be on social trails that bring you up the rock and debris. This can be rough walking on loose and uneven terrain. Be careful. The social trails lead to the river bed and eventually, the cascade where Roaring River leaves its upper valley gorge and spills onto the Alluvial fan. Below the debris field the Roaring River flattens and quiets and gently flows down to its joining Fall River on the Endo Valley floor. As you explore, you will be hopping across rocks and boulders that were once buried hundreds of thousands of years ago and carried for miles from up above by the rushing flood waters. As you hike along the stream bed you come to a very nice little waterfall and closer examination shows it to be one of the old bridges from the trails that were built after the Lawn Lake Flood. When you reach the cascade you will be looking at bed rock that had once been covered for millions of years but has now been exposed and polished smooth by two consecutive flood events. Be very careful scrambling around on this newly exposed rock. Slips and falls have nasty consequences here. Since improved trails were destroyed in the last flood, the alluvial fan is not accessible by wheel chairs and walkers. But families with younger children who love to scramble around on rocks will find an amazing playground here. Make sure you keep a very close eye on the children near the river because the swift water can carry them way and they will have a very rough and tumble experience being washed through the boulders and rocks in the stream bed. While exploring the Alluvial Fan you may also have a chance to see the herd of Big Horn Sheep that inhabit the area. It is a thrill to see these shy but majestic animals in this rugged scenery. There are also many different kinds of birds, including Magpies, Gray Jays, Clarks Nutcrackers,Turkeys, Stellar Jays, Blue Jays, Blue Birds, Chickadees, Hawks, Eagles and Great Horned Owls. Check out times for bird walks that leave from here. You will also probably see Elk and Deer and the occasional Moose. On rare occasions you may also come across a bear and maybe some cubs. For me, the best time to experience the Alluvial Fan and surrounding sites is at, or just after, sunrise. The day is new, many animals are active and the crowds have not arrived yet. Parking is easy to find and not much compares to a quiet breakfast and hot cup of coffee, tea or cocoa, sitting in the forest surrounded by nature. So make sure and visit the Alluvial Fan and enjoy what this relatively new feature has to offer you.
Written May 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cocobam
Cincinnati, OH1,183 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The Alluvial Fan was formed when an earthen dam broke up in the mountains, and the water came rushing down the hill. Rocks, trees, and even big boulders were carried by the water and strewn everywhere in its path.

The Alluvial Fan is located on Fall River Road, close to where it turns into the unpaved Old Fall River Road. There are East and West parking lots, with a short (less than 1/2 mile) trail that runs between the two. All along the path is evidence of the flood...boulders and tree trunks. In the middle is a bridge across the stream. You can also climb down and wade in the water or climb on the rocks along the path.

My kids loved this place and would have been happy to play here for hours. Bring water shoes for the kids, and they can climb on the rocks in the stream.
Written August 23, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Alluvial Fan - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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