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Onahu Creek - Green Mountain Loop - Rocky Mountain National Park

Onahu Creek Bridge

The Trail Guide to the Onahu Creek - Green Mountain Loop includes trail descriptions, photographs of the trails, comments from our hikes, mileage data, custom topo map, and the Loop tracklog on a geo-pdf map. The guide will familiarize you with the Onahu Creek and Green Mountain Trail systems. We hope the guide helps you on your hikes and adventures.

Route Data

Photos from: June 2014

Green Mountain Trailhead Elevation: 8,794'

Range: Rocky Mountain National Park

Map Coordinate System - Geodetic Base (NAD27)

Trailhead Latitude: 40.307339, Longitude: -105.840632

Route: Onahu Creek Trail, Green Mountain Trail

Loop Mileage: 7.60

For Map, Trail Mileage, and Trail Notes
go to Page 2

Route Comments

Many years ago, I hiked the Onahu Creek - Green Mountain Loop with two friends. It was a fine trail system and Big Meadow was very interesting. Then, this summer we finally returned and used the trails as an acclimating hike. The Onahu Creek section of the route was a great trail. It became one of our favorites of the summer.

The Hike

Directions: The Green Mountain Trailhead is located about 3 miles north of the Kawuneeche Visitor Center on Highway 34 - Trail Ridge Road.

The Green Mountain Trailhead has parking, privies, and a trail kiosk.

hiker near the Green Mountain Kiosk

Please check the trailhead kiosk for current trail information. The trail linking Onahu Creek Trail goes north and parallels Trail Ridge Road.

trail through the aspens leading to the Onahu Creek Trailhead

The connector trail is not the most interesting, but it is still better than walking along the road and it connects the trails to make a loop.

viewing the Onahu Creek Trailhead kiosk from the main trail

.70 mile from the Green Mountain Trailhead, the trail reaches Onahu Creek Trailhead. A short spur trail connects to the parking area and the trailhead kiosk.

Bowen Gulch Trail sign. Post also has a Continental Divide Trail sigj

Leaving Onahu Creek Trailhead, the Onahu Creek Trail reaches the Bowen Gulch Trail Junction in .15 mile. The Bowen Gulch spur is part of the Continental Divide Trail.

looking down at a footbridge over a small creek

From the junction with the Bowen Gulch spur, the Onahu Creek Trail climbs a bit, contours, and descends to a footbridge over a small creek at .45 mile from the spur. The bridge is .60 mile from Onahu Creek Trailhead.

One of the first views of Onahu Creek . The creek is filled with whitewater tumbling over the rocks..

The trail climbs steadily for 200 feet (elevation) and then trends toward Onahu Creek. Finally, the trail joins the creek for a short distance.

Lower Onahu Creek Bridge from below the trail

Onahu Creek Trail reaches a substantial bridge at 1.35 miles from Onahu Trailhead (.75 mile from the footbridge over the small creek). The lower Onahu Creek Bridge is 2.05 miles from the Green Mountain Trailhead.

Onahu Creek bending through an open meadow near Onahu Creek Campsite

The Onahu Creek Trail climbs steadily from the lower bridge. In .60 mile from the bridge (1.95 mile from Onahu Creek Trailhead) there is a side trail to Onahu Creek Campsite. The side trail crosses the creek. The Onahu Creek site is one of the best.

Trail sign for Upper Onahu Creek Campsite. The campsite is between the sign and the creek.

The climb eases as the Onahu Creek Trail follows near the creek for .85 mile to Upper Onahu Creek Campsite. The site is between the trail and the creek.

Side trail and sign to Onhau Bridge Campsite

.10 mile from the Upper Onahu site, the trail reaches the Onahu Bridge Campsite. The site is 2.90 miles from Onahu Trailhead and 3.60 miles from Green Mountain Trailhead.

The sturdy, upper Onahu Creek Bridge

The trail crosses the Onahu Creek in .10 mile on a good bridge. The unmaintained trail to Long Meadow and on to Timber Creek also junctions near the bridge.

trail crossing a rock (talus) field on a rise

The Onahu Creek Trail leaves the creek at the bridge and climbs through a talus (rock) field, continuing to rise until a saddle is reached. The saddle is the high point of the route.

Onahu Creek Trail - Tonahutu Creek Trail Junction trail sign

The trail then descends to the Tonahutu Creek Trail Junction. The junction is 1.60 miles from the Onahu Creek Bridge Campsite, 4.50 miles from Onahu Creek Trailhead, and 5.20 miles from Green Mountain Trailhead.

The open grasses of Big Meadow

Joining the Tonahutu Creek Trail the trail passes along the western border of Big Meadow.

Ruins of log structure on the west side of Big Meadow

Ruins of settlers who worked the meadow are near the trail at Big Meadow.

Trail sign at the Tonahutu Creek Traial and Green Mountain Trail Junction. Sign Indicates the direction to the Upper and Lower Tonahutu

In .60 mile from the Onahu Creek Trail and Tonahutu Creek Trail Junction the trail reaches the Green Mountain Trail Junction. The junction is 5.10 miles from the Onahu Creek Trailhead and 5.70 miles from Green Mountain Trailhead.

Small trail sing for the Green Mtn campsite with the side trail in the background.

The Green Mountain backcountry site is located close to the the Green Mountain Trail Junction. The Green Mountain Trail climbs to the saddle between Kawuneeche Valley and Big Meadow. The trail then descends to the trailhead.

A smooth trail rolling through lush ground cover into the forest

The Green Mountain Trail is a wide, mostly smooth trail. It used to be a road to access Big Meadow. The trail crosses drainages as it descends to the trailhead.

Green Mountain Trail Sign indicating distances to attractions

The Trail reaches the trailhead in 1.80 miles from the Green Mountain Junction. The Onahu Creek Trail - Green Mountain Trail Loop is 7.60 miles.

For Map, Trail Mileage, GPS, and Trail Notes go to Page 2