The Ouzel Lake drainage is quite corner of Rocky Mountain National Park filled with waterfalls and  greenback  cuttrhoat trout. Our trips are perfect for anglers looking to get away from the crowds on an amazing fly fishing adventure.

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Ouzel Creek Backpacking and Fly Fishing


Join us for this low-traffic area in Rocky Mountain National Park famous for anglers who want to avoid the crowds and fish world-class Trout streams. It’s a bit of a tough climb to get to our camps but with multiple waterfalls and views of 13,176 foot My. Copeland and 12,632 ft Mahana Peak to pass the time, the effort is worth it. Located at an elevation of about 10,020 feet, Ouzel Lake is one of the top fly-fishing destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park, most notably for its native greenback cutthroat trout (catch and release only).

Ouzel Lake Guided Fly Fishing Colorado Wilderness Rides And Guides

This hike takes you past stunning waterfalls, babbling streams, alpine lakes, and awe-inspiring overlooks. With its abundance of water, the Ouzel Lake trip is ideal for anglers looking to land some high elevation trout. While the stream that runs alongside the trail offers plenty of great options for fishing, the real star of this trek is Ouzel Lake. The lake is one of the best destinations in the park for greenback cutthroat trout, set against a beautiful alpine backdrop. After fishing to your heart’s content, kick back and relax at one of the most secluded campsites in the Park, Upper Ouzel Creek.

Ouzel Lake Backpacking with Colorado Wilderness Rides And Guides

Additional information

Group Size

2, 3, 4

Trip Dates

Wild Basin Trailhead:


We can create custom trips from 2 days to 6 days with this package.


Trip Cost

Price:  4 day /3 night $1,130 per person based on a minimum of 4 people.
Note: We guarantee departure, but there are different prices for less than 4 people. $1,130 per person for 4 or more people, $1,355 per person for 3 people and $1,585 per person for 2 people. Contact CWRAG office for prices for solo travelers. Additional trip options: fly fishing ($100 per person) plus fishing license ($16.75 – $27 per person).

A gear list will be sent upon confirmation of  course registration, and we’re happy to help arrange for personal gear if you do not have it.

Trip Details

This wonderful 2 to 6 day trip will bring you deep into the seldom explored southern section of Rocky Mountain National Park.  Since all of our trips are custom and private we can create the perfect adventure for you and your group of up to 6 people.  Here is a sample itinerary for a 4 day backpacking trip.

Day 0: Meet and go over gear, food, and itinerary in afternoon. Plan on meeting for 1-1.5 hours the night before to make sure all gear is double-checked and backpack is packed and ready to go for an early morning departure.  Note: Some companies include this day as part of the total trip length, thus making it a four-day trip. However, we only include it as Day 0 due to building rapport with your Colorado local guide and helping with acclimation

Day 1: Starting off from the Wild Basin Trailhead on the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park, we will hike 4.9 miles to Ouzel Lake. The trail runs parallel to a stream, winding through evergreen forests and past several waterfalls. We can either take our time with the hike and fish the stream along the way, or we can get to Ouzel Lake and spend the rest of the day fishing there.


Day 2: We will spend the day enjoying the area and fishing Ouzel Lake and the lake’s inlets and outlets for Greenback Cutthroat trout. We often get up early and fish at dawn to catch the first rise of the day. We then take a break and make a large lunch combined with a mid-day rest. Later, we fly fish for the afternoon when the weather calms and fishing heats up again. Camp at the same location.


Day 3: Another day spent fishing the lake and it’s inlets and outlets with time to relax and enjoy nature.


Day 4: We will spend the morning fishing before packing up camp and hiking up to our second campsite at Upper Ouzel Creek. This site is a great place to connect with nature, as it is one of the most secluded sites in the Park. We will spend the rest of the day relaxing or we could continue a couple miles to Bluebird Lake. 


Difficulty Description


Difficulty Description: 

Moderate – On moderate trips, you will hike 3-6 miles with a 25-35 pound backpack remaining on maintained trails. Elevation gain/loss may be as much as but not more than 2250 feet. For a moderate trip you should be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles in hilly or mountainous terrain with a light daypack. Altitudes range from 7,000 – 10,500’. With 2 day ascent to Thunder Lake

Difficult – On difficult trips, you will hike up to 8 miles a day with a 25-35 pound backpack. Elevation gain/loss may be as much as 3000 feet on maintained trails, or up to 2000 feet on more rugged trails. For a difficult trip you should be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles in a day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 25-pound backpack at altitudes of 7000’ – 10,750’. This trip can be considered very difficult for summit day based on altitude , travel on un-maintained trails and class 3 terrain, but we feel 4-day trip can decease difficulty from very difficult to difficult rating.


What's included

Included: The services of a professional backpacking guide, Rocky Mountain National Park permit and back-country Colorado camping permits, transportation between Boulder and the wilderness trail heads, all food during the backpacking trip, a re-supply drop, if necessary, gear for water purification and cooking, bear canister, tent, medical kit, CB radio and contingency and emergency support.

Not included in our rates: Meals while in the front country (breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on the last day), laundry, alcoholic beverages, hotel overnight before your trip and at trip’s conclusion; personal equipment (sleeping bag, pad, backpack – these items are available to rent), and gratuities for your guide(s) – while this is at your discretion, the recommended amount is 20%.  If you want to add fly-fishing, cost is $100 extra per person (rod, reel, and flies for the trip and backpacking – angling guide).


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