An easy walk around a high-mountain lake with peak views. Tucked into the spruce/fir forest at the base of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, this 0.6-mile loop is one of Rocky's most famous trails. Unlike other trails listed as accessible by the Park, Bear Lake is not entirely flat and is a more challenging route. As a wedding site it accommodates 2-35 people.
Take a short side trip from Odessa Lake on a fishermen's path to Lake Helene at the head of Odessa Gorge, east of Notchtop Mountain.
Notchtop Mountain provides the backdrop to views in the area. Two Rivers Lake is found along the hike to Odessa Lake from Bear Lake. 1 backcountry site.
The Cub Lake trail begins in the willow thickets along the Big Thompson River and continues upward through stands of pine and aspen. Ice or deep snow sometimes makes the last mile difficult, and may require the use of skis or snowshoes. Combine with The Pool hike for a six mile loop by taking a connection trail beyond Cub Lake to The Pool.
Leaving the East Portal, the Wind River trail follows the Wind River to join with the Storm Pass trail. 3 backcountry sites.
The Pool is a turbulent water pocket formed below the confluences of Spruce and Fern Creeks with the Big Thompson River. The winter route is along a gravel road, which leads to a trail at the Fern Lake Trailhead. Look for beaver-cut aspen, frozen waterfalls on the cliffs, and the Arch Rocks. Elevation of lake 8,280 ft.
Pass the famous Arch Rock formations, The Pool, and the cascading water of Fern Falls. A gorgeous lake with views of the Continental Divide (Little Matterhorn and Notchtop Mountain). It is a heavily used area. 2 backcountry sites near the Lake, and 2 closer to the trailhead. Read more on Fern Lake Trail.
There are two approaches to Odessa Lake, another magnificent feature of the Bear Lake region: a 4.1 mile route along the Flattop trail from Bear Lake, and a 4.5 mile route from the Fern Lake trailhead. The longer route is also steeper, but you get the pleasure of seeing Fern Creek, The Pool, Fern Falls, and Fern Lake itself along the way. 1 backcountry site. Odessa Lake trail...
Delightful! Alberta Falls is one of the most impressive falls in the park and along the trail you see beautiful Glacier Creek and walk along the rim of Glacier Gorge. The falls thunder and tumble down the narrow canyon. The trail continues on to famous lakes - Mills, Haiyaha, and The Loch. Alberta Falls trail...
Trail takes you past Alberta Falls and follows Glacier Creek. Small lake with a marshy grass shore, divided from Mills Lake by a small channel & beaver dams.
The hike to the Loch is filled with mountain scenes as you pass Alberta Falls and the Glacier Knobs, then travels alongside and above Icy Brook. It's one of the most popular destinations in the park and well worth spending the day and exploring, while soaking in the majesty and serenity. The Loch trail...
Spectacular route to the Divide via Andrews Pass with views of Taylor and Powell peaks. Ascend via the south side. Take the trail to The Loch, and less than 1 mile after the Loch, follow the branch off to the right. 1 backcountry site.
Three quarters of a mile past Black Lake, following the inlet stream. Scramble over rock slabs - no trail. Above treeline.
A beautiful babbling brook that tumbles from the tundra into the dark forest below Longs Peak. 2 backcountry sites.
Not particularly high or full, Timberline Falls has a delicate beauty. It's a branching fall, cascading down a black granite wall into a wide, shallow catch basin, and then draining away downhill through dozens of ankle-deep rivulets. At it's top is Lake of Glass. Timberline Falls...
The Mill Creek Basin trail follows Mill Creek to a brush and wildflower filled meadow where you can often see hawks hunting. You'll see lodgepole pines and aspens along the banks and views of beaver works. 2 backcountry sites.
A popular stop on a drive up Bear Lake Road with a picnic area and beautiful views of the Continental Divide. There is an easy and accessible half-mile-long trail around the lake with a fishing pier. An accessible backcountry camping site is located in the area. A good place for a short winter walk, or to try those crosscountry skis on a frozen lake. Good views of the Continental Divide. More on Sprague Lake.
Connects the Bear Lake Road area with Lily Lake. Estes Cone trail starts at Storm Pass.
Hike past the Arch Rock formations, The Pool, and the cascading water of Fern Falls to reach the spur trail to Spruce Lake. The stroll to the marshy shores of Spruce Lake leads through boulders left by glaciers. 1 backcountry site.
Upper Beaver Meadows offers two hiking routes--the road which winds along the north side of Beaver Creek for two miles and a trail that leaves the dirt road on the left, just inside the barricade. The trail crosses the stream and runs along the south side of the meadow at the base of the moraine. The trail and road meet at the parking area at the west end of Beaver Meadows. You may choose to make a loop by using both the road and trail, or you may follow either route in both directions. Hiking along the trail, you may see elk bedded down among trees near the trail or along the stream.
Enjoy the rushing water of Windy Gulch Creek as it cascades to the valley below. This is a stop on the Old Ute Trail from Trail Ridge to Beaver Meadows.
At the end of Bear Lake Road, 9.5 miles from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. During summer Bear Lake Road Construction, Shuttle Bus is highly recommended. Although the parking lot at the trailhead is large, it fills up early in the day during summer. Elevation: 9.475 ft.
Along Bear Lake Road after Sprague Lake, across from the Storm Pass trailhead.
From Bear Lake Road, turn R toward Moraine Park Campground; after .7 mi. turn L and follow signs to Cub Lake Trailhead . Access to 1 backcountry site.
Follow Highway 66 past the YMCA about 1 mi. to its end at East Portal. Park in the small day use parking area about 100 yds before the road ends. Access to 3 backcountry sites. Easy turn-around for horse trailers, with space for 1-2 trailers.
From Bear Lake Road, turn right toward Moraine Park Campground, then left after .7 mi. to the end of the road at Fern Lake parking. Access to 6 backcountry sites.
Less than 1 mile before Bear Lake along Bear Lake Road. SMALL parking lot. Shuttle bus is highly recommended in summer. Access to 2 backcountry sites.
On the south side of Bear Lake Road. Shuttle Bus recommended.
After Sprague Lake, on the south side of Bear Lake Road across from Bierstadt Lake trailhead. Access to 2 backcountry sites along the Boulder Brook trail.
From the Beaver Meadows entrance, pass Bear Lake Road and continue along Hwy 36 until just before the junction with Hwy 34. Left onto dirt road. Go about 2 mi. to road end.