Rocky Mountain National Park - Glacier Gorge/Bear Lake Loop - Member Hike

Hike Name: Rocky Mountain National Park - Glacier Gorge/Bear Lake Loop
Country: United States
State: Colorado
Nearby Town: Estes Park
Rating: 3 stars
Directions: Enter Rocky Mountain National Park through Beaver Meadow Entrance. Take first left down Bear Lake Road. Near end of the road you will find a small parking area at Glacier Gorge Trailhead.
Total Hike Distance: 5.39 miles
Hike Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Permit Required: No
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Starts/Ends: Glacier Gorge Trailhead
Trails Used: Glacier Gorge, Lake Haiyaha, Emerald Lake
Backcountry Campsites: No
Backcountry Water Sources: Streams, Lakes
Management: National Park Service
Contact Information: Rocky Mountain National Park

1000 Highway 36
Estes Park, CO 80517
Best Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Users: Hikers
Road Conditions: Primary Paved Roads
Hike Summary: One of the better day hikes I've done (08/01/02). Unfortunately, a day hike was all I was able to do on my way from Alaska to Louisiana in just under two weeks.

The Glacier Gorge and Emerald Lake trails are heavily used, but the Lake Haiyaha trail connecting the two is not. All trails are well marked.

Moderate ascent up the Glacier Gorge trail with Alberta Falls halfway up. Good sightlines and decent sized falls. The trail will split into 3 and you'll need to take the right-most fork toward Lake Haiyaha.

The trail will fork again and the spur to the lake is the lefthand one. You'll have to scramble over some house sized boulders to get to the lake, but it is well worth it! The lake was formed by a glacier and that's also where all the boulders came from. The lake is still, isolated, and cold.

Go back to the beginning of the spur and go toward Dream, Bear, and Nymph lakes. Once at the Bear Lake trailhead, follow the road back up to the Glacier Gorge trailhead.



4,850 points


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