Bear Lake Loop Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park

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Article Categories: Hiking
Article Tags: Colorado | Easy Hikes

Bear Lake is a high elevation lake with a gorgeous loop hike. It features views of Tyndall Gorge, an easy walking path around the lake. The Rocky Mountain Conservancy sells booklets at the trailhead teaching visitors on the natural history of Bear Lake.

Elevation: 9,475 Feet (2878 m)
Distance: .8 Miles (1.29 km)
Elevation Gain: 45 feet (13.7 m)
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 1 hour or less

 

Trail

The Bear Lake Trail is best done counter-clockwise to go along with the points of interest and educational readings along the path. This is an extremely well traveled trail, and it is recommended to start very early to avoid the largest crowds. The trail is very well marked, and is accessed right next to the parking lot at the end of Bear Lake Road.

This is a common loop in the winter as well.

Hikers often choose to hike a little further to Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, or to Emerald Lake just below Tyndall Gorge. Bear lake cannot be fished, however, each of the lakes beyond bear lake are barbless hook, catch and release.

 

Trail Map

Bear Lake Colorado

 

Seasons

Bear lake is open year round and gorgeous in all seasons. During summer and fall, the parking lot often gets full, making visitors use the shuttle system to come visit.

 

Fishing

Fishing on bear lake is not allowed. Fishing on Nymph, Dream, and Emerald lake is allowed however. The fishing on Dream Lake is fantastic.

 

Bear Lake Facts & Information

  • Elevation: 9,475 Feet (2878 m)
  • Size: About 9 acres

 

Directions & Parking

During peak season, hikers should use the park shuttle. Information on the shuttle can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/shuttle_bus_route.htm

To Bear Lake Parking Area (At the end of Bear Lake Road)

 

Current Weather Conditions

Estes Park, CO

This Afternoon
Snow and blowing snow before 2pm, then blowing snow and snow likely. Mostly cloudy. High near 23, with temperatures falling to around 6 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -19. West wind 31 to 36 mph, with gusts as high as 58 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Tonight
Blowing snow before 5am. Partly cloudy. Low around 1, with temperatures rising to around 8 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -23. West southwest wind 22 to 31 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph.

Saturday
Patchy blowing snow and a slight chance of snow between 11am and 2pm, then a chance of snow and patchy blowing snow between 2pm and 3pm, then areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow between 3pm and 4pm, then a chance of snow and patchy blowing snow. Partly sunny. High near 21, with temperatures falling to around 19 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -11. West southwest wind around 23 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Saturday Night
A chance of snow and patchy blowing snow before 9pm, then areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow between 9pm and 5am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. Wind chill values as low as -1. West wind 21 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of around one inch possible.

Sunday
A chance of snow and patchy blowing snow after 5pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 25. West southwest wind 20 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Sunday Night
A chance of snow and patchy blowing snow before 11pm, then areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow between 11pm and 5am, then snow likely and areas of blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Monday
Snow likely and areas of blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 20. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

 

Additional Pictures

Bear Lake in Summer

Bear Lake in Summer

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about

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