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


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


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.

Directions & Parking

During peak season, hikers should use the park shuttle. Information on the shuttle can be found here:

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

Current Weather Conditions

Estes Park, CO

Mostly cloudy. Low around 20, with temperatures rising to around 23 overnight. West southwest wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

A slight chance of snow showers after 1pm. Mostly sunny. High near 34, with temperatures falling to around 32 in the afternoon. West southwest wind 16 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. New rainfall amounts less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Sunday Night
Mostly clear. Low around 23, with temperatures rising to around 25 overnight. West southwest wind 15 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 35. West southwest wind around 21 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph.

Monday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 24. West southwest wind 16 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph.

Mostly sunny, with a high near 35.

Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 22.

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