Bear Lake Loop Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park


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


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.


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:

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

Current Weather Conditions

Estes Park, CO

This Afternoon
Areas of smoke. Sunny, with a high near 52. West northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

Areas of smoke. Mostly clear, with a low around 39. West wind 8 to 12 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 56. West southwest wind around 13 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

Thursday Night
Clear, with a low around 41. West southwest wind 12 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 57. West southwest wind 16 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph.

Friday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 40.

Mostly sunny, with a high near 52.

Additional Pictures

Bear Lake in Summer

Bear Lake in Summer

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the creator of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and sharing his experiences. Max is a published author for various outdoor websites, and digital marketing websites. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about


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