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)
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.
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: 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
Patchy blowing snow. Mostly clear, with a low around 16. Wind chill values as low as -1. West southwest wind 26 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph.
Patchy blowing snow before noon, then a chance of snow. Mostly sunny. High near 29, with temperatures falling to around 24 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -1. West southwest wind 8 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Snow. Cloudy. Low around 17, with temperatures rising to around 19 overnight. Northeast wind 7 to 12 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.
Snow. Cloudy, with a high near 19. North wind 8 to 12 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.
A chance of snow before 4am, then a chance of snow and patchy blowing snow between 4am and 5am, then areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 10. West wind 9 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 46 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
Areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow before 11am, then snow and blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 14. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Snow likely and areas of blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 2. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.