Bierstadt Lake: A Short & Beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park Hike


Article Categories: Hiking

Bierstadt Lake is a gorgeous spot in Rocky Mountain National Park. In a quick 1.2 miles, hikers will reach the lake and experience some fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. The loop trail around the lake is around .8 miles, and can be added on to any route to the lake.

Elevation: 9,466 Feet (2,885 m)
Distance:  2.4 Miles (3.86 km) Roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 675 feet (205.7 m)
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 1-2 hours




Bierstadt Lake Trail

This is the most common route to Bierstadt lake. 1.2 miles from trailhead to the lake, this trail quickly rises 675 feet in elevation. The trail features really great views of Tyndall Gorge, Bear Lake Road, and the surrounding mountains. The trail switchbacks for the majority of the elevation gain, making it relatively simple.


Bear Lake Trailhead

Hikers may also choose to ascend to the lake via Bear Lake. This is a less common approach, but still quite nice. This trail is 1.5 miles to the lake and features a less elevation gain as you are starting at a higher elevation than Bierstadt Lake. This trail does ascend and descend, so the overall elevation gain is very close.


From Bear Lake Shuttle Park & Ride

Hikers for this route begin at the shuttle parking for the bear lake trailhead. This route is 1.4 miles to the lake from the trailhead. This is a great option during the busy season, when you would like to avoid the shuttle system.


Trail Map

Bierstadt Lake Colorado Trail Map


Nearby Hikes

If you are into beautiful lakes, there are many other gorgeous options only a short distance away. Many elect to also travel to the end of Bear Lake Road and hike to Bear Lake, Dream Lake & Emerald Lake, all featuring unique and beautiful views. If you are looking for a little more difficulty, access to Flattop Mountain from Bierstadt Lake is possible, or traveling to the other lakes mentioned above.

If you love lakes, be sure to check out, Odessa Lake, Loch Vale, Sky Pond, Fern Lake, or Mills Lake as well.


Winter Hiking

This is a great winter hike. The switchbacks make the elevation gain manageable. Traction is always recommended. Snowshoes are commonly needed during deep snow times.


Directions & Parking

To Bierstadt Lake Trailhead:

To Shuttle Park and Ride:


Weather Forecast

Here is the detailed weather for Bierstadt Lake over the next 4 days:

Estes Park, CO

This Afternoon
Sunny. High near 42, with temperatures falling to around 37 in the afternoon. West southwest wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.

Mostly clear, with a low around 28. West southwest wind 18 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 59 mph.

Mostly sunny. High near 34, with temperatures falling to around 30 in the afternoon. West southwest wind 25 to 38 mph, with gusts as high as 61 mph.

Thursday Night
Snow after 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 18. West southwest wind 8 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Snow. Cloudy, with a high near 22. East northeast wind 3 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

Friday Night
Snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 9. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

A chance of snow before 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 15. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, 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. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about