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
A chance of snow showers after 2pm. Partly sunny. High near 37, with temperatures falling to around 32 in the afternoon. West southwest wind 21 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 15. Wind chill values as low as -4. West wind 18 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 25. Wind chill values as low as -7. West wind 30 to 39 mph, with gusts as high as 59 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Friday Night
Blowing snow and a chance of snow showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 19. Wind chill values as low as -3. West wind 39 to 44 mph, with gusts as high as 66 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Blowing snow before 4pm. Sunny, with a high near 36. West southwest wind 32 to 41 mph, with gusts as high as 62 mph.

Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 25.

Sunny, with a high near 39.

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