Bear Lake Loop Hike

Rocky Mountain National Park

Northern Front Range, Colorado

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Bear Lake Loop Hike


  • Shuttle stop and trailhead for Bear Lake.- Bear Lake Loop Hike
  • Bear Lake Trail.- Bear Lake Loop Hike
  • Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park.- Bear Lake Loop Hike
  • Bear Lake Loop Trail.- Bear Lake Loop Hike
  • View south from Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park.- Bear Lake Loop Hike
  • Bear Lake Loop Trail.- Bear Lake Loop Hike
  • View northwest from the Bear Lake Loop Trail.- Bear Lake Loop Hike
  • - Bear Lake Loop Hike
Overview + Weather
Kid/Family-friendly. ADA-accessible path. Heart of National Park.
Extremely crowded during the summer. Limited parking.
Northern Front Range, CO
Pets allowed: 
Highest point: 
9,520.00 ft (2,901.70 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
75.00 ft (22.86 m)
Year round: 
Open from: 
May 15 to October 15
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Total Distance: 
0.60 mi (0.97 km)
Total elevation gain: 
45.00 ft (13.72 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
9,475.00 ft (2,887.98 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


This trail stands a head above in terms of ecological variety, accessibility, and kid friendliness. Even though it is a mere 0.6 miles in length and does not gain any notable altitude, views of Hallet and Longs Peak abound, and early birds are especially privileged to enjoy breathtaking reflections of these jagged behemoth mountains reflected in the morning calm of the subalpine lake.

During the height of tourist season, you'll likely need to utilizing the free park shuttle to the trailhead, as the parking lot typically fills by 7:30 a.m.. An interpretive guide is available courtesy of the Rocky Mountain National Conservancy for a small price, and a guide can really enhance the already stunning hike by highlighting national, geological, and historical information on thirty points around the loop. 

A remarkably hot fire ravaged the area in the early 1900s as a result of careless campers. The fire burned with such impressive temperatures that it cracked several slabs of granite in the area. Massive aspen groves flourished in the newly nutrient enriched soil, resulting in a breathtaking golden spectacle in the fall, speckled by lodgepole, spruce, fir, and pine. 

The trailhead to the Bear Lake Loop also offers access to Nymph, Dream, + Emerald Lakes, Lake Bierstadt, Lake Haiyaha, and more.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(21 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(86 within a 30 mile radius)

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