Hike Profiles for Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas

Bear Lake

The lakeshore trail at Bear Lake is the most-visited trail in Rocky Mountain National Park,
due to the convenient access
from Bear Lake Road and the easy walking the level loop trail provides.

Distance: 0.5 mile loop trail

Lake elevation: 9,475 feet

Trailhead elevation: 9,475 feet

Net elevation gain: Negligible

Bear Lake Trailhead

Rocky Mountain National Park
Bench along Bear Lake
The red star in the map above shows the relative location of Bear Lake to RMNP boundaries (in green) and major roads (in gold)
Major Trail Landmarks
Emerald Lake and Glacier Gorge Connector Trail junctions (at west end of Bear Lake parking lot)
Flattop Mountain Trail (begins on northeast side of Bear Lake along the lakeshore trail)
Principal Destinations Near Bear Lake
Dream Lake (1.1 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Emerald Lake Trail
Emerald Lake (1.8 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Emerald Lake Trail
Lake Haiyaha (2.1 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Emerald Lake Trail to Lake Haiyaha Trail
Lake Helene (2.9 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Flattop Mountain Trail to Odessa Lake Trail
Odessa Lake (4.1 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Flattop Mountain Trail to Odessa Lake Trail
Flattop Mountain (4.4 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Flattop Mountain Trail
Hallett Peak (5.0 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Flattop Mountain Trail to an unmaintained route
Backcountry Campsites near Bear Lake
No campsites exist on or near the trail around Bear Lake
The Bear Lake Trailhead is on the east side of the Continental Divide. From the Beaver Meadows
Entrance Station on U.S. Highway 36, head west about 0.2 miles and turn south on Bear Lake Road
(toward Moraine Park). Follow Bear Lake Road a little over 9 miles to the large parking area where Bear
Lake Road ends. Bear Lake is just west of the parking lot. The Emerald Lake trail begins just southeast
of the lake; the Flattop Mountain trail begins on the east side of the lake.

The trail around the lakeshore of Bear Lake begins just west of the large parking lot at the end of Bear Lake
Road. This loop trail also provides access to the Emerald Lake and Flattop Mountain Trails.
Sample photographs of the hike around Bear Lake
Longs Peak from Bear Lake
Bear Lake
Hallett Peak and Bear Lake
Bear Lake area in winter
Bear Lake topographic map
Principal summer trail marked by solid red line; unmaintained trail/route marked by dashed red line.
Map is oriented with north to the top of the map

USGS Quad Map: McHenrys Peak - Latitude: 40.305 deg. N - Longitude: 105.648 deg. W

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All photographs are property of Mike Amfahr and are protected by copyright laws.
Topographic map is property of and copyrighted by Maps a la carte, Inc., and is used on this site with permission.