Hike Profiles for Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas

Black Lake

Black Lake lies south of Mills Lake in Glacier Gorge, and sits in a glacier-carved basin. Glacier Gorge is
bordered by some of the park's most dramatic peaks,
including Longs and McHenrys.

Distance: 4.9 miles one-way

Lake elevation: 10,620 feet

Trailhead elevation: 9,180 feet

Net elevation gain: 1,440 feet

Glacier Gorge Trailhead

Rocky Mountain National Park
McHenrys Peak and Black Lake
The red star in the map above shows the relative location of Black Lake to RMNP boundaries (in green) and major roads (in gold)
Major Trail Landmarks
Alberta Falls (0.8 miles one-way from trailhead)
North Longs Peak Trail junction (1.6 miles one-way from trailhead)
Junction with Loch Vale / Lake Haiyaha Trails (2.2 miles one-way from trailhead)
Mills Lake (2.8 miles one-way from trailhead)
Jewel Lake (3.2 miles one-way from trailhead)
Principal Destinations Near Black Lake
Blue Lake (5.6 miles one-way from trailhead) - via unmaintained route past Black Lake
Green Lake (6.1 miles one-way from trailhead) - via unmaintained route past Black Lake
Frozen Lake (6.1 miles one-way from trailhead) - via unmaintained route past Black Lake
Backcountry Campsites Near Black Lake
Glacier Gorge [PDF Link] - (3.8 miles one-way from trailhead) - elevation 10,000' - 1 individual site
Glacier Gorge Trailhead is on the east side of the Continental Divide near Bear Lake. From the Beaver
Meadows Entrance Station on U.S. Highway 36, head west less than a quarter mile and turn south on Bear
Lake Road (toward Moraine Park). Follow Bear Lake Road approximately 9 miles to the small parking
area at Glacier Gorge. This lot often fills up early in the morning, especially in summer months. This area
is also accessible by the Bear Lake shuttle service when applicable, normally May through October. Note
that the Glacier Gorge Trailhead was moved in 2004, resulting in an additional 0.3 miles of hiking distance
each way. This change is not reflected in older guidebooks or maps.

From the trailhead, hike past Alberta Falls and continue to the junction with the North Longs Peak Trail.
At this junction, continue toward Mills Lake and The Loch to a second junction at 2.2 miles from the
trailhead. At this junction, bypass the right-hand trails leading toward The Loch and Lake Haiyaha, and
take the left-hand trail leading southwest toward Mills Lake and Black Lake. Follow this trail for
0.6 miles to the north end of Mills Lake. Continue along the trail as it leads past the eastern shorelines
of Mills and Jewel Lakes, and on to Black Lake.
Sample photographs of the hike to Black Lake
Jewel Lake
Glacier Creek
Glacier Creek and McHenrys Peak
Looking north from below Black Lake
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Topographic map is property of and copyrighted by Maps a la carte, Inc., and is used on this site with permission.