The Spirit of the Rockies
Hike Profiles for Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas
Mills Lake
Distance: 2.5 miles one-way

Lake elevation: 9,940 feet

Trailhead elevation: 9,240 feet

Net elevation gain: 700 feet

Glacier Gorge Trailhead

Rocky Mountain National Park
Mills Lake is a popular
destination in Glacier
Gorge, because of its
relatively easy approach
and scenic view. The large
lake sits in a rocky basin
and offers a panoramic
view of Longs Peak,
Pagoda Mountain, and
Chiefs Head Peak to
the south.
XLooking south from Mills Lake
Major Trail Landmarks
Alberta Falls (0.6 miles one-way from trailhead)
Junction with North Longs Peak Trail (1.3 miles one-way from trailhead)
Junction of Loch Vale and Black Lake Trails (1.9 miles one-way from trailhead)
Principal Destinations Near Mills Lake
The Loch (2.7 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Loch Vale Trail
Jewel Lake (2.9 one-way from trailhead) - via Black Lake Trail beyond Mills Lake
Black Lake (4.7 one-way from trailhead) - via Black Lake Trail beyond Mills Lake
Backcountry Campsites Near Mills Lake
Glacier Gorge (3.5 miles one-way from trailhead) - 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 when Bear Lake Road is open to
vehicle traffic. This area is also accessible by the Bear Lake shuttle service when applicable.
The trailhead begins across the road to the south.

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 1.9 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.
Sample photographs of the hike to Mills Lake
Alberta Falls
Chiefs Head Peak and Mills Lake
Mills Lake topographic map
Principal summer trail marked by solid red line; unmaintained trail or route marked by dashed red line.
Map is oriented with north to the top of the map
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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.