“A well-traveled trail connecting Bear Lake, Odessa Lake and Fern Lake.”
— Brian Smith
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This trail can be accessed from either the Fern Lake Trailhead or the Bear Lake Trailhead. If coming from the Fern Lake Trailhead, follow the Fern Lake Trail
for its entire length until you reach a junction with this trail, just before Fern Lake. Coming from Bear Lake
, navigate to the Flattop Mountain Trail
and follow it to the west until you see this trail branch off to the right (north).
This trail acts as a connector between Bear Lake
and Fern/Odessa Lakes. Traveling from North to South, the trail ascends steeply from the junction with Fern Lake Trail
to Fern Lake. This is one of the most visited lakes in the park and with good reason. The lake sits in awe of the staggering rock formation known as Little Matterhorn.
Continue the hike up the trail and you'll arrive at Odessa Lake, which is even closer to the Little Matterhorn Formation. From Odessa Lake, the trail begins climbing the northern flank of Joe Mills Mountain. As you round the mountain and begin to head northeast, the views of Notch Top Mountain will be gorgeous. At this point, it's all downhill to an intersection with Flattop Mountain Trail
just above Bear Lake