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Bierstadt Lake Loop

Intermediate
  4.1 ( 22 ) Favorite

Trail

3.1 mile 4.9 kilometer loop
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 667' 203 m
Descent: -676' -206 m
High: 9,465' 2,885 m
Low: 8,818' 2,688 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Brian Smith

A classic RMNP loop featuring aspens, glacially sculpted landscapes and a beautiful alpine lake.

Brian Smith

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly This loop is short and easy enough for families. The lakeshore makes a great picnic sopt!

Overview

This is a quick loop up to and around one of RMNP's most popular destinations: Bierstadt Lake. The somewhat steep ascent to the lake will keep some visitors away, but it's well worth the effort.

Need to Know

Given the popularity of this area, visitors are advised to utilize the FREE shuttle system, rather than driving.

Description

From the parking area at the Bierstadt Lake TH, follow the well-marked and well-traveled trail through a series of switchbacks as it ascends the southern aspect of the moraine. Enjoy the constantly changing scenery as you wander through mixed forest over glacially shaped topography.

The higher you climb, the better the views get! Eventually, you'll emerge at the top of the moraine and a junction with Bierstadt Lake Loop Trail. You can pick whether to turn left or right, but both options will lead you back to this very junction.

Follow the mostly flat trail as it circumnavigates this stunningly beautiful lake. During autumn, the vibrant foliage of aspens preparing for winter will be reflected in the lake's still waters - a sight that's not to be missed! As you revel in the beauty around the lake, you'll pass multiple turn-offs for other destinations. If you want to extend your hike, consider spurring off on one of the trails. Make sure to consult the Hiking Project mobile app if considering this option.

For the purpose of this hike, stay on the Bierstadt Lake Loop. When you reach the point where you accessed the lake initially, retrace your steps down to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Pine and aspen groves litter the side of this ancient glacial moraine. In autumn, look for the aspen to be showing off their best outfits!

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Check-Ins

Sep 21, 2019
Sailaja Kotra-Turner
Sep 20, 2019
Robert Gardner
Nice hike. A little steep. But was good. We picnicked on the lake shore!
Aug 20, 2019
Sarah S
Jul 14, 2019
Ryan Harvey
one of out first hikes in Colorado 3.1mi — 2h 30m
Jul 13, 2019
Kristen Hughes
3h 45m
Jun 20, 2019
Andy M
3.7mi — 2h 17m
Jun 16, 2019
Hillery Powers
Jun 14, 2019
Sabin Fannin

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 22 votes

#7

in Bear Lake

#677

Overall
  4.1 from 22 votes
5 Star
36%
4 Star
41%
3 Star
23%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#7

in Bear Lake

#144

in Colorado

#677

Overall
363 Views Last Month
3,654 Since Jun 18, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Evening Fall Colors in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Nov 11, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Bierstadt Lake RMNP
Jan 8, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Bierstadt Lake Trail has some of the grandest views I've experienced in RMNP
Nov 13, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
Great view coming down the trail.  Sprague lake off to the left.
Jul 20, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Beautiful view on a clear spring day.
Apr 5, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
Bierstadt Lake on July 21, 2016.
Jul 21, 2016 near Estes Park, CO

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