“A classic RMNP loop featuring aspens, glacially sculpted landscapes and a beautiful alpine lake.”
— Brian Smith
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This loop is short and easy enough for families. The lakeshore makes a great picnic sopt!
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.
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!