Black Lake Trail is a 9.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, CO that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.
Take Hwy. 36 out of Estes Park to the RMNP entrance, go to Bear Lake Rd., drive it to the Glacier Gorge Th.
Wanted to go to frozen lake, but lots of snow and ice. Black lake is beautiful, crowds around mills lake and Alberta falls lessened my enjoyment
Nice trail. Tried to get to frozen lake but huge granite slabs and too chicken. Plus in my 50's and didn't want any injuries!! Bummed but safety first. Great trail though
Such a beautiful hike. Labor Day crowds were only bad on our way back around Alberta Falls.
Excellent! Totally worth the walk.
Long trail that was way to crowded until 3 miles in. The trail was steady up and adopting was pretty good. Mills lake is pretty with lots of of people hanging out. But black lake was AMAZING. huge cliffs all around.
Fabulous hike! Well worth the 10 miles!
Visited June 24, 2016. Third time to this lake and still one of my favorite places in the world. Trail was great up to the last 3/4 mile or so, where frequent snow piles made navigation and footing a bit challenging. Only one or two truly tricky spots though. Storms threatened twice but stayed to the north and west. Soooooo worth it.
Did this two years ago with Maleah 12 and Denton 9, but we went on farther to green lake. One of my top 3 hikes, we got a little mist, hiked up the waterfall above black lake through the clouds and above that was a blue sky, continued to green lake looking back down at the clouds below. took about 7-8 hrs got back to trailhead at 7 (last shuttle 7:30)
This is one of my favorites because the whole hike is beautiful. You're not just hiking to a lake at the top to get a view...every step has an amazing view. You won't be disappointed!
Did this trail up to Blue Lake coupled with the Sky Pond trail. It is beautiful! I highly recommend it. Lake Mills and Gem are pretty busy so if your looking for that solidarity keep going to Black Lake, and if you want more keep going to Blue Lake!
Beautiful lake, some what harder hike than a lot of trails but definitely worth it. Keep going past the lake on the trail for amazing views of Glacier Gorge.
Spectacular hike! Went all the way up to Blue Lake and coming down took different route at the end, at Loch Vale junction, down Ranger trail back to Glacier Gorge trail and up Bear Lake trail to Bear lake parking lot. The Glacier gorge parking lot was full when we got there so we had parked at Bear lake lot and taken trail down that connected to Glacier gorge trail.
Total for loop I did: 12.1 miles, 3000 ft elevation gain, is somewhat hard only after Black Lake going up to Blue Lake. But that section is worth doing and mountain peak views at Blue Lake are spectacular.
Hike to Mills lake is easy. You pass Alberta falls and hike thru gorge, cross Glacier creek couple times. Mills is pretty. After Mills, trail is rocky with lots of roots but still well maintained. Some sections literally has rock stairs, easy to climb. There are planks across some areas, which probably get wet and marshy but was dry when I hiked. Not a difficult trail but you do have a bit of a climb to Black Lake. Once past the beautiful Ribbon falls, the trail ascends and final leg to Black Lake you have to hop over some boulders to get to the lake.
The trail continues up and is rocky there. You have to be comfortable hiking up big boulders & some loose rocks. The view of the cirque from above is awesome! The trail to Blue Lake is bit sketchy & you have to go off trail to climb the ridge. It was very windy up there but the pano 360 deg view of peaks Arrowhead, Keyboard of the Winds, Longs etc is spectacular & totally worth it.
Saw lot of Marmots, up above Black lake trail, swarming all over. Coming down saw an elk on Bear Lake trail, which was a bonus.
This entire loop goes in my fav hikes list.