Lake Helene Trail is a 6.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, CO that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and horses and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
From Estes Park, take Hwy. 36 to the RMNP entrance, go to the Bear Lake Rd., turn left and follow it to the Bear Lake Trailhead.
I absolutely loved this hike and would do it again! Not only is the end spectacular but the entire hike was full of spectacular views. There are very few trails that I actually enjoy the scenery the entire time. Such a great hike.
Small lake with big views. The trail isn't marked, if you get out of forest and to switch back that starts going downhill on the side of mountain you've gone too far.
The small trail that leads to Lake Helene from the Fern Lake/Odessa Lake trail is not marked. A great hike, but look out for trails leading to the left otherwise you'll keep going and end up at Odessa Lake, which is gorgeous on its own.
Decent, moderate hike. Starts at bear lake where you can go left towards emerald/dream/nymph lake and go right towards lake Odessa/Helene and a few others. We did all in one trip - lakes to the right were pretty but much easier to get to.
Great hike, despite lingering snow. It starts around 1.5 mi in but the trail remains eat too follow since the snow is patchy. There is a short sloping snow field that you walk horizontally across on the talus at about 2.35 mi - it could be a bit hairy if you aren't careful. Spend the time going up above the lake a bit to get gorgeous views of Notchtop, the gorge, and Odessa Lake. You should probably do yourself a favor and wait for the trail down to Odessa to melt a bit before taking it, though. There was a rock slide on the trail, plus with the mix of snow and ice on the incline, it is currently dangerous. Conditions are changing quickly, though.
I wouldn't call it easy, at least in the winter after fresh snow, but definitely a trek worth doing. Hang to the right at the large clearing and then work you're way towards Notchtop. The route we took took also took us across Two Rivers Lake and then to Helene. As stated in an earlier review, the view of Notchtop is spectacular even in winter.
One of the easier "long" lake hikes in the park. The way up is very moderate, and the way down is incredibly easy. Lots of people reach Two Rivers Lake first in the winter thinking its Helene, but you need to cross Two Rivers headed towards Notchtop in order to actually reach Helene. The views on the way up are so so... There is a great overlook of Beirstadt Lake about halfway. Once you get to the top however, it's one of my favorite spots in the park. Great views of Notchtop!!!
Nice snowshoe hike with spectacular views at the lake.
Great trail! The view of Notchtop mountain from Lake Helene is spectacular.
The turn off to the lake is unmarked. Look for a side trail marked with large cairns.
I have done this hike twice. Its a solid hike with rewarding views.
Great hike. After the first 3/4 mile uphill the rest is downhill. I took the trail from bear lake to fern lake trailhead, so about 9 miles all the way thru. You get to see bear lake, lake Helene, Odessa lake, fern lake, and fern falls. If you want to make it longer and more challenging like I did, hike the full 9 miles
Nice sunny day for hiking in RMNP. 2007-AUG
Lake Helene is a great trek in Summer or Winter. One thing to note for snowshoeing is to have a GPS with you! Shortly after you pass the split for Flattop Mountain trail, you will cross an open area where the wind can blow, obscuring tracks rather quickly. If you are out snowshoeing and the wind is blowing, a GPS will help you not lose your way.
Little Matterhorn and Lake Helene are great for black + white compositions (if you're a photographer). There are a variety of options for angles to shoot.