Mills Lake, Black Lake, Frozen Lake Trail is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, CO that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Take Hwy. 36 out of Estes Park to RMNP entrance, then go to Bear Lake Rd. and follow it to Glacier Gorge TH.
Amazing. The first snow of the year was melting as we climbed. The left ridge was glistening so brightly it was difficult to gaze for long. Wildlife included birds, trout, blue grouse and moose in one trip.
This hike was so much fun and not strenuous! I went 9/17/16 and saw very beautiful foliage. Definitely a photo opp trail. There were quite a few people on the trail, but not so many as to ruin a peaceful hike. Bring a lunch and have a rest on the rocks once you get to Mills Lake!
This has been my favorite hike so far, not because it was pretty easy, but because the scenery surrounding it was amazing. The beauty of the lakes by the mountains never fails to mesmerize me. I went fairly early in the morning so it was super peaceful, definitely gave it extra points.
Nice hike, the area near Mills Lake is gorgeous!! Busy trail, & mosquitoes were pretty bad, Nice falls on the way there
We went from Glacier Gorge TH to a little pass Jewel lake and turned around 8 miles total. Great views. We started at 530am and there was parking available. Surprised that there was as many hikers to Mills lake.
Beautiful! Love the glacier lakes!!
This was the best hike yet! You get Alberta falls, wonderful scenic overlooks into the valley, awesome rugged peaks, beautiful lakes, peaceful hiking through the conifers, and Mills Lake itself is very accessible unlike some of the others. The trail generally rises fairly gently and was a real pleasure. don't missed this one!
Probably our favorite hike from the trip! Definitely worth it. You do get people on the trail but I'd imagine that it's not as many as you may find later in the day on the Emerald Lake trail. On the way there you get some cool panoramas. Beautiful views on the lake with the mountains reflecting in the water.
Also recommend continuing onto Jewel Lake from Mills Lake. Also beautiful.
Hiked from Alberta Falls trailhead to Mills lake. Great hike with plenty of shade and many beautiful waterfalls. Mills lake was definitely worth the easy/moderate hike.
Very gorgeous hike. Adequate shade, but there's a fair amount of exposed spots. Inclines can be decent in a few spots, but not bad. The only gripe I have is the crowds. So crowded in peak season, even on a weekday. Especially from the trailhead to Alberta Falls. Still, stunning views and well worth it. If you go to Mills, it's worth it to go to the end of it where Jewel Lake is.
The end result of Mills Lake is worth the hike!
I'm glad we checked in at the Visitor Center to make sure we would be able to park, and the parking was full--So we took the Shuttle up and started the hike at the Alberta Falls Trail, which was busy, but not terrible.. Then we decide that that we needed more of a hike..so we continued on to Mills Lake. Six (6) BEAUTIFUL elk just hanging out on the trail..people watching...and posing for pictures and a few chipmunks looking for food...Once we made it to the lake we could only see about 20 people just enjoying the Freezing cold lake. It was so quiet and peaceful. I will defiantly come back. maybe a bit earlier so I can drive into the park and check it out. I did find that the shuttle was very handy, you didn't have to drive around or get all the way up to the trail head and find out you have no where to park.
My first time in the Rockies did not disappoint. Most beautiful hike I've ever been on. Stunning views that I'll never forget. Went the day after the first snow fall of the season and no one was around. Very serene.
I couldn't find any information on summer crowds during weekdays, so here is the low down: We arrived in the park at 8:30 am to find that all parking lots were full in the park. This means that you have to park at the park & ride a few miles in from the beaver meadows toll booths and ride the shuttles to your desired trailhead.
The park and ride lot was about 80% full already with a line of roughly 50 people waiting to board the shuttles which come every 5 - 10 minutes. The park has done a great job with moving people up into the park, but this results in a lot of people rapidly making it to each trailhead.
We rode the shuttle to Glacier Gorge trailhead (parking full) and took off toward Alberta falls. Most people remained on the bus to head up toward Bear Lake. However, this doesn't mean the trail isn't crowded. Most people are inexperienced hikers, making it necessary to constantly pass people on our way up. Arriving at the falls, there were about 25 people milling about, so we moved on to head up to Mills Lake. This stretch resulted in our passing of about 15 people before we reached the lake. The crowds here were noticeably thinner with about 15 people spread out along little areas near the lake.
We kept on the glacier gorge trail until we reached the small creek headed down to the Loch. At this point we saw very few people. After a few hours we decided to head back, passing about 30 people total on the way down. Some groups were extremely loud and I even stopped to sternly ask a man not to carve his name into an Aspen.
If we were to ever go during peak season again, I would do the following:
- arrive incredibly early and park at your trailhead by 6:30 AM. 10 AM was peak time for activity.
- hike at least 4 miles in; the crowds really fall off past the 3 mile mark
- pick a difficult trail: RMNP staff keeps trails like Mills Lake so well maintained that people with limited mobility/fitness can sometimes make it all the way to Mills Lake
--Hope this helps!---