Odessa Lake Via Fern Lake Trail

MODERATE 25 reviews
#21 of 115 trails in

Odessa Lake Via Fern Lake Trail is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, CO that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and horses and is accessible from June until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

8.5 miles 2088 feet Out & Back

camping

hiking

walking

horseback riding

lake

river

views

wild flowers

no dogs

Take Hwy. 36 out of Estes Park to RMNP entrance, then go to Bear Lake Rd., follow it to the Bear Lake Th.

hiking
6 days ago

Did not make it to Odessa Lake. Bad weather was moving in, the snow was almost knee deep. We also had snow shoes. There was no visible sign of tracks but we made it to Lake Helene which was really beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views and well worth a few steep climbs and windy conditions.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

The trail was already covered with snow so it was very slippery. But the view was absolutely amazing!! Totally worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Planned to hike to Fern Lake, but kept on to Odessa. Definitely worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike! We went from Bear Lake to Odessa Lake. It took three hours to get there but there is a lot of variety to the trail and such a close views of the mountains. A lot of picture taking. Odessa Lake was beautiful. Would definitely recommend.

4 months ago

Just hiked this today starting from the Fern Lake trailhead. Trail is well maintained, easy to follow, and has a fee nice waterfalls. We had Odessa Lake pretty much to ourselves and really enjoyed the view.

backpacking
4 months ago

Did this as a section of a much longer backpacking trip. This section is awesome! especially the high country between Odessa lake and Sourdough campsite. If you camp at Sourdough, bring a lot of bug repellent. I suppose all these small lakes are breeding grounds for Mosquitoes. Besides that the campsite is fantastic. It even has a Privy. These backcountry campsites are some of the best I've ever camped in.

5 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

5 months ago

One of my favorite hikes! I've been to Fern Lake more times than I can count. The extra mile past Fern to Odessa lake is beautiful. Highly recommended.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Wonderful hike! Gorgeous views almost throughout the entire hike. This is up in my top ten hikes in Colorado:)

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

I didn't make it down to Odessa Lake, so this is why I titled it as Odessa Gorge. Since I have been Odessa Lake from the Fern Lake TH, and wanted to explore Lake Helene and Two Rivers Lake, I turned around once I got half-way down Odessa Gorge.

This hike was more amazing than I had expected! Once I got to the the Junction for the Flattop Mountain trail, it was all-new territory for me. From here the trail begins to level out and is so pleasant. You are near tree-line, and the trail crosses through open, wildflower specked fields. In front of you are the mountains and snowfields that you will soon be walking along through Odessa Gorge. The morning I went had ominous clouds hovering, and the wind was whipping so that I felt I was crossing the Misty Mountains!!

But before you turn into the gorge you pass the Sourdough backcountry sites on the right side of the trail. About a 5- minute walk you'll notice spur trails on your left with slight views of water- the first one is Two Rivers Lake, and Lake Helene is after it.

Then, I turned, and Odessa Gorge opened up, and there at the bottom is Odessa Lake. Gorgeous (heh heh heh). But it really took my breath away. There are no more tress around you as thr trail is cut into the rock. You are now hiking down alongside the mountains you were hiking towards for so long, and on this day they were sheer and cold, and majestic. It was one of those hikes were you take a step and stop to look all around you, feel insignificant, take another step, and repeat. It was at this moment when I stopped and pondered if I should do the loop and take the shuttle from Fern LAke back to Bear LAke... but Lake Helene!! I turned around and found the spur trail to the water.

I could have spent a whole afternoon exploring Lake Helen. It is under a small snowfield, and the hills behind it kept calling to me. But I was cold and alone, and I love leaving new things to explore for next time! So I contented myself with circling the lake, navigating the lush green grass and flowing water at timberline,and trying to pick a path through the krumholz. There was even one area with a killer overlook to Odessa lake. I only saw one other group of people here, and as far as I know, they never saw me sitting against a tree munching my granola bar.

I went back out onto to main trail and eventually came upon the spur trail for Two Rivers Lake. Once I got to the lake I realized I could have easily gotten there from Lake Helene. Oh well, for next time! This lake had a bunch of big boulders lying in it, and that part of it reminded me a bit of Lake Haiyaha, but the shoreline is way more accessible. Again, I saw no one actually come down here although I could hear all the later hikers on their way to Odessa. After pausing here for a few minutes I turned, picked my way back to the trail, and began the journey home, dreaming about my wonderful finds awaiting me at Esh's!

1 year ago

Started at the Fern Lake trailhead to Fern Lake and on to Odessa Lake. I would really encourage you to hike all the way in to Odessa. The view is spectacular and we only saw two other couples up there. Trail is a moderate hike, well marked, and well maintained.

hiking
1 year ago

I did the hike from Bear Lake to Fern Lake- it's roughly 9 miles, but if you do it the way I did, it's all downhill and not that bad. However along this route you get to see Bear Lake, Lake Helene, Odessa Lake, Fern Lake, Fern Falls, & the Pool. There isn't a place in the RMNP that doesn't have the best views around, but I really recommend that you try and do this trail thru. There was still some snow pack on the trial closes to Lake Helene and on the way down to Odessa, but manageable without Ice Trekkers

snowshoeing
1 year ago

Snowshoed, Nice sunny day, shot with my Hasblad camera. 1999winter

hiking
1 year ago

Great day to hike to Little Manahorn. 2007-aug