Explore bear lake - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
1 hour ago

I've done this trail many times, but most recently hiked yesterday (11/7/18). It was all snow covered but packed down marking a clear path. Many people went without spikes, but it did make it easier having them from Dream to Emerald where it got a little steeper. The road up to Bear Lake is icy/snow covered but doable in a 2 wheel drive if you go slow.

Great trail!

I made it to Sky Pond on 11/12 after about 6 inches of snow the night before. The trail all the way up to the Loch was well traveled and I was able to do it with good winter boots only, no traction devices needed although as the fresh snow goes away and turns into ice I would highly recommend Micro spikes. After the Loch snowshoes were essential and the climb up to Lake of Glass should only be attempted with crampons/ice axe it is almost entirely ice and rock at this point. Put your snowshoes back on for the last half mile to Sky Pond and enjoy, definitely one of the best destinations in the park.

Well kept easy trail to hike or snowshoe

hiking
1 day ago

This hike will convince you to move to Colorado! Have completed it several times and it still never gets old. Bring a couple of liters and crush it. If you do it in March, prepare to post hole for six hours.

Mills Lake is beautiful! Wanted to head as far as Black Lake but it was getting dark and the snow was high af, not really a visible trail once you reach the sign a ways after Mills Lake.

Really pleasant lake. Only thing is you can park right next to hit so there's no hiking needed to arrive at the destinations. None the less, super beautiful!

Waterfall is currently iced up and slow flowing. Not one of the most exciting destinations to visit amongst the Rocky Mountain trails. Would recommend traversing past and head over to Mills Lake.

Super doke lake, one of the most beautiful someone I meet on the trail said. Once I arrived I was in agreement with him on several accounts.

Made it to Lake of Glass last week after a scale up glacier and snow. There wasn't really a trail so went off the cuff with my boy, snow was deep af. Was a lil past 3:30pm so didn't want to head full way to Sky Pond just to be stuck in the dark trying to make way back down cliff side. Such a sick ass trail and experience though.

We rented spikes which allowed us to truly trek thru the snow with ease — highly recommend. We didn’t make it to Emerald Lake because the sun was setting soon (starts a bit after 5pm in November) but Dream Lake was a real beauty!

super great trail! Would definitely recommend snow shoes or at least spikes on your boots though. I just had my yaks on and I sunk a couple times but overall gorgeous hike especially with snow and I will be going back.

Such a beautiful hike! I wore microspikes the entire trip up to the waterfall which is around 9 miles round trip. I would definitely recommend wearing snowshoes though. I sunk up to my thighs in certain places by the Loch lake. I saw quite a few people up on the trail today they said that people were using icepicks to get up to sky pond.

Did this today 11/9. The trail was quite busy. It had ALOT of snow!!!! In my opinion, the trail was not clearly marked. We were confused which direction to go couple times but the sceneries to the lake were gorgeous. The lake was frozen and it was sooooo windy.

hiking
5 days ago

Great there and back walk on a great path - was snowing on the way out, sunny and clear on the way back - great views. Starts at 9000ft above sea level but we were fine

Was an amazing trail with quite a few spectacular sights. Happened to be snow up there in October and made it difficult without proper gear. Crampons needed during winter months for sure. We didn’t make it up the waterfall scramble with just hiking shoes. Was way to slick. But still recommend this trail. Turning around near waterfall ended up being about 13 miles round trip with one wrong turn.

Beautiful even in snow-packed conditions. The falls are mostly frozen over right now, but there’s lots of easy trails in the area. Good grips on shoes (or traction clamps for shoes) would have made it easier, but still fun! And dress warm!!!

hiking
8 days ago

Great trail. My family and I hiked it in July. Still snow on the ground in places. Beautiful views. Bring a camera and a water bottle.

3 couples hiked it together in November 1st , there were several inches of snow on the ground and it was snowing the most big lovely flakes . The sun was peaking through and shinning off the water . How could I not give it a 5 star review ? Easy access , nice beautiful easy hike . We loved it !

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked this trail 10/26/18. If you’re looking for a nice, easy and scenic hike this is the place. Every corner you turn is picture worthy. At the time the lakes were partially frozen over. The closer you got to Emerald Lake the more slippery the trail got. I didn’t need crampons but I’m sure now you’ll need them. 10/10 hike it’s a must see.

I hiked this trail in 1972 and it was an amazing journey. A fellow wanderer and I took off one morning from Glacier Basin Campground and parked at Bear Lake. Hiked up and over the mountain and camped in a primitive campground. Got scared like I've never been scared in my life from some animal noises outside the tent. I lost the coin toss and had to see what it was. Never been so happy to see a porcupine in my life! The next day we hiked on down to Grand Lake and caught a ride with some hippies in a VW bus who took us back across Trail Ridge Road to our car. As I recall the total hike was about 16 miles and it was through some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. I would love to think I could do it again some day, but I'm pushing 70, so memories will have to suffice.

Did Mills Lake 11/4. Fair amount of snow and the trial is hard packed with some icy spots. My micro spikes were definitely helpful. Super windy but most of the trail is in tree cover so not too bad. Beautiful views!! One of my favorite hikes.

Definitely a hike you should go on when you’re in the rocky! The views are amazing! The hike was not too difficult, but it will get crowded towards the day! Overall amazing place to explore!

A very exciting hike, at least during wintertime. Looking forward to coming back during the summer when the lakes aren’t completely iced over. Hiked it with a friend about 3 weeks back and definitely recommend micro spikes. I couldn’t really imagine doing it now without them. Most of the trail is pretty manageable with some decent inclines but, as most people have said, the trickiest section is the scramble right next to the waterfall before glass lake. It was very icy and very slick, I would not do this one without micro spikes. The views once you get to the top are very nice, and make for a nice experience. We arrived at the trailhead at around 6:50 AM to avoid crowds. On the way up, we bumped into a few people, but on the way back down there was a steady flow of hikers. I would recommend doing this hike nice and early to avoid the most crowds as possible.

went in the snow early November and it was so so so cool to see the Loch like it was. super worth the hike but be careful! trail was pretty icy at some parts

Hiked 11/2/18. Lots of snow and wind chill, but overall awesome hike. Hiked in my hiking shoes + poles without spikes and was just fine. All the lakes are frozen which makes for gorgeous photos!

I hiked to emerald lake on 11/1/18 and it was a snowy wonderland! I am glad I had micro spikes because it was slick in spots but with the spikes it was not a problem. I started hiking around 9:30 and only 4 couples were in front of me hiking. As I came down there were many more people. It was nice to have the Trail mostly to myself on the hike up so I could enjoy the views uninterrupted. I am not a hiker and came from sea-level the evening before and I could certainly tell my lungs were adjusting to the altitude. I did the the whole hike and 1x around bear lake in just under 2 hours.

hiking
14 days ago

Gorgeous hike in to the mountain passing some lakes. It's now very snowy and icy, but it's a fun hike to do!

I just want to clarify some of the statements on this thread. A lot of people seem to refer to "climbing a waterfall". There is no climbing of a waterfall on this hike. There is however, scrambling on slick ice "on the trail" adjacent to the Timberline falls. As mentioned by many reviewers, this scrambling is no joke and I wouldn't recommend it without microspikes. However, you will not be climbing a waterfall on this trail, or at least you don't have to. Such statements on the reviews made some of my friends very nervous about doing this hike. I thought I'll clarify it for others.

hiking
14 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike! It was definitely cold and snowy, so I would recommend micro spikes or at least chains for snow boots. At points closer to the lake, the trail would almost disappear in the snow drifts, and the rocks by the lake were very slippery.

If the weather was a little better, I would definitely give this hike 5 stars!

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