5 Lake Loop

HARD 10 reviews
#79 of 181 trails in

5 Lake Loop is a 12.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from June until September.

12.2 miles
3225 feet


trail running





no dogs

trail running
4 days ago

We start this loop at Bierstadt. It is one of my all time favorite loops. You get everything, lakes, beautiful views, waterfalls, and if you go early in the season great wildflowers. Short grind up from Bierstadt TH, nice run across over to Mill Creek in the trees. Real rocky section down around cub lake (burn area). Once you hit the river, you get a nice grind (rocky) up to Fern Lake. Then on to Odessa (worth the slight detour - don’t skip). Then a rocky climb up to Helene with amazing views of the surrounding mountains. From there great fast downhill back to either Bear Lake or Bierstadt. You can add additional miles by adding Flattop to the loop as an out-and-back.

7 months ago

Let me start by saying that my friends and I used this trail as our debut into Backpacking. We set out on a 4 day, 3 night trip starting at Bear Lake and heading clockwise along the loop. This trail does get a little steep and having 35 pounds on your back does not make it any easier, the hike is awesome and if you go in the middle of October like we did you should expect snow and ice on the trail. The ice wasn't a huge deal as it was more of a way to slow us down and absorb the amazing scenery around us. This was my first time in the Rockies and I would highly recommend this trail to anyone who wants to see a lot of what the Rockies have to offer in one trail. I'm not much of a photographer but I posted some pictures so hopefully more people will endure this 14 mile (if you check out Spruce Lake which is worth the little detour) trail and enjoy the great outdoors! Thanks for reading!

10 months ago

Great scenery along the whole trail. All of the lakes were stunning and made the hike well worth it. Cub lake was not as beautiful as the rest. Ended up being 14.5 miles and took us 6 hours with a few stops for snacks and pictures. We started the trail around 7 am and made it back to the car just in time before the rain began.

10 months ago

Great scenery, but has lots of rock terrain. All lakes were beautiful with the exception of Cub Lake. Great hike if you're up for the distance!

trail running
Monday, November 07, 2016

Beautiful at Odessa lake.. in the trees most of the time and yea it's 19.5km .. great trail to run!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Really crowded, felt touristy. Start left towards Alberta falls first. Going right first has a big cement incline which is weird. Best views was the last lakes, dream lake then emerald lake. Emerald lake was the best, big mountains behind the lake.

17 days ago

9 months ago

11 months ago

Sunday, November 20, 2016