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Andrews Tarn and Andrews Glacier Trail [CLOSED]

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Rocky Mountain National Park

Andrews Tarn and Andrews Glacier Trail is a 8.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October.

Distance: 8.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,260 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

closed

no dogs

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

It’s a perfect day at RMNP. We started the trail at 10 am. The trail was not busy at all. Once we passed the Loch, the fun began. Going through the boulders was challenging for me since that was my first time hiking thru boulders. There was some ice patches on the way up. Once you’re there, the massive wind welcome you so make sure you have your gears. There are rocks where you can take cover and enjoy the view.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing hike and amazing views but wow, was that hard! once you get towards the end, the trail is not very well marked. It is very steep and you need to follow the little piles of rocks that people have created to stay on the trail. it's rough but it's worth the amazing views at the top!

hiking
bugs
scramble
snow
8 months ago

This was my favorite hike we took during our stay in RMNP. We went after a sunrise hike to emerald lake and got a chance to see beautiful lakes, waterfalls and scenery. The crowds thinned out after the Loch, and the Tarn was the highlight. Bring bug spray, and potentially crampons- the snow was slick. We saw a bunch of elk hanging out too!!

hiking
8 months ago

Stunning! Take the shuttle on weekends right now! Had the last mile to myself. Saw two moose.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike. Had to use shuttle. Trail very well marked, with a little route finding required in the last half mile of boulder field. Very windy at the glacier but worth it. GPS from trailhead said 10.5 miles.

hiking
9 months ago

What a great hike, completed on Monday with my 11 y/o son. We got to the park a bit later than planed (0830) and the trailhead parking lots were full, so we had to use the shuttle. The Glacier Gorge TH was pretty busy and so was the trail. The crowds thinned out significantly at Loch Vale and disappeared completely after the sky pond split. Shortly after the split The trail emerges out of the woods and into the valley below the glacier and your greeted by absolutely stunning scenery. The hike up to this point was pretty straightforward then it gets a bit harder with lots of boulders to navigate and then a final short climb over the ridge to Andrews Tarn. The Tarn and the glacier are awesome, We took advantage of the solitude and ate lunch and took a dip before heading back down.

hiking
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

Hiked this as a part of a loop from the Bear Lake TH. If you come from Hallett it can be a bit hard to find the actual trail. Keep your eyes out for cairns to help guide you and if you can't figure it out just follow the curve that leads toward Otis and then head toward Taylor. I had decided ahead of time that we would just slide down the glacier. There were 3 guys who got there ahead of us and they had spikes and poles. They were skeptical, a bit worried, and thought I was crazy for going down without tools. I went first and slid down about half way and stopped myself with my heels and hands (I put my hands inside my windbreaker as I slid down). The snow was mostly soft with some icy patches throughout. It was fairly early in the afternoon and I don't think I would have wanted to do down any later. We slid down up until the talus but then realized going over that was more difficult and dangerous (sliding rock) than sliding down in the snow. The guys with spikes ended up sliding down some parts and we're amazed at how much easier (and fun) it was. I will say if you decide to slide down PROCEED WITH CAUTION! Conditions can vary and not everyone will have the same experience. We made it to the trail around the tarn (lake) and took many photos. It was an absolutely beautiful spot! We then continued on toward Loch Vale and Alberta Falls. We saw elk resting in a nice green spot just a little below the tarn/glacier.

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

My wife and I did this as a loop from Flat Top mtn. Words won’t explain the experience. It felt like we had the park to ourselves most of the way. Walking along the tundra was awesome, coming down the glacier and moraine to Andrews creek will be one the most memorable things we have done. The glacier snow was soft so we came down with just trekking poles. I would suggest an axe and crampons or micro spikes just in case it’s iced over. You won’t regret doing this one.

hiking
9 months ago

7/30/2019. See my post on Hallet as we did Andrews as part of a loop from the Bear Lake TH.

hiking
bugs
rocky
snow
10 months ago

Beautiful hike but we hit deep soft snow drifts on the boulders about a half mile from the glacier. Traction wouldn't help, the snow was too soft, very post-hole-y. We decided it wasn't worth the risk with such big boulders just beneath the surface and turned back. Only later did we read about a hiker who fell in the area Tuesday and had to be rescued by helicopter. Be safe out there!

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked up halfway after hiking to sky pond. Dark clouds were rolling in and it was getting late, so we turned back. Playing on the tarn was fun nonetheless. Would love to make it to the top at a later date! This trail is much less crowded and steeper than sky pond.

hiking
scramble
Tue Apr 09 2019

Woof, tough hike! The rock scramble felt endless but Andrew's Glacier at the end is like you've landed on another planet - extreme wind and the temperature drops significantly. Pack layers! Completely desolate aside from the man we saw skiing down the glacier.

hiking
snow
Sat Feb 09 2019

Started 0600 at Glacier Gorge TH. Attempted to reach and climb Andrews Glacier. Trail from TH to Loch lake very snow packed and firm... no traction or flotation needed. After Loch lake, flotation recommended. Trail to Sky lake very defined. However the split for the trail for Andrew's Glacier was non-existent.... there was no trail. I broke trail through the snow headed to the glacier... very slow going, often sinking up to thighs with my snow shoes on. Due to the wind pattern east sides of the hills and knolls are very powdery and you sink. Stopped about .75 miles from the base of the glacier. Would have taken at least an hour to go that far. Lots of snow.

hiking
Mon Sep 24 2018

Just did this trial at the end of September with amazing weather and views. Keep an eye out to the left once you reach Andrews creek campground to stay on the trail. I lost the trail here for a bit but following the creek up was able to reach the trail again. The trail was a bit more strenuous than I thought it would be once reaching the rock field. There’s plenty of cairns up to help mark the way but you could still easily wonder off trail if you’re not looking. Once you come up over the tarn the view of the glacier and pond are absolutely amazing as well as looking back down into the valley. There was a very noticeable increase in wind as well right as you come over the tarn so be ready for another layer if needed. Highly recommend this route for the more adventurous hikers out there!

backpacking
Fri Aug 17 2018

We did four days in Rocky Mountain this spring - two nights at the Andrew's Creek site and a night at Glacier Gorge. I thought both regions of the park were incredible, but Andrew's really blew me away. So much water everywhere. Not only will you be well hydrated, but you'll be spoiled with some of the best tasting water I've ever had. The last leg of the hike up to the glacier is a tough one, especially in early June. Signage is lacking and the footprints of previous hikers led me to a dangerous scramble up the gash. Unless you're hiking in late summer, I'd suggest you either really study up or take your time with a topographic map and compass. I shouldn't complain though, because the final destination was breathtaking - endless wildflowers and little critters surrounded the tarn and made for a perfect lunch break. Highly recommended.

Sun Aug 12 2018

Made this trip on 7/27 as the way down from Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. Was hard to pick a line to glissade down so spent the trip down the glacier slipping and sliding on foot and on my rear end. Took me about 7 hours round trip. Great trip but route down from the tarn was more rock climbing (descending) than hiking. Add this to your list and do it.

hiking
Sun Aug 12 2018

We used this as our exfil after traversing from Hallett Peak and glissading down Andrews Glacier. Makes about a 12 mile loop and it was amazing. Andrews Tarn is like an infinity pool.

hiking
Fri Aug 10 2018

hiking
Tue Aug 07 2018

Did this on the way back from Sky Pond on the morning of August 2. In contrast to that trail, we had the trip to Andrews completely to ourselves. This is by no means an easy hike -- the trail is poorly marked and eventually peters out, there's a ton of boulder scrambling, and the final approach to the base of the glacier is very steep -- but the adventure, the views, and the solitude were all outstanding. Would definitely recommend for serious hikers interested in a worthy challenge.

rock climbing
Tue Jul 31 2018

great hike, spectacular views. however, do not underestimate the difficulty. honestly, I would recommend helmets and gloves as the odds a lot of bouldering, many not stable. absolutely no trail guidance.

Thu Jun 28 2018

Did this with Sky Pond for an epic half day adventure. Two thumbs up!

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