Bear Lake Nature Trail [CLOSED]

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Rocky Mountain National Park

Bear Lake Nature Trail is a 0.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking and nature trips and is best used from March until November.

Distance: 0.7 miles Elevation Gain: 42 feet Route Type: Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

paved

river

views

waterfall

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. A high altitude lake with views of many mountains. Easy, paved trail that can be icy in the winter.

hiking
6 hours ago

About 1/4 of the nature trail is still snow packed, but made it around just fine in sneakers.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 day ago

hiking
snow
4 days ago

Opened today! Yay. Still has snow on nature trail but we made it around.

hiking
snow
18 days ago

I went back at the beginning of November and though there was some snow it was still easily walkable. Beautiful scenery, great for families!

hiking
2 months ago

The lake is frozen over solid, and you can walk around on it easily. It was a beautiful sunny day and 50 degrees on Saturday 3/7 so there were lots of people! Still, we were able to find a parking spot at the Bear Lake parking lot just after noon time.

hiking
2 months ago

Snow was packed down and trail was easy to follow. Micro spikes aren’t needed but they wouldn’t be a bad thing to have, just to avoid slips if anything. A beautiful way to get outside without needing to over exert yourself.

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

We went this morning and it was pretty easy. Just follow the packed down area. There is fresh snow. The trail that people have made leads out over the edge of the lake. There are a couple of feet of snow covering the lake itself. Near the back is a frozen waterfall that is pretty fun to see.

hiking
off trail
snow
2 months ago

Trail was easy to follow. Snow was hard packed. I had microspikes but they probably weren't necessary. Beautiful views and it was fun walking on the lake for the last bit of the trail.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Literally got into Estes Park at 3:30pm and after checking into our hotel, went straight here in the middle of a snow storm. When we arrived at 4:45, the only other 2 cars were packing up to leave. It was snowing at a pretty good clip with 6 or 7 inches of fresh snow on the ground. We had snowshoes and micro spikes with us, but didn’t end up using either. I’d say spikes are definitely helpful, but not absolutely necessary. According to my Apple Watch from the parking lot full circle the hike was just over a mile and took us about 45 minutes. The trail was barely visible because of the fresh snow, but we navigated without issue. We got back to the car at 5:30, which was right at dark. There were some pretty cool things to see along the way, even though we were hiking in the middle of the snow storm and visibility was barely across the lake.

hiking
off trail
4 months ago

hiking
blowdown
scramble
snow
4 months ago

Absolutely beautiful trail, but remember your snow shoes or spikes. It was very sunny, but windy, and there was up to 3 feet of snow drift to hike through - just to get around the lake:)

hiking
4 months ago

Simple trail for a stroll around scenic lake. Took some friends here who were not used to the elevation so they could get some pretty views without a lot of work.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Did not wear snow shoes, spikes would have been nice. Super windy.

hiking
icy
snow
4 months ago

Very short and busy

hiking
icy
snow
5 months ago

icy
snow
5 months ago

This is the perfect place for families. We weren't expecting to walk across the frozen lake. The kids loved the surrounding snow. This is a very short walk.

hiking
icy
snow
5 months ago

12-22 Sunday morning. arrived at 10 am. plenty of places to park. we did dream and emerald first followed by bear lake because we still had some time. bear lake is a nice walk. though with the snow it was a little bit of a hike. very beautiful. did this stretch no snowshoes just hiking boots and did fine. some spikes may have been good as there was a little sliding but not bad. beautiful day for a hike!

snowshoeing
snow
5 months ago

First time at Bear lake and first time snow shoeing. This was the perfect place to get used to shoes as there was many different places to try different amounts of snow. Realistically we probably only needed microspikes but it was fun anyway. We arrived around 11am, no traffic and lots of parking left. It was getting quite busy when we left however so I would not suggest arriving later than about noon. Great place for the family to walk, play in snow or venture a bit further on the other trails.

hiking
icy
6 months ago

hiking
icy
snow
6 months ago

Nice little walk to stretch the legs. Not a hike.

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