Bear Lake Nature Trail

EASY 631 reviews
#11 of 205 trails in

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 hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching 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

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

paved

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

no dogs

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

hiking
5 days ago

Super easy. It’s just a loop with beautiful views! But my family usually don’t follow the crowds. We also like mushroom hunting and we found some pretty cool ones just off the trails here!

hiking
9 days ago

I could not find the actual leg we did listed in AllTrails. We did Bear Lake Trailhead to Fern Lake trailhead, a very popular one-way 11 mile hike which many people say is one of the best day hikes in all of the Rocky Mountains. Park the car at Fern Lake Trailhead and take the shuttle to the Bear Lake Trailhead (change Shuttles at the park and ride). Or park at the Park and Ride and take the Shuttle to Bear Lake Trailhead, do the hike, then catch the shuttle to the Park and Ride. That is probably best. Going from Fern Lake Trailhead to Bear Lake Trailhead is much more climbing as Bear Lake is much higher, so it is best to start from the Bear Lake Trailhead. The trail is extremely well marked along the way. It is world-class beautiful. Starting from Bear Lake, you climb 1500 feet for 2.5 miles, then it is all down hill to Fern Lake Trailhead. We are 62 years old but fit hikers. It took us about 6 hours because I stopped a lot to shoot and I carried a lot of camera gear. I am a photographer. Many shots here. https://www.flickr.com/photos/139148982@N02/albums/72157709930300111 We were rained on very hard for almost 2 hours at the start. Did the hike on 10 August, 2019. All Trails Needs to add a trail called "Bear Lake Trailhead to Fern Lake Trailhead". My recoding was bad because GPS was in and out due to heavy cloud cover. Do this hike. It is the best day hake in RMNC.

hiking
12 days ago

easy for little ones, great opportunity for photos

hiking
15 days ago

Simple start to an amazing day! Get all the Instagram pics here then spend the day going to Emerald Lake. Family had a blast.

16 days ago

beautiful easy little hike. there is still some construction on the road up to it though. we sat there for an hour total waiting for the pilot cars.

hiking
bugs
19 days ago

Wouldn’t really call it a hike, more like a nice walk. Went at sunrise and it was fairly quiet. Lots of bugs, but the water reflects the sky beautifully!!!

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful easy hike!

hiking
23 days ago

Absolutely beautiful, great for all skill levels, and even those looking for a challenge should take a short break and do this loop. Perfect for families even of tinies. Great place for midday lunch with lots of bench outlooks.

hiking
26 days ago

Great easy hike with amazing views. Chipmunks are pretty bold, even nibbles my friends shoes before running off. Most of trail is shaded. Great for kids, pretty ADA friendly. Parking fills easily. Shuttle is great.

great easy hike

hiking
1 month ago

Super small hike, but fun for the family has lots of shade covering. Very crowed, even on week days. We were there on a Tuesday.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike for the entire family!

hiking
1 month ago

We hit this trail after a long hike in the morning simply because we had already eaten lunch and it was a beautiful day and the trail had great recommendations. It was very well traveled. People were walking it in flip flops! This was about 4pm on a Sunday. It is a lovely spot for taking pictures and photos but not strenuous at all. We had one of the last parking spots in the lot.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful. A little busy now but not that busy. Plenty of parking at Bear lake even though the signs say is full. Do not know why. . All the parkings areas around the park are almost empty in many areas. Beautiful day

hiking
1 month ago

Mostly gravel paved around a pretty lake. Nice short loop. We took some other trails from here to Bierstadt Lake where we were able to get away from most of the other tourists and even saw a moose.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty lake. Heavily trafficked due to its proximity to the parking lot. We parked at glacier gorge rather than at bear lake and hiked to Alberta falls first, then over to bear lake. From there it is easy to join the trail to nymph lake/dream lake/emerald lake if you want to add another ~ .8-1.8 miles, depending. Bring bug spray if you do decide to continue on, since there are mosquitoes around dream lake. Nicely shaded on a sunnier day. Cooler in the afternoon, so bring an extra layer.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful lake, but way too domesticated. Seemed like walking into an amusement park.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail with a beautiful scenery. Very popular in summer. Many other surrounding trails nearby

hiking
1 month ago

Nice flat lake trail nice for family outing

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely one of my favorites. Regardless of how busy it is, it’s busy because it’s so beautiful. I come back several times a year with my family and bring all visitors here as well. My children enjoy it every time. They love throwing rocks into the lake, looking for wildlife, and climbing on the rocks. I can choose to take a stroller or a wagon if I want. The views never disappoint, rain or shine, we love the mountain air.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice walk - be sure to go early parking is insane. The trail is easy and the views are amazing

hiking
1 month ago

Great short hike to see great views!

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Flat around the lake. A good place for family

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful and short flat loop hike. Gets busy fast, so hike early or at least during off-peak times. Easily accessible from TH parking or shuttle. This TH is also the starting point for the much-loved Nymph, Dream, Emerald Lakes trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful, easy hike. You will often fi d Rangers walking around with furs you can touch and ask questions about. There is often snow and mud on the trail even late in summer.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful

1 month ago

The hike is pretty but the shuttle to get there was horrendous. I get that there was some repair but to me, waiting at least 45-60 minutes to get back to the park and ride is unacceptable. They should have closed the whole road, the cars wishing to somehow get a parking spot made it worse. I can't imagine how it is on the weekends

hiking
snow
1 month ago

This was an easy hike but was very busy. There was still some snow on the trail but it didn’t slow us down a bit. The views were nice but weren’t as good as Alberta Falls or Sprague Lake. We got lucky parking at the trailhead but most people had to use the shuttle. We probably wouldn’t do this hike again but would still recommend for those looking for an easy hike with little elevation change.

hiking
2 months ago

Decent views. Some snowpack.

hiking
muddy
snow
2 months ago

Beautiful very easy hike. Small elevation change on westside. Easy for children and good nature walk activity. A must for people who don’t normally hike and are tourist. Snow minimal Mud minimal.

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