Bear Lake to Fern Lake Trailhead

MODERATE 38 reviews
#35 of 127 trails in

Bear Lake to Fern Lake Trailhead is a 16.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.

DISTANCE
16.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4015 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

snowshoeing

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

snow

no dogs

Start at Moraine Park Visitor Center or the Park & Ride shuttle bus parking area across from the Glacier Basin Campground. Ride the shuttle to Bear Lake, hike to the shuttle station nearest Fern Lake Trailhead and take the shuttle from their back to your start point. Take advantage of the free RMNP shuttle system to hike this point-to-point trail at an overall elevation loss. Hike through boulder fields and get some of the best views in the park, including Notchtop Mountain, Odessa Lake, Fern Lake, and Fern Falls.

8 hours ago

Way too much snow last week... would have been great otherwise.

hiking
12 days ago

Probably a great hike when there isn't snow. I went yesterday (6/12/17) with my sister and after the incline from bear lake the entire trail is covered with snow. To make it worse there are no trail markers and it is VERY easy to get lost. Our 3 hour hike turned into a 7 hour hike after losing the trail.

13 days ago

backpacking
1 month ago

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing scenery!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

We started at Bear Lake but somehow decided to take the hardest trail --Flattop. That was very hard, but so beautiful. We made it about 3/4 up the top of the mountain when we started to feel dizzy and the altitude really hit us. Coming from a very flat Miami, over 10,000 ft was challenging. Coming down, although much faster, was tricky since a lot of the trail was slippery from ice and snow. It was a gorgeous day, and we started with 30+ temperatures. But we began to peel off the layers of clothing as we built up a sweat from the hike.

Had we realized this was such a difficult trail, we would probably have opted for a more moderate one. But we're glad we did this one. The views are spectacular!

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Unintentionally did this trail this past Sunday, and I don't think a more beautiful place exists than Odessa Lake. I was truly in awe of the cascading peaks surrounding the lake and the crystal clear, blue water. This is a hike that you will not regret and only the first 3.5 miles are up hill. Everything from the descent down to Odessa to Fern Lake is downhill. Be prepared for about a 9.5 mile hike!

hiking
8 months ago

We did this hike on 9/24/16. It snowed for a good portion, but it was beautiful. This was our first real Colorado hike (we moved here from Florida a little more than a month ago). The hike was tough sometimes, but for the most part, it was enjoyable. There was a lot of horse poop on the trail leading up to Fern Lake and beyond. And this hike can be pretty rocky at times, but it was worth it.

9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

9 months ago

This is a long trail with very rocky path. Sights are OK but not worth hard effort. I will never do this hike again.

hiking
9 months ago

10 months ago

Amazing hike showcasing beautiful lakes and peaks

hiking
10 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

Beautiful!

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago