Black Lake Trail

HARD 72 reviews
#24 of 135 trails in

Black Lake Trail is a 9.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.

9.4 miles
2116 feet
Out & Back



nature trips







wild flowers





no dogs

Take Hwy. 36 out of Estes Park to the RMNP entrance, go to Bear Lake Rd., drive it to the Glacier Gorge Th.

42 minutes ago

Really cool, four of my friends and I all climbed up in early June and there was a lot of snow with no discernable path. Still had great views at the top.

14 hours ago

6 days ago

Mills Lake (on the way) is fantastic - highly recommended for a short to moderate hike. Black Lake was also beautiful, and the elevation gain to both points was totally manageable; didn't feel too steep. The trail has a lot of downed trees and mud after Mills Lake, but the path has been well cleared.

7 days ago

My first trail. Hiked in July 4 weekend and will definitely do again... with proper gear (hiking boots and trekking poles). Absolutely beautiful!!!

11 days ago

25 days ago

Did this with my daughter a week ago. Fairly easy trail,a little snow towards the top(no micros necessary). The lake is absolutely beautiful and lots of waterfalls on the way up. Went about halfway towards frozen lake before turning around. Great day, get there early as parking fills up quick. We hit the trail at 6:15am and lot was full

26 days ago

Awesome trail!

28 days ago

Amazing views at every turn. Trail was wet and sloppy especially the closer we got to Black Lake. No need to bring the ice trekkers, but bug spray is a must

30 days ago

1 month ago

Once you get past Alberta Falls, the traffic really drops off which I really appreciated. We hiked past Mills Lake and then onto Black Lake. Both lakes, rivers, views were incredible. It took us 3.5 hours from Glacier Gorge bus stop to reach Black Lake, enjoyed lunch, then headed down.

The actual trail was easy to keep on the right path. Some places were a little challenging but fun.

We saw a marmot, chipmunks. A lady we past, said she saw 9 elk but we never saw them.

1 month ago

Lovely. Lot at Glacier Gorge Trailhead was already full at 7am, but despite that, the trail was not as crowded as I had feared. The snow has melted off almost completely. No need for spikes.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Hard long trail but worth the time and effort

1 month ago

Outstanding hike! My new favorite in RMNP! I loved the view of Black Lake with all of the waterfalls above! Absolutely spectacular! We got to see a huge male elk on the way there and back.

We definitely weren't prepared for all of the snow! It was VERY slippery--we were sliding all over the place. Traction (microspikes/yaktrax) and poles would have made it a lot safer. It was pretty dangerous when we were sliding in the snow on the way down.

The trailhead lot was full at 7:30 so we parked in the shuttle lot.
Overall, an outstanding hike! Highly recommend!

1 month ago

1 month ago

Great hike. Really strenuous closer to the top when you're post holing (did this June of last year). I was a bit under the weather which made it bit more difficult plus altitude. Lakes are beautiful all the way up - a lot less novice hikers after you pass the lower lakes as the trail gets quite a bit more difficult for that last stretch.
There are bears on the trail! A guy behind us almost ran head long into one. Come prepared for weather and make sure to leave early enough in the day. A few other hikers were behind us with no packs or jackets which was worrisome with storms rolling in. Highly recommend this beauty - just bring a standard day pack and be prepared for mountain weather!

1 month ago

Moderate trail, which only gets slightly difficult going to Black Lake, but mostly due to the snow. Many tourists on the trail all the way up to Mill's lake, which was the most beautiful part. Completed in less than 4 hours. Not worth dealing with parking situation and the crowds for serious hikers.

1 month ago

6/29/17 - Amazing hike! Has it all. Last ~1/3mi is mostly packed snow, some bare trail. Follow the footprints in the snow to keep the trail. Spikes might be nice but not necessary. Steep snow slope at the end of the hike right before the lake. Fun to slide down after viewing the spectacular scenery.

1 month ago

2 months ago