Glacier Gorge Trail

MODERATE 83 reviews
#23 of 188 trails in

Glacier Gorge Trail is a 2.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and offers a number of activity options.

2.8 miles
403 feet
Out & Back



nature trips



bird watching






wild flowers



no dogs

Located in one of the most scenic areas of Rocky Mountain National Park, Glacier Gorge Trail offers spectacular scenery, wildflowers, waterfalls, alpine lakes and wildlife. Glacier Gorge is located southwest of Estes Park, just south of Bear Lake.

3 months ago

Went oct 19. we didn't expect the snow and hard packed ice so that slowed us down like crazy. but the few miles we did get to we're outstanding! so many great views and lookout spots! highly highly recommend!

4 months ago

This was the most beautiful hike I did in Rocky Mountain n.p. Mills Lake and Jewel Lake are spectacular, however, don't give up and continue to the Black Lake. The last part of the trail is moderate to strenuous but Black Lake worth it!

4 months ago

The route map is a little misleading since it shows the trail ending shortly after the larger waterfall where the crowds gather. If this 2 miles is all you do you are missing the beauty of Mills Lake and the massive gorge. Continue on the fire road, all the way to where it says Glacier Gorge Trail on the side of the lake. This trail should be rated easy, there are minor elevation changes and minimal large rock stair climbs. There is very little risk except if you climb on boulders above gorges. Please don't. I loved this trail.

5 months ago

We got this trail from Lake Haiyaha and was blown away. The views are breathtaking.

5 months ago

Thanks to the reviews on this app we chose this trail for the one day we had available on a long road trip from Texas to Montana. We were not disappointed. I’m 57 and healthy but no hiking experience. My son-in-law is the opposite- a life full of hiking some epic places in the US. And his 3-1/2 year old son who is pretty tough and not pampered and loves to explore. The falls are long and low and stretch along the trail. No epic 100 ft tall water falls here. I was in heaven. This was strenuous for me - I had to stop to catch my breath every so often due to the altitude. We live on the coast and this gets up to almost 10,000 ft. I loved it. We made it to Mill Lake which sits at the base of towering mountain peaks - what an epic setting. We continued on animal trails (just to make it more adventurous for my grandson) to Jewel Lake just beyond Mill Lake. Beautiful. We climbed giant granite boulders, walked in the water across a narrow portion on Jewel Lake, had birds eating crumbs out of our hand, saw a marmot or weasel, and just enjoyed God’s amazing creation. We arrived at 5:25 a.m. to avoid the crowds and I strongly recommend this. It was so busy on the way back, it just wouldn’t have been the same journey if all those people had been with us. Amazing I took soooo many pictures.

7 months ago

One of the best Trailheads in the RMNP

7 months ago

Lots of fun start early to beat the crowds

7 months ago

Lake is really pretty. Nice short hike. Parts through forest are beautiful. Switchbacks through elevation are exposed-thankfully we had a cloudy day. Views are great from the top. I wouldn't rate this moderate-its easy- even the beginning switchbacks aren't that hard. I did it in Chaco flip flops. Not crowded which was wonderful. It could qualify for 5 stars but it's not as sublime as other hikes in RMNP.

9 months ago

Snow storm set in just as we got started. Glad we had snowshoes!

10 months ago

HIked on 3/17. Packed. No snowshoes required. HIking boots/trail shoes required. Not a very pretty trail, but links up with others which is a work around for a lack of parking at Bear Lake.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

We hiked it on 12/27. It was a great hike. We used crampons for the hike and made it to Emerald Lake. The path to the next lake needed snow shoes. The trail was packed and crampons worked well. Snow shoes could also be used. Scenery was amazing. Have to see it to believe it

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Stunning Fall hike.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Great trail hit the lock mills and jewel lakes
Next trip going on to sky pond and Andrews glacier
Can't go wrong with this trail !!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Best hike ever! What an amazing place!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Beautiful but busy trail in RMNP. It's located in the busier area of the park. Packed with people up to and around Alberta Falls. As with all of the RMNP trails, the farther along you hike the fewer people you see.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The trail itself is great, it's not too hard and is very close to Bear Lake too! However there is super limited parking in Estes Park, and we had to walk almost the length of the trail just to get from our parking spot to the trailhead.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

I cannot imagine a more pristine, post-card perfect trail. The Glacier Gorge trail is multi-faceted and can be explored in many ways by taking various forks along the way. Each fork offers destinations to a collection of equally impressive alpine lakes. Alberta Falls is a small introduction of things to come as the trail continues to follow Glacier Creek upstream from Alberta Falls. I followed the signs to Loch Lake which also climbs to Lake of Glass and Sky Pond where it ends. These lakes are beautiful in their own way. Loch Lake is larger and attracts fishermen. Continuing onwards the trail climbs above treeline, following Icy Brook up to a tumbling wall of slick rock with a cascading waterfall flowing down the canyon. The way up to Lake of Glass is to scramble up the side of this rock wall to the top of the waterfall where you are met with probably the most stunning lake you'll ever see on any postcard. It is surrounded by snowy, barren mountain peaks with giant boulders and stunted pine trees lining the blue-green lake. It seems like this is the end of the trail, but it continues along the right side of the lake for about a quarter mile until it ends at Sky Pond. By comparison, Sky Pond is not as breathtaking as Lake of Glass, but it has beauty in its own right. Butted up against the mountain basin with receding glaciers and large boulders across the way. I saw several Pikas (small rodents with no tails and large ears, slightly smaller than a guinea pig) among the rocks, which is their habitat of choice. This trail is steep in places but completely doable for any semi-experienced hiker.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Beautiful hike. Got a little harder as the trail went on but relatively easy. Hooks up to a few other beautiful trails. Saw a momma mule deer and her baby came right up to us on the trail. Hike starts out moderately crowded but thins out as you get farther from the trailhead.

Friday, September 02, 2016

We started at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, then hiked up to Timberline Falls. The hike was relatively easy. It is a climb, but it's gradual. The Loch is beautiful, and the view from the top of Timberline is incredible. Total length out and back was about 9 miles. Once you get to the top of Timberline, the hike becomes more of a rock scramble on wet rocks, so the difficulty level definitely gets harder. We went early and found a parking spot. It wasn't crowded when we started, but by the time we reached Alberta Falls on the way back, it was packed.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Awesome winter hike to both Mill Lake and Loch Lake! Challenging but doable and beautiful views.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Really nice we did Alberta Falls and continued on
To Glacier Gorge. We did it in the winter.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

One of our favorites in RMNP. Good for the entire family. My wife and I took my brother (in his 50's and doesn't hike much), his teenage son and daughter. We all made it easily to Mills Lake and had a great lunch. What a beautiful place! The initial climb between the trailhead and Alberta Falls is manageable and then flattens out afterwards to an amazing canyon view. Very popular up to Alberta Falls so beware of the crowds. The parking lot will surely be full if you don't get there early enough, if so take the shuttle.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

sunrise was the best

Monday, November 18, 2013

Beautiful, stunning views, great opp for some brilliant pics, traffic on the trail dwindles out after the first few mikes

Friday, June 28, 2013

This is one of my top five beautiful. This is an easy to moderate hike, it will definitely be worth the hike if you go all way to top. Waterfalls and a lake at the end...This the hike I compare all others to.

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