Lake Helene Trail

MODERATE 44 reviews

Lake Helene Trail is a 6.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and horses and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1400 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wildlife

no dogs

From Estes Park, take Hwy. 36 to the RMNP entrance, go to the Bear Lake Rd., turn left and follow it to the Bear Lake Trailhead.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
30 days ago

Completed on 7/16 as a lite prep for Long's the next day, this trail perfectly fit the ticket. Got to Helene quickly enough with plenty of opportunities to enjoy and photograph Notchtop and Knobtop in solitude while the lake was still calm and reflective. I didn't find there to be many good seating areas to relax with views around Helene herself, but continuing just north toward Notchtop a bit there are spectacular rock outcroppings on which to recline on and read while overlooking the valley draining into Odessa, Fern, etc. Can't beat this as a lounge spot! Being inspired by this view I tacked on Odessa, which was a standard beautiful mountain lake, and returning to Helene decided to find Two Rivers Lake. This was the most fun of the route as there is no signage or obvious maintained trail, but several faint footpaths just prior to the trail fork to Odessa. Basically where Odessa forks right, walk 50 more paces and fork left, bush wack for a short bit, and Two Rivers will come into view. It is similar to Helene but slightly smaller, rockier, harder to navigate around, and with zero other people to share it.

The route is forested the entire way with occasional meadows yielding views and plenty of snow melt making this mushy and sometimes slippery. At one point a snow field still exists that makes it easy to lose the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

7/15/17 This trail was worth every step! It was mostly shaded along the trail, stunning 360 views, and saw a deer. There is one big patch of snow where, if you're not careful, you can lose the trail. It slightly goes left...you go straight over it and follow the creek. Yak tracks recommended. I arrived at 7:30am and the lots were full. Had to go to the park & ride.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Was amazing . Lot of snow residues when I went ( June 18)
Went completely off trail
Highly recommend hiking shoe for this one . Ended up wearing tennis shoe and made my life miserable to an extent

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails in RMNP. Hiked 6/11/17. 99% of the trail was packed snow. I saw people with only tennis shoes on, however they were having a very, very hard time. I had hiking boots with heavy duty yak tracks, which I highly suggest. I could not find the trail to Odessa, due to snow. Beautiful views, very few people on the hike and perfect weather. If you take this trail soon, there is a portion where the paths in the snow split, do not take the higher path, which is icy and on the side of the mountain. Take the lower path and go through the trees, much more safe! I also suggest using an app or navigation to track your path as snow melts quickly and it can be difficult to find footprints.

hiking
2 months ago

This had some of the best views I've ever seen! You definitely need yaktracks right now and trekking poles would be a big help. Although some of the trail is packed, I was falling through the snow a lot. It was completely worth it for all of the amazing views though. I even saw moose tracks! I'd definitely recommend this trail.

hiking
3 months ago

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Snowshoed to Lake Helene from Bear Lake Trailhead on Sat. 04-Mar-2017 via Flat Top Mountain Trail and Fern Lake Trail. Not surprisingly, Bear Lake Trailhead parking lot was crowded by 9AM. Bear Lake itself was a zoo and several groups were encountered up to the Fern Lake/Flat Top trail intersection, after which only three or so groups were seen.

Weather in this area in March is a toss up--This particular day was clear and sunny and snowshoes may not have been strictly necessary, but were certainly useful for off-trail exploring and walking across Two Rivers Lake and Lake Helene. The snowfields on the northeastern slope of Flat Top Mountain can be very windy and the trail (when covered in snow...) is poorly defined. A map/compass or GPS is useful here, but it wouldn't be too difficult to pick up the trail in the trees on the other side.

Bottom line: highly recommend this hike. After the first mile or so it is less crowded (at this time of year...) than other hikes in the immediate area, and the soaring views of Flat Top Mountain from Lake Helene are fantastic.

4 months ago

5 months ago

6 months ago

Spectacular snowshoeing hike in the winter. Not well marked it all so definitely ask one of the volunteers for directions and a small map