Mills Lake, Black Lake, Frozen Lake Trail

HARD 344 reviews
#12 of 199 trails in

Mills Lake, Black Lake, Frozen Lake Trail is a 11 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, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 11.0 miles Elevation Gain: 2,529 feet Route Type: Out & Back

cross country skiing

hiking

snowshoeing

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

snow

no dogs

Take Hwy. 36 out of Estes Park to RMNP entrance, then go to Bear Lake Rd. and follow it to Glacier Gorge TH.

hiking
2 days ago

This was recommended by one of the rangers. It was not nearly as crowded. The trail included Alberta Falls about 1/4 of the way up. The hike was about 2.5 miles in one direction. Mills Lake made me think I was in heaven. It was truly beautiful. This is one of the most beautiful locations on earth. This was the best hike we went on during our week long visit. Highly recommend.

hiking
2 days ago

Excellent hike. I was not sure of the conditions near Black Lake from the few recent reviews, but I (and others) had no trouble. Just a little bit of snow on that last push to the lake. I used traction and poles on the way up but most did not. A little muddy past Mills but never got any past the soles of my shoes. Awesome backdrop of mountains, leftover snow, and vigorous waterfalls. One of the best in RMNP (hard to pick just one!)

A bit of snow near the end but absolutely incredible from Mills Lake on

still some snow. great day

hiking
over grown
rocky
snow
18 days ago

This hike is the most beautiful on the way up! The scene is beautiful when you get there. Beware. You do walk on a pretty narrow cliff for some of it and there was a little ice. But absolutely worth every bit of it.

hiking
muddy
snow
20 days ago

From the previous reviews, it seems conditions haven’t changed much in the past week. So much mud up to Mills and Jewel Lakes, and then snow. The last 1.5 miles is almost completely snow covered and very slippery going up the inclines or across hillsides. As the day went on the snow got softer and began giving out beneath our feet. We were slipping even with spikes. I wouldn’t recommend attempting this hike without them. Black Lake is beginning to thaw and looks beautiful!

hiking
muddy
snow
25 days ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
28 days ago

Incredible views at mills and black lakes. Waterfalls high on the mountains and Glacier Creek was roaring. Last 1.5 miles to black lake the snow was deep and in places slick. Used spikes and still slid down several hills. Lost the trail at one point and found ourselves bushwhacking up a steep incline covered in deep snow.

this hike was awesome!! the views were incredible!!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! So much snow it can be easy to loose the trail at times. Worth it

hiking
1 month ago

hiked to Mills yesterday 6/4, microspikes helpful past the Loch/Haiyaha junction. lake is completely thawed.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

Started at 7:45 and spikes were necessary almost the whole way. The snow from previous days is more packed down so you won't need snowshoes, but the trail is covered in feet of snow and ice, particularly past Mills Lake. Lots of fun and very beautiful with microspikes - I felt bad for all the tourists struggling without any extra traction.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Lots of snow still. Went all the way to Black Lake and snow was very deep. Summited by noon and came back in all slush. Crampons recommended, waking pokes recommended, waterproof shoes a must! Took us 4 hours to reach the top and was very difficult.

1 month ago

loved this hike. beautiful away from crowds.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Very snowy. Not what this Floridian expected. But fantastic nonetheless. Wear crampons and bring poles if you aren’t used to the snow. Go early and you’ll be rewarded. Few people early but more and more folks as the day wore on, especially between trailhead and Alberta Falls. Can’t wait to return.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Ok so my roommate took me here and wow, absolutely beautiful tbh. The trail was packed with snow, could definitely tell it was thawing away, but the challenge was very hard. The end was worth it, the view absolutely amazing. I’ve never felt so small!

hiking
snow
3 months ago

We made it from Glacier Gorge Trailhead to Black Lake on April 6th. The trail was completely snow packed from within feet of the trailhead and we used boot spikes the entire trip. Mills Lake is frozen and most hikers are crossing it but it’s starting to show signs of thawing. Shortly after Mills Lake the snow is deep and you would ideally want snowshoes but we did without. The deep snow makes a decent workout for your thighs. The last mile has several long stretches of wading through snow so be sure your boots are waterproof. Black Lake is frozen and covered with a heavy layer of snow. We didn’t see any signs of the trail to Frozen Lake. Gorgeous views at Mills Lake and Black Lake. We calculated the length as 9.6 miles from Glacier Gorge Trailhead to Black Lake.

hiking
4 months ago

The trail is broken all the way to Black Lake...hiked it on Sunday. Love Black Lake!

hiking
4 months ago

Started to hike to Mills Lake but did not make it. Was hiking along the drainage ditch. on the way back, blazed a trail to the frozen and snow covered Alberta Falls. Saw many without snowshoes on our way back. they were necessary (didn't I say I had to blaze the trail?). beautiful snow.

snowshoeing
snow
4 months ago

Did snowshoe on Feb 22 up to Mills Lake, then back. Used the Winter Shortcut on the way just past the Aspen Grove before log bridge. Fortunately there were tracks to follow on the Winter Shortcut, otherwise could get lost. On the Shortcut be careful to stay on the track, one person in our group stepped to the side on some false snow cover and fell into a hole down to the creek level. No injuries. Otherwise a great day, temps not too cold, little wind and partial sun. Walked on frozen Mills Lake and enjoyed spectacular scenery. Total trip about 4 miles in 4 hours. A great way to spend a winter day.

5 months ago

Snowshoing.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

Hiked the winter trail up to Mills Lake this morning. It hasn’t snowed in the park in almost a week so the trail was packed and traction devices were sufficient. However, 6” off the trail and we were postholing up to our waists. Snowshoes definitely necessary if you plan to go off trail. Mills Lake is frozen solid. It was very windy but a beautiful sunny day! Glacier Gorge lot filled by about 8:15am.

5 months ago

Hiked in Sept 2015. The memories are still so vivid because it’s one of the most beautiful, breathtaking hikes I’ve ever done.

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