Mills Lake via Glacier Gorge Trail

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Rocky Mountain National Park

Mills Lake via Glacier Gorge Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September.

Distance: 5.3 miles Elevation Gain: 941 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

Reservations to enter the park will go on sale through Recreation.gov at 8 a.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, May 28. Reservations will be available to enter the park from June 4 through July 31. The next release will be on July 1, for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July. On August 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days that have not been booked for August. On September 1, reservations will be available for the month of October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked. Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability between 6 a.m. through 5 p.m. This process will facilitate advance payment of entrance fees, minimize contact between park entrance station staff and visitors and limit congestion in parking lots. The permit system will apply to all areas of the park. In the initial opening phase, the park will open approximately 60 percent of the park’s maximum parking capacity or 4,800 vehicles (13,500 visitors) per day.

hiking
snow
6 days ago

Hiked 05/28 after RMNP opened day before. Still lots of snowy patches which made for slippery footing but the lake was attainable for our two 20 year olds but not for their mom.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Beautiful hike and lake frozen over still. Walked all the way to the middle but it is beginning to melt as opposed to some of the other lakes further along from this trailhead. Well worth it. Microspikes recommended but not necessary.

icy
snow
4 months ago

went the secret local way up to the fork that goes to either Mills, or Loch. decided to go to Mills, was not disappointed. the Rockies look amazing in winter.

hiking
5 months ago

Really great hike! Well-marked and packed down trail. Easily done with spikes, but probably could be done without. The view of the frozen lake at the end is definitely worth the mileage!

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Hiked Wed, Oct 16. I went from Glacier Gorge trailhead. I got there at 7:45am and there were only a few other cars. It’s 2.4 to Mills Lake from that TH. Trail was average but the lake was beautiful. Totally worth the trip. It’s starting to freeze over. Lots of ice on the trail - I recommend spikes, I was sliding on some of the steeper parts. Pretty easy trail overall. The aspens have all dropped - would have been beautiful 2 weeks ago. Super sad to see how many people have carved their names into the aspens. Weather was ok. October mornings are cloudy. It was about 50 degrees but the wind was brutal, especially at the lake. Made it feel in the 30s. I saw some people in shorts on the way down and they looked miserable. I had the lakes to myself (I went to Jewel lake just around the corner - made it 6.25 miles roundtrip) and I was really surprised but thankful. The way down was pretty packed. I was glad to get there early. Lots of large groups and cars were pouring into the area. About 3 hours round trip with some time spent at the lakes. Awesome way to start a Wednesday!

hiking
7 months ago

I’ll start by saying I went on a Sunday and expected traffic. However I did not expect to wait in line over 45 minutes just to get into the park. Then the hike to Alberta Falls was HEAVY traffic. Crowded even. Once we passed the waterfall there was a lot less people. Overall beautiful hike. Mills Lake was so worth it. Tress were really colorful. Not TOO hard. Next time definitely coming on a week day.

hiking
8 months ago

loved this trail.

Beautiful hike, especially this time of year. You follow the creek almost the entire way, so there are some beautiful bridges to cross. The lake is MAJESTIC!! One of my favorite hikes of the year so far.

hiking
Tue May 14 2019

This was by far one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done and I’ve been to over ten national parks. The scenery just keeps getting better and better every turn you take. I did this hike 5/13/19 and it’s snow covered/packed basically the entire way. I did this in winter hiking shoes and made it just fine. I would recommend spikes or at LEAST a trekking pole or stick. Bring sunblock as its high up and bring extra water. This was not hard by any means even in the snow but you should definitely be prepared or at least a little experienced. A few steep spots but nothing too terrible. The trail is a bit confusing in the snow so download the map for SURE! I had to use the loch trail map to find my way to the forks. Couldn’t find this listing until now, I would say if you have limited time in the park this is a MUST!

hiking
Tue Jul 17 2018

Another MUST HIKE in RMNP! Its is a MODERATE hike for families and an EASY hike for experienced hikers. Less crowded than Emerald Lake, but still busy mid-day. There is some sun exposure mid-hike so plan for sunscreen. Bugs were not really an issue for us. The mileage is a little off... more along the 7 mile round trip for us according to the app, but we tend to explore a little. Parking is rare after 7am in the summer. Enjoy!

hiking
Tue Jun 26 2018

Mills lake is one of the best thing to see around that area. Do it! If the hike is too short, easy to add more. But this is the minimum!

hiking
Wed Dec 20 2017

This was the first hike my wife and I have done and it was an amazing trip! You end up reaching Alberta Falls rather soon along the hike, which is great. The day we decided to go was a rather cold and VERY windy day. Several times we had to take a knee to avoid being blown over by some brutal wind gusts. But it was worth fighting the winds for the amazing views that awaited us around almost every turn! Once we arrived at the lake, there were more than enough flat rocks for us to perch upon and enjoy a packed lunch and regain our strength for the hike back. There were a couple spots right before reaching the lake that already had some ice, but even with tennis shoes I was able to navigate the trail just fine. Also, although we did see a couple with a large breed dog walking back to their vehicle when my wife and I first arrived to the start of the trail, we did not encounter anyone else with pets so it is safe to say pets are not allowed on this trail.

Thu Dec 07 2017

This was a nice hike. Went on 12/5, it was very windy and cold. Didn't need snowshoes, but I would recommend micro-spikes. Though I did see someone wearing only sneakers. Snow packed with ice in spots. Relaxing and beautiful.

2 days ago

10 days ago

recorded Mills Lake w/Jess

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

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