Odessa Lake Via Fern Lake Trail

MODERATE 93 reviews
#27 of 175 trails in

Odessa Lake Via Fern Lake Trail is a 8.3 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, camping, and horses and is best used from June until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

8.3 miles
2,004 feet
Out & Back



horseback riding





wild flowers

no dogs

Take Hwy. 36 out of Estes Park to RMNP entrance, then go to Bear Lake Rd., follow it to the Bear Lake Th.

5 days ago

Ive been wanting to hike to Odessa for a while now and never got around to it. It was a moderate hike from the Fern Lake trailhead (I avoid Bear Lake at all costs) so I did the out and back from Fern Lake.. Ended up at 12.3 miles start to finish. One of the most beautiful hikes Ive done in RMNP. TONS of wildflowers once you past Fern Lake. Will definitely do it again.

15 days ago

One of the most beautiful trails you'll ever hike. Babbling brooks, rushing waterfalls, high mountain lakes. Wildflowers galore, wildlife, you will think you are in Switzerland. Just for fun: avoid the out n back. Continue thru to Bear Lake for only an extra mile, then take the free shuttle back. Have a snowball fight in the shady spots.

20 days ago

It can be a nice hike, but I would suggest leaving the car at fern trailhead, then hike all the way to bear lake, and take the bus after. Easy to follow, never very steep. Good hike

30 days ago

June 15
Unlike the trail shown above which starts at the Bear Lake trailhead, if you start at the Fern Lake trailhead it is a magnificent trip. It can be divided into three sections. The first section goes from the trailhead to deep pool (Big Thompson River) intersection. That runs for 1.7 miles and is relatively flat and easy with riverside plants along the path. The second section is 2.1 mi up to Fern Lake, which is a steady climb through a forested area. The third section continues up to Odessa Lake which has a steeper incline but only 0.7 miles. There are magnificent views of the snow covered mountains reflected in the lakes. We saw the greatest variety and most abundant wildflowers along this trail of all the six days that we have been hiking in RMNP. Since we tend to start late, we were the only people at Odessa lake at 3 p.m. and at Fern lake at 3:30. I would strongly suggest this hike for anyone interested in wildflowers at this time of the year.

1 month ago

Loved the hike to this lake on 6/9. Started at Bear Lake instead of Fern, and I recommend this for the view down to Odessa. The opposite side of lake of great for solitude, and for seeing orange and red sandy colors through the water.

If you’re up for an adventure, there is a lake hidden up above Tourmaline gorge on the northwest side of Odessa. It’s not easy to get to, but is beautifully crystal clear and still.

1 month ago

Phenomenal hike. Clear trails ready for summer hiking as of 6/7. A new favorite in rmnp. You won't regret it.. A contender for sky pond. Trailblazerz approved.

1 month ago


1 month ago

We hiked from Bear Lake trailhead on Fern lake trail into Odessa Lake for the afternoon. We had to bus into the trailhead due to a lack of parking. But once hiking we did not pass very many people. We crossed a lot of snowfields that were melting making the footing rough in spots. The views are stellar and the lake is crystal clear with spring run-off. The hike was tough (8+miles) with significant elevation gained and technical footing. Bring trekking poles (we didn’t) and extra sunblock.

1 month ago

Fabulous hike yesterday (6/2/18). Started at Bear Lake and went to Fern Lake trail head. Completed Trip in 6 hours. Stopped at each lake. Snow fields were encountered all the way from 1 mile from Lake Helene to Odessa Lake and patches from Odessa lake to Fern Lake. Rented micro spikes but ended up keeping them in the bag the whole time. Didn’t need them. Just go slow. Well worth the time spent. Will do it again!!!

1 month ago

Beautiful view! There was a few tough spots with snow but such a wonderful trail, definitely highly recommended.

2 months ago

Completed this section a while back on a three night backpacking trip through RMNP with some friends. We had mule deer walk a mere two dozen feet or so around our campsite, up close and personal. Certain times of year you'll need to be ready for the mosquitos, as they're a never ending nuisance, they did eventually force us all in to our respective tents just to get some relief, as we didn't really have any bug repellent with us at the time. Mosquito nets would have been an excellent addition as well.

4 months ago

Beutiful hike, but very windy in the morning. Make sure to wear layers. The last part of the trail to Odessa is also extremely icy and inclined so make sure you have the right equipment .

8 months ago

VERY icy/snowed in at the top. Would only recommend if you have spikes/proper gear/experienced. Ice was worth the views/incredible pictures

9 months ago

Stunning views and a quieter trail. We needed microspikes for the higher portion past Flat Top mountain- its quite icy in the morning!

9 months ago

Still snow on the ground in June. Parents decided to stop early because of a side-ways sloped snow/ice surface we had to cross to get to the lake. Jaw-dropping view. Would definitely go again.

9 months ago

Great hike! The views at Odessa Lake were awesome and made for a wonderful lunch stop. Our round trip mileage was 9.4. Caution with eating at Fern Lake - the chipmunks will come after your food aggressively - we quickly decided not to eat there.

10 months ago

Wonderful hike much to see. Water falls, flowing brooks, beautiful, flush vegetation, two lakes Fern and Odessa. Sweet mountains views around Odessa.

10 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. My favorite hike I've done in a long time.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The views were fantastic. Tons of mosquitos! Also we were not able to do that last half mile or so due to snow on the trail. But the view of fern lake was amazing (you can climb a rock where the trail turns for a great viewpoint).

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Great day hike. Flat for the first mile n a half. Then goes up after you cross the river, but it's not bad. Fern falls are great and will cool you off mid hike. Fern lake is pretty, although it's hard to get a good view of the entire thing. The extra mile to Odessa lake is so worth it. The lake and surrounding mountains are extraordinary.

Bring bud spray! Bad mosquitoes in July

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Hiked on July 3. 3 parts of snow but sneakers were fine. Starting at Bear Lake and ending at Fern Lake was the move.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Camping in June was a tad too cold for us, but I loved this hike! Would love to do it again.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

RMNP best kept secret!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Attempted to snowshoe this trail last weekend when the snowstorm hit. Did not make it to any of the lakes. It was too cold and there was no clear trail. My buddy and I got lost a couple times and had to make our own trail. Barely made it half way but I would attempt this on a better weather day. It was surreal and amazing though!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Did not make it to Odessa Lake. Bad weather was moving in, the snow was almost knee deep. We also had snow shoes. There was no visible sign of tracks but we made it to Lake Helene which was really beautiful.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Amazing views and well worth a few steep climbs and windy conditions.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

The trail was already covered with snow so it was very slippery. But the view was absolutely amazing!! Totally worth it.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Planned to hike to Fern Lake, but kept on to Odessa. Definitely worth it!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Awesome hike! We went from Bear Lake to Odessa Lake. It took three hours to get there but there is a lot of variety to the trail and such a close views of the mountains. A lot of picture taking. Odessa Lake was beautiful. Would definitely recommend.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Just hiked this today starting from the Fern Lake trailhead. Trail is well maintained, easy to follow, and has a fee nice waterfalls. We had Odessa Lake pretty much to ourselves and really enjoyed the view.

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