Odessa Lake Via Fern Lake Trail

MODERATE 116 reviews
#25 of 183 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.

DISTANCE
8.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,004 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

camping

hiking

horseback riding

walking

lake

river

views

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.

hiking
2 days ago

One of our most favorite hikes. Started at Bear Lake, sun just rising and the Aspen were “on fire.” We’re flat landers from Ohio and seniors, so took our time and enjoyed it immensely. The only tricky part for us was the last mile down to the lake. Pretty steep with lots of loose rocks. The lake is pristine. Enjoyed our lunch on the shore and headed back the way we came. AllTrails said 8.6 miles and took us just under 5 hours. Lots of rest breaks and photos. Highly recommended.

hiking
15 days ago

Did this hike starting at the Fern Lake trail head at Moraine Park entrance. It was a beautiful sunny day. About a mile in from the trail head saw a black bear about 50 ft off of the trail. It was special to see this bear and it's only interest was to forage for food. I continued to The Pool which was a good photo point. I continued to Fern lake were I had a snack and spent some leisure time taking in the mountains and the lake as well as plenty of Cutthroat Trout as well as the Greenback Cutthroat which is beautiful and the only trout native to Colorado. Yes you can fish but only catch and release. Than on to Odessa Lake with fantastic views of the green tinged lake and the Little Matterhorn. The climb up to Odessa lake and then beyond is a pretty stout climb and you will reach an altitude of about 10,600 ft. At the apex of the hike you will level out for a few miles and than descend to Bear Lake. The trail from Odessa lake is quite rocky so watch were you are putting feet. The hike is about 12 miles long and worth the effort for the beauty along the way. Possible to see Moose on the way down toward Bear Lake .

hiking
29 days ago

Did this hike last weekend and loved it. I'd say it's a moderate hike - hardest part is the length. The trail is covered for the most part which is nice in the summer. Start EARLY - I got on the trail ~9am and there was already little to no parking. Definitely worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

This is challenging. We started at Bear Lake and hiked to Fern Lake and back. My mileage showed 11.6 miles on my iOS app, but my bf had 10.6 on his android app so I guess it’s somewhere in between there. There’s a lot of uphill initially, but it’s not too bad as you approach the summit. There’s a cool lookout area to the right of the trail at the top and as you proceed a bit, there’s a trail off to the left to Lake Helene.

The trail then proceeds downhill a few miles. It’s pretty rocky and exposed, so be sure to be prepared for sun and/or rain. There’s a trail off to Odessa Lake which is very flat and not too long. Worth the short walk and there’s a small bridge.

The trail continues downhill a decent distance to Fern Lake. We didn’t realize there was a trailhead off of there (we ended up on it after taking the Cub Lake trail loop) so we headed back from whence we came. It was definitely challenging, probably one of the more difficult “moderate” hikes we’ve taken, but well worth it. If you liked Lawn/Crystal Lake, you’ll likely enjoy this as well. Did not see any wildlife beyond ducks, birds, chipmunks, etc on this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

This was by far the best hike I've done. It had gorgeous views and the difficulty was there but not impossible. The trail itself is very Rocky and you have to pay attention to your steps but it does force you to stop and take in nature. Trail wasn't too crowded at all, saw a majority of the people we passed when we were going back. Can't wait to hike more of the Rockies now.

hiking
1 month ago

Liked it better than Flattop mtn, Hallett Peak, and even better than Emerald Lake. The least crowded hike in the Rockies so far with the best views going both ways on the trail. Amazing views at the lake. Wish we would have done the social trail to Helene Lake on the way back...next time.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views. Definitely a must see

1 month ago

Great hike that follows the river pretty much the whole way. Great places to stop and take a break. You got The Pool, which is 1.7 miles from the trailhead, Fern Falls, a mile from The Pool, Fern Lake, which is just over a mile from the falls, after that is less then a mile to Odessa with beautiful scenery along the way. It's pretty much a steady incline after The Pool so those breaks are pretty nice! Odessa is a beautiful lake. Well worth the hike.

1 month ago

What a great hike! It was kind of cloudy today so not as beautiful pictures but I loved it none the less!

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months 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

3 months 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.

3 months 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.

3 months 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.

3 months ago

Trailblazerz

hiking
3 months 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.

hiking
3 months 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!!!

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
4 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.

7 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 .

hiking
10 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

11 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!

hiking
11 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.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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.

hiking
Monday, September 04, 2017

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

Sunday, August 20, 2017

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).

hiking
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

hiking
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.

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