Thing to Do

Hike Bear Lake

mountain peak reflected in clear calm lake
Bear Lake

NPS Photo / Kim Grossman

  • Distance: 0.5 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 20 feet
  • Type of Trail: Loop, Easy

Welcome to a wilderness of lakes, waterfalls, and magnificent peaks. Bear Lake is one of the most popular areas of Rocky Mountain National Park. Surrounded by ponderosa pine and refreshing views of Hallett Peak and the Continental Divide, there is beauty everywhere you look. The Bear Lake Loop is a wheelchair-accessible trail and is great for hikers of all abilities. Interpretive signs along the trail provide learning opportunities. 

If you'd like to extend your hike, check out Emerald Lake, Flattop Mountain, Dream Lake and Tyndall Glacier -- just a few of the many sites accessible from the Bear Lake Trailhead.

Note: The Bear Lake area is very busy, especially in summer and on fall weekends. Parking often fills by early morning. Roads are congested. The park’s free shuttle bus is here to help! You can ride the shuttle to stunning destinations and popular trailheads, all while avoiding the hassle of dealing with traffic and searching for parking

Pets are prohibited on all trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. 
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Bear Lake Trailhead

From May 27 to October 10, 2022, Park Access + Bear Lake Road Timed Entry Permit Reservations are requied to access destinations along the Bear Lake Road corridor, from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Timed Entry Permit Reservations are only available to be booked through One Timed Entry Permit Reservation is $2.00 and non-refundable.

A Timed Entry Permit will cover one vehicle and all passengers in the vehicle.

To learn more, visit the park's Timed Entry Permit Reservation webpage at

Year Round
Accessibility Information
This trail is wheelchair-accessible.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Last updated: July 13, 2022