posted by Tar

Alberta Falls and Bear Lake Hikes, RMNP, Colorado

Today we hiked to Alberta Falls and Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. This was a super easy hike, made challenging only by the altitude (to which we are unaccustomed) and our two year old, who was tired yet insisted on hiking by HIMSELF!!


Wally Hiking to Alberta Falls<— This is, of course, Wally hiking by himself. Yes, he has his own poles.

We started at the Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead and headed first to Alberta Falls. The trail was a slight uphill, very wide and with a compacted gravel surface. It was very scenic, with nice views of the stream much of the way. The falls were a little disappointing, as the view was of the side, and rather obstructed by rocks. It was still pretty, but not the best mountain waterfall I’ve seen.

The trail to Alberta Falls <– The trail & Alberta Falls –> Alberta Falls

Wally hiked the first part of the trail with his hiking poles, then tired of the poles, then tired of walking entirely. But when we arrived at the falls, he wanted down, so we let him wander a bit. Off trail exploring is allowed in the RMNP in most places, so Goat just followed him around for a bit while I took some pictures of the falls, and then took pictures of a few families for them.

The hike back down was that strange combination of easy and difficult that most downhill walks are. The hike was a total of 1.2 miles round trip.

Once we reached the junction with the Bear Lake trailhead, we decided to go ahead and head down to Bear Lake. Or, up to Bear Lake to be more accurate.

The Trail to Bear Lake <— The trail to Bear Lake. Looks very similar to the trail to Alberta Falls.

This was not a bad hike, but it was mostly uphill and I was carrying the dead weight of a sleeping two year old (30 lbs, a third of my own bodyweight). The lake was pretty, and has a wide, pressed dirt, accessible path around it. See, Iowans seem to believe that paths must be paved to be accessible, but they are not similarly afflicted here in Colorado.

Bear Lake <— This is of course Bear Lake. Very pretty Alpine lake, mirror-like.

The hike to the lake, around the lake, and back added just over a mile to our hike. Grand total today was about 2.5 miles. Not bad for the first day in a high altitude, IMO!

More photos here.