Hike to Alberta Falls

Colorado Alberta Falls Trailhead

Added by Jason Hatfield

Alberta Falls like most of Colorado's waterfalls isn’t large, but makes up for it with amazing scenery. Entrance Fee is $20 daily, $30 for 7 days, or free with an America the Beautiful Annual Pass ($80).

Heading into the park from Beaver Meadows Entrance Station turn left at the first road in .2 miles. Follow Bear Lake Road for 8 miles until reaching the Glacier Gorge parking area on the left. Take the trail from the parking area and follow it to the intersection with the Sprague Lake Trail. Stay straight on the trail and turn left at the next intersection with the Bear Lake connector trail (You can alternatively park at Bear Lake and use this trail to connect). Total distance round trip is about 1.7 miles.

 This is a great place to shoot after sunrise or before sunset at Bear Lake. Like most waterfalls, it looks best in overcast light. Use an ND filter for longer shutter speeds and a polarizer to cut through reflections while making the yellow leaves pop. The normal shot is from the bottom of the falls. Other interesting angles can be found but do so at your own risk as scrambling around a waterfall is always dangerous. As with any hike in RMNP keep your camera ready, you never know what else you might see. I came upon a Bull Elk near the end of the trail and captured a unique shot in the aspen forest because I had my camera ready. 

Rocky Mountain NP maps here

Pack List

  • Wide Angle Lens
  • Normal Lens 
  • Polarizer 
  • ND Filter 
  • Hiking Clothes 
  • Tripod 
  • Hiking Boots/Shoes 
  • Headlamp 
  • Map
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Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

1.7 Miles

Elev. Gain:

200 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Forest
River
Waterfall
Wildlife

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How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Beautiful stop along longer loop hike

While Alberta Falls is a worthy adventure on its own, this stop can easily be combined with a longer loop or out-and-back hike to the surrounding alpine lakes (Loch Vale, Lake Haiyaha, etc). Because of its easy access, the waterfall can get crowded. Just be patient if you're taking pictures and be respectful of the area.

about 2 months ago

7 months ago

Beautiful, but crowded

This is a beautiful waterfall that flows nicely in the summer/fall. It's an incredibly easy hike to get there, so prepare yourself to either get there really early or share your view with dozens of other tourists.

7 months ago

8 months ago

Short easy hike

This hike is pretty easy, no real treacherous terrain. My recommendation would be to do it in the spring summer or fall after the snowmelt. If you do it in the winter be prepared to hike to a snowy frozen hill.

8 months ago

Added by Jason Hatfield

Adventure and travel photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. I teach photography workshops and offer private guiding around the west. More at jasonjhatfield.com

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