Hike to Alberta Falls

1.7 Miles Round Trip - 200 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Alberta Falls Trailhead - Search Nearby - 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

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Forest
River
Waterfall
Wildlife

Details

1.7 Miles
200 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Larimer County, Colorado

Glacier Basin Campground

Estes Park, Colorado

Moraine Park Campground

Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park KOA

Allenspark, Colorado

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Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Frozen Over

Easy hike, even with snow packed trail. Waterfall was completely frozen over but we got to see a very small portion of flowing water. Beautiful scenery all the same.

Cool waterfall

This is really a scenic spot on the way to other destinations for most hikers. Pretty crowded but still always cool.

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.