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Hike to Alberta Falls

Estes Park, Colorado

4.0/5
based on 8 reviews

Details

Distance

1.7 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Jason Hatfield

Alberta Falls like most of Colorado's waterfalls isn’t large, but makes up for it with amazing scenery in Rocky Mountain National Park. 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

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Forest
River
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

This is a nice walk to a waterfall for families from sea level or if you are looking for an easy walk. The falls are not extraordinary, but worth going to if you are looking at keeping it mellow.

A must do if on your first Rocky Mountain Np trip. This is not a massive waterfall, but it is beautiful and photogenic.

A short, quick, and easily accessed trail - it serves its purpose!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Green Lake via Glacier Gorge Trail

The Loch Lake Trail via Glacier Gorge Trail

Hike to Black Lake

HIke to Mills Lake

The Loch Vale Hike

Hike to Jewel Lake