Estes Park, Colorado

Hike to Alberta Falls

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

Originally 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

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Forest
River
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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.

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.

Leave No Trace

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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