The Loch Vale Hike



6 miles

Elevation Gain

1000 ft

Route Type


Added by Kyle Frost

This relatively short hike in Rocky Mountain National Park rewards hikers with a spectacular lake and alpine backdrop. Fantastic spot at sunrise!6 miles roundtrip. 1000ft elevation gain.

The trail starts at the Glacier Gorge trailhead along the road to Bear Lake. After hiking for just under a mile, you'll pass Alberta Falls and continue up the trail through the gorge. At about 2 miles you'll reach a clear junction, with trails towards Mills Lake, Lake Haiyaha, and The Loch. Take the Loch trail and climb up through some switchbacks until arriving at the lake.

The main trail continues to the right, but make your way to wherever you feel is the best vantage point of the lake, the views are wonderful. There's a small 'penninsula' (pictured) that is accessed by veering to the left as soon as you reach the lake.

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🥇Top Contributor

4 months ago

Lunch Break

Stopped here to enjoy lunch on our way up to Sky Pond. The trail is incredible and I highly recommend going all the way up! Plan to spend most of a day doing so, however, it is over 9 miles round trip.

🥇Top Contributor

10 months ago

Short and clear lake

The hike is rather easy and the water is gleaming here, I also love Alberta Falls

Easy to Moderate, great trail!

Trail was well marked and only crowded in the first mile to Alberta Falls. After that we basically had the trail to ourselves. Still hiked through some snow near the lake but totally manageable and the views were still lovely.

almost 4 years ago

Amazing View

Easy enough for a beginner plus amazing views


🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Absolutely love Loch Vale

The Loch is always a fun hike. Definitely consider hiking around the right side of the lake and checking out either Andrews Canyon or Timberline Falls with Sky Pond beyond.

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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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