The Loch Vale Hike

    5.0
    6 miles 1000 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

    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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    Reviews

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    Explorer

    🥇Top Contributor

    almost 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.

    🥉Contributor

    about 4 years ago

    A great hike to a beautiful Lake

    I have hiked to this lake once and snowshoed as well. It is one of my favorite in Rocky Mountain National Park. Truly stunning views. Both times it was fairly windy and cold but totally worth it. You can go on and hike to many other nearby lakes and points of interest such as Mills Lake.

    Explorer

    🥇Top Contributor

    about 4 years ago

    Beautiful Lake

    We included Loch Vale as part of a longer loop hike, which featured 5 other alpine lakes (Bear, Dream, Nymph, Emerald, and Haiyaha). Of the 6, this one was my favorite. Even though it felt more secluded than the others, it was still busy with lots of other hikers. Regardless, a worthy hike if you're in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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