Estes Park, Colorado

Photograph Bear Lake

Originally added by Jason Hatfield

An iconic lake in Rocky Mountain National Park with year-round photography access.

Bear Lake is a popular tourist destination in Rocky Mountain NP, but when the sun is low in the sky or the stars are out you'll find the big crowd are gone. The lake is beautiful at sunrise and sunset but especially photogenic in the fall or at winter's end. While it doesn't have the darkest night skies it can still serve as an excellent location to watch meteors or photograph star trails above Hallet Peak. The area is also frequented by wildlife and you might capture an elk harem, flock of turkeys, or lone fox.

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Tags

Photography
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Handicap Accessible
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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One of my favorites

One of my favorite things to do in CO, definitely a must see in RMNP

Great to Share the Beauty of the Park

If I have family in town that has never been to RMNP but isn't necessarily up for a "hike," I take them to Bear Lake. Its a gorgeous spot that has a mostly handicap accessible path and incredible views of Long's Peak. It's such a great place to share the beauty of the park without the strain of hiking somewhere further away.

Bear Lake loop

One of my all time favorite hikes to do in RMNP. Its a shorter hike, with great views. The trail pretty much all year is easy to access and easy to complete. I highly recommend it!

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.

Stay Nearby

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Estes Park KOA

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Olive Ridge

Nearby Adventures

Hike to Nymph Lake

1.1 Miles Round Trip - 245 ft gain

Hike to Ptarmigan Lake

11.8 Miles Round Trip - 3850 ft gain

Hike Flattop Hallett Andrews Loop

10.9 Miles Round Trip - 3238 ft gain

Tours