Bear Lake

Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park: Address, Phone Number, Bear Lake Reviews: 4.5/5

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
1,655 reviews
Excellent
1,212
Very good
346
Average
77
Poor
15
Terrible
5

Kelly B
Iowa4,164 contributions
Family
We visited late afternoon/early evening in July. I didn’t think it was very busy. Many people just walk a few yards on the trail to take pictures of the lake, and then turn back.

The lake with the mountain backdrop is gorgeous. The water is flat, clear, and peaceful.
Written July 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

The_Wanderer1992
Columbia, MD1,649 contributions
Bear Lake currently requires timed reservations. Since we're not early, early birds, we were aiming for 7-9am, but they were sold out online very quickly, so we went with 5-7am arrival. Therefore, we woke up before sunrise and arrived at Bear Lake when the sun was just starting to rise. In hindsight electing 5-7am arrival was a good choice because the parking lot was nearly full when we left the Bear Lake area around 7am. Bear Lake has pit toilets. We saw elk, deer and bunny rabbits on our way to the lake. We even saw two of the elk eating on our walk around the lake. Bear Lake is very pretty. The hike around it is easy and not strenuous or steep. It was a bit chilly also.
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

drcreten
United States165 contributions
What an experience! The views are spectacular throughout the park and we were able to see many elk and other wildlife.

We came in through the Beaver Meadows entrance. We stopped at the discovery center which has a small gift shop. From there we decided to take a short hike by Fern Lake and made it to "The Pool" The area was burned the year prior, so many of the trees were black and dead, but the grasses were making a comeback. The pool is a nice rest stop and turn-around point.

On the way back out we came across a herd of elk resting in the pines. The first elk we saw was a smaller male, probably 150 yards away from the main herd. When we came upon the main herd, the dominant male was about 25 yards from the trail. We stopped (to gawk and for safety reasons) and saw probably 15-20 females in the pines. He was absolutely huge! (At least 12 points on his antlers!)

We made it back to the car and drove over to Bear Lake. We hiked part way around the lake. It's really a pretty site and worth the time to visit.

We were limited to just one day at the park, so we headed back home. All in all, it was a spectacular trip. I want to go back and spend more time exploring and taking pictures. It's worth the adventure.

Since this is under the Bear Lake heading, the time to spend there is more than 3 hours.
Written November 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Colleen C
Troy, NY1,808 contributions
We wanted to do as much of the Rocky Mountain NP as we could during a mid April Vacation. Since most of Western side of the park is closed we ventured most of our visit on the east side. Bear Lake was the perfect place to roam ~ and we walked right into a winter wonderland. We planned on walking around Bear Lake on the Trail that is provided ~ BUT in the (spring) easier said than done, the trail is covered in feet of snow and you can't see any markers. We met up with a Ranger who informed us how and the best way to navigate over/on Bear Lake.

Bear Lake was very firm and solid and felt secure walking the diameter on the lake and even slide down the mountain sides onto the frozen lake.
Written April 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dynamicjohn
Tampa, FL282 contributions
Ok so I don’t know how long this dumb thing the park is doing with having to enter the park at a certain time but just skip all that crap and go in before 6:00am! Go in the Beaver Meadows entrance and go right to the bear lake parking area. We went on a Saturday and there was plenty of parking about 6:15, by 6:30 it was just about full. Sunrise was at about 7:00 but we started walking towards The lake at about 6:30 and the moon was incredible with Mars right below it. The walk is pretty easy around the lake with many great pictures along the way. When the sun starts rising it truly amazing. You don’t want to miss this opportunity! TIPS- ofcourse make sure you drink plenty of water and even bring one of those oxygen boosters. Also if you plan on going to Alberta Falls, hike from here and you can take the trolley back from the Glacier Gorge lot back to your car! Your welcome!
Written October 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

csaturn5
Mount Pleasant, SC6 contributions
Our family of 4 (kids ages 10 and 8) booked the Emerald Lake snowshoeing tour in April of 2021. Our guide was Floyd and he went WAY above and beyond what we ever could have imagined. Our 8 year old was experiencing extreme altitude sickness and he was so patient, so kind and even let us use his shower at his home to help clean her up. Amazing. After that situation, he got us into the park and continued to be incredibly patient and understanding of our situation. He got in the snow and taught my kids how to use his snow saw, helped them learn how to make "pinwheels" by rolling the snow down a hill and was so empathetic with our need for frequent rests for our 8 year old. I highly, highly recommend this tour and Floyd!!!! It was a gorgeous hike. The views cannot be beat. We traveled through several places on our Colorado trip and these views were truly unbeatable!! Floyd, if you ever read these, THANK YOU again!!!!! So so grateful for our experience.
Written May 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lifetraveler1
132 contributions
This was my departure day from Denver and I wanted to visit the Rocky Mountains for a few hours. Left early in the morning and it took about 1hr and 45minuts to get from my hotel near Denver Airport, to the entrance of the park.
Although I arrived at the park by 730am, on a Sunday, there was already a small waiting line to drive through the entrance. If you only have a short period of time, the best objective is to head towards Bear Lake. The road up to the lake has some great views and vistas and allowed me to get some great photographs, as I am a nature photographer. The parking lot for Bear Lake surprised me, in that it was already about 85% full, when I got to it around 815am or so. The visitors were clearly excited and everyone was in a good mood.

What shocked me, is that I was expecting to see snow capped mountain peak, green forest and a shimmering lake in front of me. What I found was a 'frozen' lake, with a snow covered lake that people were willing to walk across from one side to the other. Not quite that brave, but I did take about 20 steps out onto to it, and yes, it was cool.
Summary- If you only have a short period of time, Get out of Denver early and head for Bear Lake, the views you get going up and down are worth it.
Written May 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jay W
Beaver Dam, WI219 contributions
Family
Our family decided to wake up early and drive into RMNP for sunrise. We arrived at Bear Lake when it was still dark out and waited until sunrise (before sunrise, it is very cold, so wear multiple layers!). Mother Nature gave us a cloudy sunrise but it did clear later. The lake was still beautiful though! The parking lot was full by 7 AM.
Written June 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HuskerTraveler2
Lincoln, NE1,081 contributions
Family
Remember to buy your timed entry pass ($2) from the National Park website weeks in advance. Website said masks are required on the shuttle from the parking lot; however, the ranger at the gate said that is only necessary for non-vaccinated people. We went up Bear Lake Rd about 10 minutes early than our pass and they did allow us in. There was parking at the Lake, so we didn't take the shuttle.
Written June 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mhrice
Seneca, SC105 contributions
We visited Bear Lake April 11, 2022. The Lake and trail are very close to the parking lot. The snow and Ice did make it interesting getting to the lake though. We wore Hiking/Snow boots and did fine but others wearing tennis shoes were falling and having a difficult time. On our visit Bear Lake was completely frozen and we were able to walk across it to the frozen waterfall. We had a great time here playing in the snow. This was probably our favorite spot in RMNP!
Written April 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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