Black Lake Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park - Day Hikes Near Denver

April 15, 2016 Comments (0) 9+ Miles, Difficult, High Country, hikes near estes park, Lakes, More than 90 Min, Mountain Range Views, Rocky Mountain National Park, Waterfall Hikes, Waterfalls

Black Lake Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Black Lake Falls cascades down the towering granite cliffs above Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. This trail through Glacier Gorge takes hikers past multiple sub-alpine lakes and several waterfalls. It’s a demanding, 10 mile, round-trip hike with significant elevation gain in the heart of RMNP.


Trail Snapshot: Black Lake Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Hike Distance: 10 mile Round Trip
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Duration: Approx 6 hrs Round Trip
  • Trail Type: Out and Back
  • Starting Elevation: 9240′ at Trailhead
  • Elevation Gain: +1430′
  • Seasons: May-September
  • Dogs: Prohibited in RMNP
  • Hike Trail Map: Click for a Trail Map
  • Denver Drive Time: 2 hr
  • Driving Directions to Glacier Gorge Trailhead: Click for Google Map
  • Town Nearest Hike: Estes Park, Colorado
  • Beauty: Waterfalls, wildlife: elk, deer, marmots; meadows, lakes, streams, wildflowers, aspen trees
  • Activities: Hiking, photography, fishing
  • Fee: Park Pass Required



Black Lake Falls is located on the cliffside above the western edges of Black Lake and is best viewed from the boulder strewn shores of Black Lake. In the photo above, you’ll be able to distinguish the stream of the falls cascading over grey granite cliffs. For a detailed description of this journey to Black Lake Falls, explore our full trail profile on Black Lake. Below you’ll find a list of some of the other destinations in the Glacier Gorge trail system.

List and Links of Destinations From Glacier Gorge Trailhead to Black Lake

1. Glacier Gorge Trailhead
2. Alberta Falls – @ .8 mile
3. Mills Lake – @ 2.8 miles
4. Jewel Lake – @ 3.2 miles
5. Ribbon Falls – @ 4.8 miles
6. Black Lake – @ 5 miles




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Tips & Resources for Hiking Black Lake Falls in Glacier Gorge RMNP :

  • Start Early: The hike to Black Lake and Black Lake Falls is challenging and hikers will want to begin early to avoid being in this exposed area when afternoon thunderstorms often tear through the area in Summer.
  • Trekking Poles in Spring and Winter: Because the trail is high in the mountains, the snow and ice can hang around into late Spring and even early Summer, then pick up again in the Fall. Because of this, we recommend Trekking Poles and/or Traction Devices for this trail when the trail conditions are such.
  • Parking: If the parking lot is full at Glacier Gorge Trailhead, there is a shuttle available to take you to the trailhead, or you can park at the Bear Lake Trailhead.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park Trail Conditions: Click for RMNP Trail Conditions
  • Trail Map for Bear Lake Corridor Trails: Trail Map Link
  • Rain Gear Recommended: On every occasion I’ve been into Glacier Gorge, it’s been gorgeous weather–and it rained. So, bring Rain gear. In the summer months, thunderstorms can form quickly in this area, especially in the afternoon–just another reason to begin your hike early.
  • Packing List: Always pack the 10 Essentials. Download our Hiking Guide to get list and dayhiking packing checklist.
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Inkwell Brew Coffee
  • Photo: We would like to express our gratitude to Martin Braveboer for sharing such an amazing photograph of Black Lake and Black Lake Falls.


Weather

Estes Park, CO
62°
sunny
26% humidity
wind: 7mph SSW
H 68 • L 37
63°
Fri
49°
Sat
43°
Sun

Map & Driving Directions


Click for Driving Directions



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