Best of Bear Lake Area Loop
ElevationAscent: 1,293' 394 m
Descent: -1,309' -399 m
High: 10,194' 3,107 m
Low: 9,273' 2,827 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)
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“A splendid loop highlighting the natural beauty in and around the Bear Lake area.”— Brian Smith
Just over 0.5 miles from the TH, you'll reach Nymph Lake, a picturesque mountain lake that makes for a good place to take in the surrounding peaks. Continuing up the trail, you'll eventually cross Tyndall Creek and come to a junction with Lake Haiyaha Trail. Run just past this intersection to reach Dream Lake.
Dream Lake is a spectacular, narrow lake that sits in a drainage on the rugged eastern slope of Flattop Mountain. Retrace your steps on Dream Lake Trail back to the intersection with Lake Haiyaha Trail and turn right (south).
Lake Haiyaha Trail heads over the ridge then trail switchbacks its way through dense forest before quickly topping out and descending towards Chaos Creek. Cross the creek and start running up the southern bank past a junction with Lake Hayiaha Cutoff. Soon afterwards, the trail descends to Lake Hayiaha.
Enjoy the beauty of the lake before retracing your steps on the Lake Hayiaha Trail to Lake Hayiaha Cutoff. Turn right on Lake Hayiaha Cutoff and follow it as the trail descends at moderate grades before flattening out drastically. The trail contours around the eastern flank of the West Glacier Knob before dropping down to the junction.
Turn left (east) onto Loch Vale Trail and begin the descent along Glacier Creek. The trail is mostly flat to start as it passes through the Glacial Knobs but it steepens as it switchbacks down toward Alberta Falls. At Alberta Falls, Glacier Creek thunders down this spectacular waterfall that ranks as one of the park's more popular running destinations. Continue your descent along Loch Vale Trail to a low spot and cross Tyndall Creek. Follow the trail up the northern bank of the drainage for a short climb back to the Bear Lake TH.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Rocky Mountain National Park