7 Lakes Worth Visiting While in Estes Park

Estes Park is a small town in the northern parts of Colorado. The town strategically neighbors a host of amazing physical features comprising rocky mountains, snow-filled summits, valleys, forests, and lakes. The town is the de facto gateway to the popular Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park is the most visited destination in Colorado for adventurists primarily because of these physical features.

Past and continuous glacier activities have given rise to many stunning lakes in this mountainous region. Here is a highlight of some lakes in Estes Park that are worth your visit:

Sprague Lake

This lake is easily accessible because of its proximity to town. It is 9.8 miles, 20 minute’s drive south-west from Estes town off Bear lake road. This astonishingly beautiful lake has an easy gravel trail around it, passable by both bikers and wheelchairs. It is nestled between the vegetation of tall, deep green trees. During sunrise, you can witness some breath-taking views of the trees’ and sky’s reflection on the glass-like surface of the lake. Sprague Lake is a commanding spot where you can get a view of the jagged rocky peaks. While enjoying a kayak ride or fishing on the lake, you can probably spot moose in the shallow waters.

Bear Lake

This lake is located on high altitudes in the Rocky Mountain National Park. You can access this iconic lake by driving south-west from Estes town, join Bear Lake Road that leads directly to the lake’s Parking. It is arguably the most popular among the region’s lakes no wonder it is the most photographed and pictured on various media platforms. This lake has a relatively flat and easy trail that encircles it. You will find benches along the trail to rest and marvel about the surrounding beauty. From the trail, you get unparalleled views of rocky peaks and green canopies made from the neighboring thick woodland vegetation. In winter, the lake freezes to solid levels while in other seasons it presents calm and perfectly transparent water.

Black Lake

This smoothly sparkling lake is located high in the mountains. It provides some spectacular views in Rocky Mountain National Park. It presents an uphill task accessing it, but it is sure worth it when the end justifies the means. It is 1.5 miles south of Bear lake parking and accessible by hiking around the rocky and rugged terrain. You can see amazing waterfalls from the rivers around the lake. Other activities to do at Black Lake include bird watching, nature walking and hiking in the vicinity.

Bluebird Lake

You can find this lake south of Estes town. From state highway 7 branch to the west on County Road 84W. At the end of this county road, there is a visible Wild Basin trail. The trail to the mountain is very demanding, but it offers dazzling views of several other smaller lakes on the way. The lake is amidst craggy peaks that offer spectacular views.

Sky Pond

This beautiful lake with crystal clear water rests in an altitude of over 10,000 feet. From Bear Lake, you can the Glacier Gorge trail. Though a tedious hike, this trail passes through Timberline and Alberta waterfalls and two magnificent lakes before reaching this lake. In mid-summer, wildflowers such as blue columbines blossom splashing color across this impressive landscape. While at Sky Pond, you can engage in activities such as fishing, photography, and hiking in the adjacent terrains.  

Mary’s Lake

If you are not interested in very high altitudes, then this lake is perfect for you. Unlike many lakes in the region that are within the Rocky Mountain National Park, Mary’s Lake is in the Estes Valley. This vast, shallow freshwater lake is relatively closest to town. It is easily accessible from adjacent roads and highways. Take part in activities such as fishing, nature walking around the lakes trail, tent camping, photography, swimming, and cable shuttle riding. Mary’s lake also has a heated pool where you can enjoy swimming. Dogs can access the lake as long as they are on the leash. The lake is a favorite for many since it is close to many services that the Estes Valley offers including shopping and dining, fully packed camp stores, flush toilets, and Laundry facilities.

Lake Estes

Like Mary’s lake, Lake Estes is also in the Estes valley and practically within the town. It is formed as a result of a dam in the Big Thompson River. The lake has one of the easiest paved trails running 3.8 miles that provides great panoramic views of the surrounding mountain peaks. The lakes trail is friendly to kids and wheelchair riders. This expansive lake offers a perfect destination for jogging, kayaking, and cycling along the trail. They allow dogs on a leash, and there is an exclusive park for them.

The daily, weekly pass fee ranges from $25 to $35 and an annual pass of $70 for access to lakes within Rocky Mountain National Park. These lakes are easily accessible from spring through Autumn. Winter presents a lot of snow on the trails, snowshoes, and microspikes are a necessity.