Alberta Falls Hike
Alberta Falls is one of the most popular hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Alberta Falls is a short, but scenic family-friendly adventure in the park. Hike through the aspen hemmed Glacial Gorge up to the cascading, 30ft waterfall. Make sure to charge your camera because this picturesque waterfall warrants plenty of photos.
The Alberta Falls Hike departs from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead off Bear Lake Road.
|When to do|
Out and back
Alberta Falls Hike
Alberta Falls Hike Description
Who doesn’t love a waterfall hike? The Alberta Falls are stunning and the ambiance of the rushing waters is unparalleled. Due to the accessibility and draw-dropping beauty of the hike, this is one of the most popular routes in the Rocky Mountain National Park, so expect to share the route with fellow adventurers. If you are seeking a more secluded hike, then consider trekking the path in the off season or during the week. The free shuttle offered by the park is ideal if you are hoping to adventure the falls in the summer because parking at the trailhead is limited. Note that visitors are required to purchase a park pass to explore the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).
Hike the stunning Alberta Falls Trail up to the cascading waterfalls. This hike is a great spontaneous adventure the whole family will love. The well-maintained path and limited elevation gain of the trail means it’s an epic accessible excursion that inexperienced hikers and kids alike can conquer. We love this route, not only for the waterfall, but for the scenic forested gulch up to the falls. Hike beneath towering vibrant aspens to the trail’s culmination at the falls—where you can enjoy the hypnotic sights of the rushing waters.
Begin your adventure up to Alberta Falls from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead off the Bear Lake Road. From the trailhead, head southwest along the Glacier Gorge Trail and across a small footbridge over Chaos Creek. Hike through the aspen grove, and soon after your departure from the trailhead, you will confront an intersection. Here, stay right, and at the next junction, take a sharp left, continuing along the Glacier Gorge Trail. Traverse the forested path, and you will eventually cross another footbridge. After the bridge, you will encounter another junction, keep left.
Soon the trail will begin to track parallel to the Glacier Gorge Creek. Hike along the running stream and through the mixed aspen and pine forest. As you ascend the woodland trail, you will be granted the odd mountain view through the tree breaks. Trek past granite outcroppings and along the stream until you reach the falls.
Once you arrive at the falls you will understand why this hike is so popular. The meditative sounds of the rushing falls will overwhelm you and the mesmerising sights will lull you into a state of relaxation. The large boulders that hem the Alberta Falls make for a great picnic spot. Explore the granite rocks that line the falls and enjoy the stunning views. Rest, recharge, relax, and when you are ready, retrace your steps back along the path to the parking and trailhead.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the elevation of Alberta Falls?
Alberta Falls sits at approximately 9400ft in elevation.
When is the best time of year to visit Alberta Falls?
Alberta Falls Trail is open year-round, but we love the vibrance of the aspen trees in the fall and the thinned crowds.
How tall is Alberta Falls?
Alberta Falls is about 30ft tall.
Why is it named Alberta Falls?
The Alberta Falls is named for the wife of Abner Sprague, who was one of the first settlers of Estes Park, Colorado.
The Alberta Falls Hike is open year-round, but autumn hikes are more scenic and more secluded.
If you are seeking a longer, more demanding adventure, hike the Black Lake Trail past the falls and up to a mountain cirque.
Wear microspikes in the fall in winter to navigate the slippery rocks near the falls.
If you are hiking in the peak season, consider taking the park’s free shuttle to the trailhead to avoid the annoyance of trying to find a spot .
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