Panoramic view from Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Panoramic view from Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The Loch hike

Rocky Mountain National Park
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Beautiful view on Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoWaterfall on Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoAlberta Falls on Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoHiker near the falls on Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoSnow on a trail of Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoBeautiful lake on Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoGreat scenery on Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoPines and lake on Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoBlue water on Loch hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The Loch hike

Distance: 5.5mi
Elevation: 1,066ft
Time: 2.5-3.5h

Difficulty Rating:

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9.5 Overall Rating
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Hiking to The Loch in RMNP takes you to a large alpine lake at the intersection between Andrews Glacier and Taylor Glacier. The Loch offers stunningly clear reflections of the surrounding peaks.

The Loch hike Map

Getting there

From Estes Park, take highway 36 west and enter RMNP at the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. Just after the pay station, turn left on Bear Lake Road. Follow the road for 8.5mi to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead.

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About

When to do

April to November

Backcountry Campsites

Camping is allowed in the backcountry, permits are required and can be obtained at the NP Visitors Center.

Toilets

Yes, primitive pit toilet

Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly

Older Children only

Route Signage

Good

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


The Loch
Elevation Graph


Route Description for The Loch

The hike to The Loch is one of the most popular hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a beautiful hike that is a perfect half-day hike in RMNP.

From the Glacier Gorge trailhead, follow the signs for Alberta Falls and Loch Vale. The trail climbs gradually for approx. 0.8mi until reaching Alberta Falls. This is a great spot to relax and catch your breath before climbing higher in elevation. Continue hiking along the Glacier Gorge Trail until arriving at a trail junction for The Loch Trail. Follow the sign to the left and hike The Loch Trail.

This section of The Loch trail will traverse along a steep mountain side through dense forest until it eventually diverts into the small canyon of Icy Brook. Hike along Icy Brook, traversing the hill side all the way up to the lake.

The Loch is a large alpine lake that offers impressive views of the surrounding peaks, most predominantly Taylor Peak (13156ft) and Otis Peak (12486ft). The Loch sits at the intersection between Andrews Glacier to the west and Taylor Glacier to the southwest.

To get back to the Glacier Gorge trailhead, hike back the way you came by retracing your steps.

Want to find more amazing hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park? Check out Chasm Lake hike, Lake Haiyaha hike or the Sky Pond and Lake of Glass hike.

Insider Hints

  • After hiking to The Loch, experienced hikers who want something a bit more epic can continue to Sky Pond!

Comments

marysmith 1 year ago

We did this hike couple of years ago. The scenic view of the snow-peaked mountain, glacier, and serene lake was unforgettable.

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Jellybean 1 year ago

The Loch is one of many beautiful lake hikes in this area. Highly recommended

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Stewart Graham 2 years ago

Excellent trail! A little bit rocky. Loch Vale is beautiful.

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footfall 2 years ago

It was pretty much a gradual uphill hike the whole way. Not too bad but definitely a nice workout. Great views all the way.

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Jane Lewitt 2 years ago

Great trail! There are so many rivers and falls across and near the lake.

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BoulderBound 2 years ago

Lots of uphill. I recommend to start early. The lake water is so clear. Magnificent views.

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TwoBoots 2 years ago

Trail is great, scenery is beautiful

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Tom Pack. 2 years ago

Fun hike, beautiful views of the falls, well maintained trail and Beautiful views

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onoyuki 2 years ago

Fantastic experience. I would like to try camping in here next time.

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Digi K. 2 years ago

It was so fun trekking and traversing along the steep mountainside. The views were great, but it's not advisable for everyone.

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12 Comments Show all

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