The Spearhead Hike
The Spearhead Hike

The Spearhead Hike

Rocky Mountain National Park
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The Spearhead Hike

The Spearhead Hike

Distance: 12.5mi
Elevation: 3,494ft
Time: 6.5-9h

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The Spearhead Hike is a demanding but awesome hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Ascend the Glacial Gorge past cascades and alpine lakes before scrambling up a steep rocky talus. From atop The Spearhead, you will be rewarded with dumbfounding views of Longs Peak and the encompassing Colorado wilderness.

The Spearhead Hike Map

Getting there

The Spearhead Hike is accessed via the Glacier Gorge Trailhead off the Bear Lake Road.

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Backcountry Campground

Glacier Gorge Designated Dispersed Campsites, view details here.

When to do


Pets allowed


Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

The Spearhead Hike
Elevation Graph

The Spearhead Hike Description

The Spearhead Trail demands an experienced hiker who doesn’t mind blazing their own trails. This adventure ascends high altitudes in the Rocky Mountain National Park, so make sure you are acclimated to the area’s elevation before attempting this high-country hike. Additionally, water is a must, make sure to pack plenty to keep you hydrated along the exhausting adventure. We would also recommend checking the forecast prior to your adventure to avoid getting caught in a nasty afternoon thunderstorm. Microspikes and trekking poles are also great instruments to help you navigate the technical and snowy terrain. Note you will need to purchase a park pass!

Begin your adventure from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. From here, track the Glacier Gorge Trail up to Alberta Falls and around the Glacier Knobs. From here, track the path past Glacier Falls and up to Mills Lake and Jewel Lake. Continue hiking up the high-country route to Black Lake and Frozen Lake. From Frozen Lake, there is no explicit path up to the summit, so use the trail GPS or use your intuition. Ascend the technical rocky talus field up the northwest side of the summit.

Once you ascend the ridge, trek north along the rocky ridge up to the summit. Be super cautious as you navigate the technical scree across the rocky peak. From the summit of The Spearhead, revel in the 360-degree panoramic views of the alpine wilderness. Admire the sights of Longs Peak and the verdant forests below before beginning your descent. To get back to the trailhead, simply retrace your steps along the route. Be mindful of your footing as you descend the steep terrain of The Spearhead.



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