Things To Do

Glacier Falls is the second of many waterfalls found along the Glacier Gorge Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. From the Beaver Meadows entrance at Estes Park, drive a quarter of a mile and then take Bear Lake Road about eight miles to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. Follow signs to Mills Lake and Alberta Falls, crossing four footbridges and passing Alberta Falls at three-quarters of a mile. Continue on the trail, following signs to Black Lake. Cross another footbridge at about two miles and then hike up rocky slabs left of the trail. Do not approach the slabs in wet, icy, or snowy conditions, as the drop-off on the other side is substantial and a fall would be fatal. On dry rock, peer down into the abyss below, at Glacier Falls.

Pro Tips

  • If the parking lot is full, turn around and drive 3.3 miles to shuttle parking on Bear Lake Road, then take the free shuttle to the trailhead.
  • In winter and spring the trail can be icy and snow packed, so pack some traction such as microspikes for your boots and use a trekking pole for balance.
  • Glacier Gorge Trail crosses some avalanche-prone areas so look for marked, alternate routes if there’s snow on the trail.
  • Many more falls are visible along the trail past Glacier Falls. Consider a hike to Black Lake for views of Longs Peak, and Black Lake Falls below McHenrys Peak. The out-and-back hike is just under ten miles roundtrip.
  • Recommended(s): Year-round.

    —Susan Joy Paul 

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