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The Loch Vale Hike

Larimer County, Colorado

based on 9 reviews



5.53 miles

Elevation Gain

1056 ft

Route Type



Added by Kyle Frost

Loch Vale is a short hike in Rocky Mountain National Park rewards hikers with a spectacular lake and alpine backdrop. Fantastic spot at sunrise!

The trail starts at the Glacier Gorge trailhead along the road to Bear Lake. After hiking for just under a mile, you'll pass Alberta Falls and continue up the trail through the gorge. At about 2 miles you'll reach a clear junction, with trails towards Mills Lake, Lake Haiyaha, and The Loch. Take the Loch trail and climb up through some switchbacks until arriving at the lake.

The main trail continues to the right, but make your way to wherever you feel is the best vantage point of the lake, the views are wonderful. There's a small 'peninsula' (pictured) that is accessed by veering to the left as soon as you reach the lake.

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The Loch Vale Hike Reviews

Stopped here to enjoy lunch on our way up to Sky Pond. The trail is incredible and I highly recommend going all the way up! Plan to spend most of a day doing so, however, it is over 9 miles round trip.

The hike is rather easy and the water is gleaming here, I also love Alberta Falls

Trail was well marked and only crowded in the first mile to Alberta Falls. After that we basically had the trail to ourselves. Still hiked through some snow near the lake but totally manageable and the views were still lovely.

Easy enough for a beginner plus amazing views

The Loch is always a fun hike. Definitely consider hiking around the right side of the lake and checking out either Andrews Canyon or Timberline Falls with Sky Pond beyond.

I have hiked to this lake once and snowshoed as well. It is one of my favorite in Rocky Mountain National Park. Truly stunning views. Both times it was fairly windy and cold but totally worth it. You can go on and hike to many other nearby lakes and points of interest such as Mills Lake.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Mills Lake via Glacier Gorge Trailhead

The Loch Lake Trail via Glacier Gorge Trail

Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trailhead

Green Lake via Glacier Gorge Trail

Alberta Falls Trail

Black Lake Trail