With the first real snow of the season making an appearance in the Denver area this week, I’ve been reminiscing on past snowventures and getting excited about our plans for this season! My favorite winter hike so far was definitely Bierstadt Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Since we don’t have family nearby in Colorado, we started a wonderful tradition of hiking on Christmas. And this hike made for a wonderful Christmas day adventure! (Related: Winter Weekend Getaway: Estes Park)
Armed with our snowshoes, boots and hiking poles, we ventured into RMNP. Both of us were very excited for the chilly adventures that awaited us. To our surprise, the Bear Lake parking lot was already packed. So we had to change plans.
We ended up at the nearby parking lot for Bierstadt Lake off of Bear Lake Road. When we got out of the car, the snow didn’t look very deep. So we (*I*) decided to forgo the snowshoes. Little did we know it wouldn’t be long until we found WAY more snow!
The trail to Bierstadt Lake is an easy-to-moderate 2.4 miles roundtrip. It goes up some gradual switchbacks before getting to the top of the moraine. The views on the way up are great! You can see Sprague Lake in the distance. And even the mountains of the Continental Divide.We were immersed in a magical winter wonderland once we reached the top. The sun glistened off the snow as it sprinkled down on us from the tall bright green trees above us.
There was snow everywhere along the tree-lined path. And it was D-E-E-P. Like, “damn, we should have worn our snowshoes” deep. As we trudged through knee-high snow, we laughed at how naïve we had been. And we just enjoyed the wonders of winter in the mountains. Just when we thought it wouldn’t get better, we found the lake.
I could have sat at this frozen lake for hours. It was one of the most serene and peaceful moments of my life. With just us and a few adventurous birds to keep us company, it was like being in our own private snow globe.
We made it back down to our car right before the sun disappeared, getting to see God paint the sky as we walked in the frigid air.
Want more tips for Rocky Mountain National Park? Read more:
- 3 Short Strolls in RMNP
- Stargazing in Rocky Mountain National Park
- Winter Weekend Getaway: Estes Park
- 3 Short Snow Hikes in RMNP
- Weekend Getaway Guide: Grand Lake
For more great Colorado hikes and activities for every season, check out our Colorado travel page.