Odessa Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park

This past weekend Dan and I went with some friends up to Estes Park. We relaxed, ate delicious food, and drank Moscow Mules. The end.

Just kidding, we also went hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. It snowed recently which made it EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL.

Trip Information

via Rocky Mountain Hiking Trails

  • Round trip length: 9.5 miles
  • Start elevation: 8,165 feet
  • End elevation: 10,033 feet
  • Total elevation gain: 1,890 feet
  • Trailhead: Fern Lake Trailhead (where I started) or Bear Lake Trailhead
  • Dogs Allowed: no
  • Bikes Allowed: no
Map via http://www.rockymountainhikingtrails.com/fern-lake.htm

The Hike

We first hiked from the Fern Lake Trailhead to Fern Lake, approximately 3.8 miles. The trail meanders through aspen and pine forest with a few open areas for views. We passed through Arch Rocks, a couple of house-sized rocks that “presumably landed on this spot when a large boulder fell from the cliffs above and split apart.”

At 1.7 miles we hit the Cub Lake Trail junction, which is also where the The Pool is located – a nice little waterfall. It gets a little more steep from here. Approximately 3.7 miles from the trailhead we reached the Spruce Lake Trail junction. A short distance up to Fern Lake and we were rewarded with some amazing views.

Fern Lake
Fern Lake, RMNP

You can continue along around the eastern side of the lake toward Odessa Lake. The trail is a bit steep, about 500 feet of gain in a mile, and ascends through beautiful pine forest.

Odessa Lake

At 4.6 miles from the trailhead you reach a short side trail that takes you along a gorgeous creek:

Odessa Lake 1

And then you reach Odessa Lake. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t wear the right socks and you can’t feel your feet anymore because you’ve reached a little slice of heaven on earth.

Odessa Lake RMNP
Odessa Lake, RMNP

We hiked back to the Spruce Lake Trail junction and made our way to Spruce Lake, about a mile from the junction.


The guys were fly fishing and had some success:

Catch and release at Spruce Lake

After spending a few hours at the lake we made our way back down and enjoyed some post-hike refreshments at the truck. At night we made pizzas and watched a movie and dreamed about moving to the mountains forever.

RMNP is beautiful, even more so in the off season with some snow and less crowds.

The end.


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