Alberta Falls

Estes Park, Colorado 80511

Alberta Falls

Alberta Falls Professional Review and Guide

"The deservedly popular hike to Alberta Falls leads to one of the most frequently photographed waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park. No one turns off a faucet at Alberta Falls. Winter, however, does much reduce Glacier Creek’s glorious gush through a granite chute.

Such is human fascination with moving water that easy access on a well-designed trail makes Alberta Falls one of the park’s most popular hiking goals. Do not romp from rock to rock around the falls, at least one fatality has occurred here."

More Alberta Falls Professional Reviews and Guides

"The hike to Alberta Falls follows a well-constructed path to one of the park’s most photographed waterfalls. This easy path to a waterfall is one of the most popular short hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Along the way to Alberta Falls are many aspen that grew after a 1900 forest fire. Particularly with their fall color, these trees make this an extremely pleasant trail. Heavy use has dictated that a certain percentage of the throngs, those who are ignorant of proper wilderness behavior, have carved their initials on the white aspen bark along this trail. Thankfully, most of this damage appears to be fairly old."

"Icy snowmelt from the frigid peaks of the Continental Divide- the Sharkstooth, Otis Peak, Taylor Peak and Thatchtop-feeds the misty cascades of Alberta Falls, which resemble a spill of snow.

The falls tumble in great steps over the reddish stone that makes up the basin of Glacier Creek, gathering deadfall as they drop, with the barren talus slopes of the great peaks above forming a splendid backdrop. The falls are reached via an easy walk from Glacier Gorge Junction or Bear Lake."

"This is a great family or photography excursion if you have small children or people not prepared for or uninterested in long hikes or altitude. A short, easy round-trip, it can easily be extended once you’ve reached the falls if you want; the trail is a gateway to gorgeous Glacier Gorge.

If you want to sleep in and start late, using the park shuttle
bus eliminates the stress you’d experience trying to park in the full lots.

The intensity of the falls varies widely during the year according to stream flow and is most impressive during spring runoff as well. While the trail is usually quite safe when it’s not wet and slick, it is a good idea to keep children close and away from the edge of the cliffs."

"The wonderful web of trails near Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park offers many possibilities for both winter and summer trekking.

In summer, Alberta Falls features the roaring waters of Glacier Creek. In the winter, snow and ice cover the flow that proceeds out of view. Above the falls, you can continue to Mills Lake, Loch Vale, or Lake Haiyaha. Below, the falls and Glacier Creek flow into Sprague Lake and beyond to the Big Thompson River."

Alberta Falls Reviews

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10/6/2018
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6/10/2010
The hike to the falls was pretty easy so we continued to Mills Lake. It started raining before we got there so we went back down the mountain to Bear Lake. It was a nice hike and the falls were beautiful.
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5/12/2010
Great hike. We got 18" of snow the night before so the conditions were perfect for snow shoeing. Was somewhat disappointed because the falls were covered with snow. However, I've seen it in the spring time and it is magaificent. Highly recommend.
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Made this hike during Colorado's first winter storm of 2009. A few very good viewpoints and the falls are pretty good too. Not a hard trail at all (my mother and father who are in their 50s and NOT hikers were able to do it without much trouble).
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7/1/2009
Great short hike in RMNP. Glacier Gorge is the premier trailhead in the park. Albert Falls is a good stop on the way to great places.
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2/9/2009
There aren't many falls in the area and this one is pretty nice. Worth the effort.
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1/3/2008
Good trail to snow shoe. Trail signs not always clear or mileage accurate.
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9/25/2007
this is a easy trail although it is crowded and the parking is not much fun you can however catch a shuttle up to the area. the reward is getting to the falls and taking in its breath taking beauty.
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10/2/2005
A fun short hike--the falls still had quite a lot of water flow, even on October after a dry summer. We should have come a week earlier when the colors were at their peak
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6/20/2005
A short hike to Alberta is rewarded in small fields of pee weed. This small yellow flower takes root after fire, this tiny companion makes the trail less boring. Alberta crashes over rocks and down narrow channels. Witnessing the shear power of this river is easy, as the trail affords many great views and cross overs.
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Alberta Falls Photos

Trail Information

Estes Park
Nearby City
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
1.8
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
2 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
9,176 feet
Trailhead Elevation
9,400 feet
Top Elevation
Skiing
Additional Use
Waterfalls
Features
Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office, 1000 US 36, Estes Park 80517; (970) 586-1242; www.nps.gov/romo
Local Contacts
USGS McHenrys Peak; Trails Illustrated Longs Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018