Odessa and Fern Lakes

Estes Park, Colorado 80511

Odessa and Fern Lakes

Odessa and Fern Lakes Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This extraordinary hike features a number of scenic attractions, including two of the prettiest lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Furthermore the Park Service has implemented a shuttle system that allows hikers to walk the trail one way and ride a shuttle back to the starting point. If you start at the Bear Lake Trailhead the route is almost all downhill!"

Odessa and Fern Lakes Trip Reports

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The Odessa Lake – Fern Lake hike is a good one and not that difficult if you’re acclimated to the elevation. The trail was snow covered above 10,000 feet when I hiked it which required that I use some caution while hiking over the rockier sections but other than that I had no problems. All of the elevation gain comes in the first 2.5 miles and the trail tops out at 10,680 feet (checked by GPS). There aren’t any views until you approach Lake Helene shortly after the trail tops out and starts to descend. At that point you get good views of Flattop and Notchtop Mountains. From there the trail descends past Odessa and Fern Lakes, Fern Falls and The Pool before finally leveling out for the last 1.7 miles to the Fern Lake trailhead at 8,160 feet. There are good views at both Odessa and Fern Lakes. If you plan to take the shuttle bus back to your car at Bear Lake you should note that the bus stop is not at the trailhead. The bus stop is located 0.8 miles further down the road so you should add this distance to the total length of the trail.

Odessa and Fern Lakes Photos

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Trail Information

Estes Park
Nearby City
1,140 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
6 hours
Midsummer to mid-fall. The higher parts of the trail are usually covered with snow from mid-November through early July.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Local Contacts
McHenrys Peak (USGS)
Local Maps

Trail Log