Odessa Lake

Estes Park, Colorado 80511

Odessa Lake

Odessa Lake Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Named for the daughter of a lodge owner at nearby Fern Lake, Odessa Lake gave its name to the gorge in which it lies.

A pleasant stroll punctuated by exciting views, the hike to Odessa Lake also requires a bit of ascent and considerable descent. Assuming you ever desire to leave the wondrous spectacle of Odessa’s shore, the way back is somewhat tougher than getting there. The boot-pounded path from Bear Lake climbs for almost a mile to the trail leading up Flattop Mountain. Staying low and continuing right, the Odessa Lake Trail follows a gentle grade undulating through the upper reaches of Mill Creek Basin along the flank of Joe Mills Mountain in the vicinity of Marigold Pond and Two Rivers Lake.

Neither body of water is particularly obvious, but there are many trailside displays of marsh marigold, often mixed with masses of cream-colored globe flower. Two Rivers Lake may seem an exaggerated description of the un-river-like flow of Mill and Fern Creeks, which both trickle from the lake."

More Odessa Lake Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press)
Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh
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"This traversing trail is a moderate jaunt that branches off from the Flattop Mountain Trail about 1.4 miles from Bear Lake. When you emerge from the trees, you’ll be enraptured by the views of Mills Mountain and Mount Wuh, and the high mountain splendor of Odessa. If you make it to Odessa Lake, three 12,000-foot peaks and the impressive Odessa Gorge will be your reward. You can even complete a superbly scenic, point to point all the way to Fern Lake and Moraine Park if you park a car there or don’t mind trekking back uphill to Bear Lake."

Odessa Lake Trip Reports

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While most hikers wanting to check out Odessa Lake will take off from the Beaver Lake TH, a friend a I decided to head out from the Fern Lake TH and stay a couple nights at Fern Lake while making a day hike up top Odessa Lake. I would highly recommend this, If of course you can get a permit on short notice in the summer peak months. Starting from Fern Lake TH is a pretty easy hike for the first mile or so but once you make it to "the Pool" crossing over the Big Thompson it gets a little rugged and pretty steep at some points. I was carrying a 60lbs+ pack so depending on your plans for the day/days the difficulty will vary. No matter how bad your legs might hurt, by the time you reach Fern Lake all the pain goes away. It is absolutely beautiful so take a rest and just soak in the scenery. If your not planning on staying the night, make the next leg of the trail on up to Odessa. Great opportunities for some stunning pictures you only see in magazines, unless of course your an outdoor enthusiast. Bring a fishing pole but make sure you check the regulations before taking off. Both lakes hold plenty of Colorado Greenback Cutthoats, so take advantage. Overall, its is a pretty tiresome hike but you will not be disappointed.

Odessa Lake Photos

Trail Information

Estes Park
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
7 hours
9,475 feet
Trailhead Elevation
10,000 feet
Top Elevation
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

Trail Log