The Loch

Estes Park, Colorado 80511

The Loch

The Loch Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The name of this lake is a pun dreamed up by pioneer innkeeper Abner Sprague to commemorate a guest of his named Locke. The name is Scottish for “The Lake,” and so great are the charms of this lake that many hikers agree that it is appropriate to call it simply The Lake."

More The Loch 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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"One of the most rewarding in the park, this hike is also very popular. The Loch, Scottish for “lake,” is in a magnificent setting, surrounded by Otis, Taylor, and Powell peaks and offers great photographic opportunities."
Colorado's Quiet Winter Trails (Colorado Mountain Club Press)
Dave Muller
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"The trails in Rocky Mountain National Park are always clear and well marked with signs. This tour to the Loch (also called Loch Vale) will be relatively easy for the snowshoer but quite challenging for the nordic skier. A side trail off the main trail allows the skier to avoid some of the rocks and possible bare spots on the main trail."

The Loch Trip Reports

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One of the best hikes and most beautiful lakes in the park. Start early to be able to hike to Timberline Falls, Lake of Glass and Sky Pond further up the Valley!!

The Loch Photos

Trail Information

Estes Park
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
5 hours
9,176 feet
Trailhead Elevation
10,180 feet
Top Elevation
Additional Use
Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office, 1000 US 36, Estes Park 80517; (970) 586-1242;
Local Contacts
USGS McHenrys Peak; Trails Illustrated Longs Peak
Local Maps

Trail Log