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Bierstadt Lake – 3.1mi / 5.1km
Two moraines, sandwiched together, form a pocket in which Bierstadt Lake sits.
The trail enters a forest of tall lodgepole pines, but quickly emerges as you begin switchbacking up the hillside. A mix of sagebrush grassland and stands of aspen yield sprawling views of the valley below and the rugged mountains to the east. On the top of the moraine, the trail levels out and enters back into the lodgepole forest. Follow the signs past a few junctions as you loop around the lake with limited access. Views are scant for most of the loop, but open up nicely at the marshy foot of the lake.
Alternately, start at Bear Lake, loop clockwise around Bierstadt Lake, and end at the Bierstadt Lake Trailhead to catch the shuttle for a 3.7mi/6km one way trip.
Trailhead: Follow Bear Lake Road to the Bierstadt Lake Trailhead (or Bear Lake Trailhead if beginning there), or park at the Park & Ride and take the park’s free shuttle to the trailhead.
Elevation Gain: 650ft / 195m – Elevation Loss: 650ft / 195m