Mills Lake – 5.4mi / 8.7km
Take in the views of towering, granite peaks on a granite perch of your own along the forested shores of Mills Lake. Begin by hiking up to the lovely Alberta Falls (see Alberta Falls in 0-5 Miles for description).
The trail follows Glacier Creek with increasing views looking up into the mountains and out towards Estes Park. After turning up an impressive canyon, follow the signs to the left at the three-way junction where you’ll cross over Icy Brook, then Glacier Creek. The forest is interrupted by slabs of granite, and views up towards Longs Peak become more frequent.
It doesn’t take long to get to the shores of Mills Lake where numerous rocks reach out into the lake offering unobstructed views of the stunning landscape. Turn around here, or consider hiking up further to Black Lake (see Black Lake in 10-15 Miles for description).
Trailhead: Follow Bear Lake Road to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, or park at the Park & Ride and take the park’s free shuttle to the trailhead.
Elevation Gain: 900ft / 270m – Elevation Loss: 900ft / 270m