On a busy summer weekend at Rocky Mountain National Park we were disappointed when we had to park in the park & ride and cram on a shuttle to get to our hiking destination. The ride turned out to be great because our knowledgeable shuttle driver pointed out areas of interest as we passed by. One of his highlighted destinations was Bierstadt Lake. Our driver explained the lake was named after renowned 19th century landscape artist, Albert Bierstadt. Here is a link to Bierstadt’s work.
At the end of July we hiked to Bierstadt Lake with my daughter Cecy in her Ergobaby. There are several ways to get to the lake. We decided to start at Bear Lake trailhead which is two miles each way. The first .6 miles starts out along the Flattop Mountain route before splitting off.
From the junction we followed the trail through forest away from the mountains. Once we arrived at the lake we took a nice rest to let Cecy have some time out of her carrier (it was a pretty warm day), eat a snack and take in the views. I think the best view is when you walk half way around the lake and turn back to see Flattop Mountain in the distance.We hiked back to our starting point at Bear Lake – a mostly uphill return journey. As an alternative, you could continue for 1.3 miles to end up at Bierstadt Trailhead and take the shuttle back to Bear Lake parking lot. I would think this route would be easier, but I’ll have to try it out to confirm.
I hope to take advantage of the free shuttle system on future hikes to avoid backtracking. Here is a link for more shuttle information and routes.