This past weekend Dan and I went with some friends up to Estes Park. We relaxed, ate delicious food, and drank Moscow Mules. The end.

Just kidding, we also went hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. It snowed recently which made it EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL.

Odessa Lake is an excellent day hike destination in Rocky Mountain National Park. After hiking for several miles through beautiful pine forests, you emerge at a glittering alpine lake surrounded by towering, rugged peaks. Yay.

Trip Information

via Rocky Mountain Hiking Trails

  • Round trip length: 9.5 miles
  • Start elevation: 8,165 feet
  • End elevation: 10,033 feet
  • Total elevation gain: 1,890 feet
  • Trailhead: Fern Lake Trailhead (where I started) or Bear Lake Trailhead
  • Dogs Allowed: no
  • Bikes Allowed: no
Odessa Lake Rocky Mountain National Park Map
Map via Rocky Mountain Hiking Trails

The Hike

We first hiked from the Fern Lake Trailhead to Fern Lake, approximately 3.8 miles. The trail meanders through aspen and pine forest with a few open areas for views. We passed through Arch Rocks, a couple of house-sized rocks that “presumably landed on this spot when a large boulder fell from the cliffs above and split apart.”

At 1.7 miles we hit the Cub Lake Trail junction, which is also where the The Pool is located – a nice little waterfall. It gets a little more steep from here. Approximately 3.7 miles from the trailhead we reached the Spruce Lake Trail junction. A short distance up to Fern Lake and we were rewarded with some amazing views.

Fern Lake Rocky Mountain National Park
Fern Lake, RMNP.

You can continue along around the eastern side of the lake toward Odessa Lake. The trail is a bit steep – about 500 feet of gain in a mile – and ascends through beautiful pine forest.

Odessa Lake Rocky Mountain National Park
I love pine trees with snow on them.

At 4.6 miles from the trailhead you reach a short side trail that takes you along a gorgeous creek:

Odessa Lake Rocky Mountain National Park
Almost to Odessa Lake.

And then you reach Odessa Lake. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t wear the right socks and you can’t feel your feet anymore because you’ve reached a little slice of heaven on earth.

Odessa Lake Rocky Mountain National Park
Odessa Lake, RMNP.

We hiked back to the Spruce Lake Trail junction and made our way to Spruce Lake, about a mile from the junction.

Spruce Lake Rocky Mountain National Park
Spruce Lake, RMNP.

The guys were fly fishing and had some success:

Catch and release at Spruce Lake
Catch + release.

After spending a few hours at the lake we made our way back down and enjoyed some post-hike refreshments at the truck. At night we made pizzas and watched a movie and dreamed about moving to the mountains forever.

RMNP is beautiful, even more so in the off season with some snow and less crowds.

The end.


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