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Trip Details

Date Saturday  3/9/2019
End Date
Group Denver
Event Title Black Lake & Above (RMNP)
Start Time 8:00 AM
Status Complete
Leader Robert Gelcius
Member Price Free
Non-member Price Free
Available Participants 1
Type Trip
Trip Type Snowshoe
Pace Moderate
Classification  B
Trail Mileage 8
Elevation Gain 1200
Driving Distance


Our snowshoe hike today is a winter classic - Black Lake (and above) in Rocky Mountain National Park. We will plan to meet at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (BMVC) and leave at 8:00am, so please arrive at least 10 minutes in advance. From there we will carpool from there to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead.  There are toilets at both BMVC and the trailhead.  At the BMVC meeting place, please park in the outbound lane spots farthest from the Visitor Center building (and closest to the lot exit).  A Park Pass will be required for each vehicle we take into the Park so, if you have one, please bring it.

For more info Contact

Robert Gelcius,, 203-321-5096


Our snowshoe hike today is a winter classic - Black Lake (and above) in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Black Lake is set in a deep well of vertical rock surrounded by Arrowhead and McHenrys Peak both of which seem (and, I guess, do) rise right out of the lake.  But perhaps the most impressive features at this time of year are the enormous blue-ice formations that spill over the rock walls like the frozen waterfalls that they are.  If you have never been to Black Lake or have only been there using the twisting, tree-dodging summer trail, you are in for a visual treat on this winter route. Once we reach Black Lake we will stop for lunch, and have the option to go a little further up the gully to see the ice formation and maybe some ive climbers. 

From our meeting point at BMVC (8:00 AM), we will carpool to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead.  We will take the "winter trail" to the Loch/Mills Junction then continue to Mills Lake using the Glacier Creek drainage for our final quarter mile.  We will cross Mills Lake and Jewel Lake then continue up the Black Lake outflow creek which will require a slow climb up Ribbon Falls followed by another slow ascent up the headwall to Black Lake.  After a rest, we will make the final 500' ascent on a wide, safe snow slope into the Upper Glacier Gorge.  Our pace will be comfortable to all.  Though kind of long for a snowshoe hike, this route has occasional moderate hill climbs broken up by sections of flat terrain.

We will return the way we came utilizing the seat of our pants when possible for some of the steeper descents.  Though much of the route will likely be on packed trail, you must bring snowshoes!  Also recommended are some kind of shoe traction devices like MicroSpikes, YakTrax, or Stabilicers.  I expect this hike to take about 7+ hours TH to TH.



Snowshoes will be required.  Gaiters, trekking poles, micro spikes, and snow pants will be extremely helpful.  Conditions are often windy crossing Mills Lake so consider goggles and a balaclava also. 


Sorry it is past the registration deadline for this event.