Mills Lake is an incredible adventure that takes you into Glacier Gorge in Rocky Mountain National Park to a stunning, pristine mountain lake. You'll be treated to spectacular mountain vistas, wildflowers, wildlife, and waterfalls.
Start this adventure at the Glacier Gorge trailhead. You can also access it by the Bear Lake parking lot/trailhead, but it will add a short distance to the hike. These lots fill fast. A free shuttle runs throughout RMNP and stops at both of these lots if you need to find parking elsewhere. More info can be found on the shuttle HERE.
The first part of this hike will be the easy trek to the incredible Alberta Falls. Alberta falls is a gorgeous waterfall, and a great place to sit on a nearby rock, and bask in the beauty of the park. You can climb up next to the falls for fantastic views and enjoy the roar of the water. This is one of the more popular hiking spots in the park, so it can get a bit crowded.
Continue climbing up past the falls and continue on the Glacier Gorge/Loch Vale trail on the right at the first junction. After climbing for about a half mile, you will reach another junction. Follow the sign to left for Mills Lake/Black Lake. You'll ascend a bit up for another half mile or so until the breathtaking lake and peaks come into view.
Mills Lake is a bit less populated than some of the other lakes in the park, and a perfect place to stop, have a meal and enjoy the fantastic views! There are many flat rocks along the shoreline to relax, do yoga, meditate, journal, and just enjoy the magical place where you are!
After a break enjoying the majesty of Mills Lake, if you'd like to extend your adventure you can head back to the junction and continue up to Sky Pond and spectacular Timberline Falls! This is a great way to turn this into a full day adventure and see a plethora of gorgeous lakes and two large stunning waterfalls in one day!
Pack a picnic and enjoy it on the numerous flat areas along the shoreline of the lake!
There are all sorts of spots along this slightly less popular lake to relax and bask in the beauty of nature!
Starting this trail from the Glacier Gorge trailhead is optimal, however, you can also start from the Bear Lake lot. There is a free shuttle that runs throughout the park with stops at these lots if they are full. Click HERE for more info on the shuttle.