Rocky Mountain National Park: Mills Lake

The must-see list for this 5.7-mile dayhike to Glacier Gorge is long: raging waterfalls, alpine lakes, and a skyline of humbling mountain views.
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The must-see list for this 5.7-mile dayhike to Glacier Gorge is long: raging waterfalls, alpine lakes, and a skyline of humbling mountain views.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm

PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations accepted ($20 administrative fee for permits during peak season). nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/backcntry_guide.htm

CONTACT Rocky Mountain National Park, (970) 586-1206; nps.gov/romo

-Mapped by Andrew Matranga

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 9.2

Waypoints

MLT001

Location: 40.31073, -105.639999

From Glacier Gorge trailhead, follow Mills Lake Trail to SW

MLT002

Location: 40.307911, -105.643097

Straight @ 4-way on Mills Lake Trail

MLT003

Location: 40.306679, -105.641998

Cross creek on bridge, then follow trail as it snakes SE under conifer canopy

MLT004

Location: 40.303772, -105.638107

Alberta Falls: The stream takes a 20-foot leap onto giant boulders. Spur trails lead to the top of the falls with views over Bierstadt Moraine

MLT005

Location: 40.301258, -105.638779

Trail swings NW

MLT006

Location: 40.299515, -105.639488

Stay R @ Y on Mills Lake Trail, heading into the eroded outcrops of Glacier Knobs; look N for sweeping vantages down Glacier Basin

MLT007

Location: 40.297421, -105.646103

Bear L @ Y on Mills Lake Trail; ahead is the wide mouth of Glacier Gorge

MLT008

Location: 40.293903, -105.645912

Glacier Creek rips down Glacier Falls, turning into a loud, white torrent. Hike SE

MLT009

Location: 40.290539, -105.642097

Mills and Jewel Lakes: This beautiful, glacier chiseled basin is longer and taller than the downtowns of many Midwest towns. In summer, low-bellied thunderheads often scrape the treeless Continental Divide. Keep your fi nger poised on your camera's shutter button. Retrace route to return to car