Frozen Lake Hike with Kids in Rocky Mountain National Park

A winter hike in Rocky Mountain National Park with kids is doable so long as you have the right gear and the weather cooperates. Our friends who have a cabin in Estes Park pointed us to Bear Lake. In the winter it is safe to hike across a fully frozen Bear Lake. In an instant, you are transported into a winter wonderland. Just watch your step, navigating the trail with this much snow can be difficult.

Accordingly, the Park Service marks the lake when it is frozen sold. If the red ‘thin ice’ signs are present, do not attempt to go across the lake. Luckily for us, our February visit found the lake frozen solid.

We followed the short snow-packed trail to the edge of the ice and then headed straight across.

On the other side, there was a frozen waterfall.

The kids also found a spot to climb and slide down. They could have done this for hours.

We opted to follow some of the trails around the lake. This was difficult. The kids kept ending up waist-deep in snow. There are plenty of places to play in the snow. The Littles made quick work of turning each stop into snow fun. We quickly decided though, the best way back, was across the lake.

The next time we come back we will make sure to have our snow shoes with us. (You can rent some in Estes Park). On our next winter visit, we will look into going on a ranger-led snowshoe hike. (These do require a reservation.)


Elizabeth is a Type A, Attorney turned Stay-at-Home Mom, who moved her family across the Atlantic for an adventure. She can often be found out and about finding fun things for her littles to do. Elizabeth loves to read, craft and chat with friends. She will try just about anything and loves to share her experiences.

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