The Bear Lake Area is a popular area during the winter months for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The area is located on the east side of the park, on Bear Lake Road, south of the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station.
Marked cross-country ski trails link the Glacier Basin Campground area, Sprague Lake, Bear Lake and Bierstadt Lake. Routes of varying length and difficulty can be created. No trails anywhere in the park are groomed. Hiking trails in this area can also be followed but are unmarked. Avalanche danger increases with the steeper slopes to the west of this area, west of Spruce Lake, Emerald Lake and Loch Vale. Avoid steep slopes and gullies of 30 percent grade and steeper where the greatest avalanche danger exists.
Be aware that mountain weather is often extreme. Clear, warm conditions can quickly change to a severe snow storm with strong winds and complete whiteouts. If skiing or snowshoeing any distance from the road, go prepared to spend the night.
Directions from Estes Park: Travel west on Hwy 34 to the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. Just west of the Entrance Station, head south on Bear Lake Road to Bear Lake or Glacier Basin. The road is plowed all the way to Bear Lake.