- Date hiked: 08/30/2020
- Hiked from: Glacier Gorge Trailhead
- Distance hiked: 4.1 miles – 1 way
- Total elevation gain: 2,200 ft
- Maintained trail: No
- Overall Difficulty: 7/10 – Route finding experience is helpful. Cairns may or may not be available. Some class 2 scrambling.
- Overall Views: 8/10 – It’s pretty cool to see a Glacier up close. You can even climb it for even better views.
Andrews Tarn is located in The Loch Vale section of Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a proglacial lake fed by Andrews Glacier.
Standard access to Andrews Tarn can be from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead or Bear Lake Trailhead. There is also a nice loop you can take from Bear Lake, where you hike up Flattop Mountain, and descend down Andrews Glacier. Andrews Tarn is best to hike in the summer as you have to hike through a boulder field and terrain that can be avalanche prone in winter conditions.
Andrews Tarn is directly under Andrews Glacier. Many people climb up and down the glacier. This should only be attempted by those that are experienced, a slip and unwanted slide into Andrews Tarn could be deadly.
Hiking to Andrews Tarn – 4K Video
Check out some amazing footage of Andrews Tarn in the summer time.
To reach Andrews Tarn hike to The Loch. Stay on trail past The Loch for approximately .4 miles until you reach the Sky Pond trail junction at Andrews Creek. Continue northwest on the faint Andrews Glacier Trail.
Once you reach the boulder field you will have to find your way up to the shelf. Andrews Glacier looks like it would be easy to find from seeing it on a map, buts its pretty hidden until you get to the top shelf below Otis Peak.
Hop some boulders and cautiously look for cairns, and you will soon be at Andrews Tarn and Andrews Glacier. Much less populated than the neighboring Sky Pond, and harder to get to, this is truly a gem where you can have some space away from the crowds while taking in the views.
Andrews Tarn is above treeline, so you will be exposed to the weather and sun. Make sure to have adequate sun and wind protection. Incoming weather may be obscured by Andrews Glacier, so it’s best to keep in mind of afternoon storms that often occur in the summer.
There is one backcountry campsite in the area that is less than a mile away from Andrews Tarn and Andrews Glacier. Backcountry permits required for the Andrews Creek campsite.