- Date hiked: 10/11/2020
- Hiked from: East Inlet Trailhead
- Distance hiked: 7.0 miles – 1 way
- Total elevation gain: 1,800 ft
- Maintained trail: Yes
- Overall Difficulty: 6/10 – Long hike on a well maintained trail
- Overall Views: 8/10 – The west shore of the lake is a beach and it’s amazing
Video of our Hike to Lake Verna
Getting to Lake Verna
The easiest access to Lake Verna is from the East Inlet Trailhead on the Grand Lake side of Rocky Mountain National Park. A well maintained trail will lead you up to Lone Pine Lake. From here, follow the faint trail to the east that quickly reestablished itself. Hike up the steep trail through a few switchbacks and soon you will be looking down on Lone Pine Lake. This part of the hike is like a wind tunnel and we encountered high gusts, but once through down by the East Inlet creek it should die down. Continue on the trail for a little over a mile until you reach the west overlook point of Lake Verna.
There are several back country wilderness campsites (must be reserved well in advance) that are within close proximity to Lake Verna. These are the Gray Jay Group, Solitaire, Slickrock and Upper East Inlet campsites.
Lake Verna is the largest of the East Inlet Lakes. It’s long and narrow, and stretches almost a mile before reaching it’s unique, beach like east shore. We made the hike to Lake Verna on 10/11/2020, as well as the rest of the lakes of the East Inlet drainage.
Sandy Beach Shore of Lake Verna
If you’ve made the hike to reach the west side of the lake, it’s highly recommended that you reach it’s east shore. The sandy beach like vibe you get from it is like none other in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Once you get near the end of Lake Verna the official trail ends and then starts the unimproved trail. Follow the unimproved trail to reach Spirit Lake, Fourth and Fifth lakes. The route here will get more tricky as you will pass lots of downed trees. When we hiked this there was very minimal bushwhacking, just lots of tree hopping.