Overnight to Odessa Lake - RMNP


Jan 24, 2017
I am probably one of the worst people at putting up trip reports and I do not deny it lol. I am trying to do better at this since so many people here put up such great reports and valuable posts. This past weekend was my first backpacking trip of the year and my first on the trail in over 2 months. Between school, work, and a recent calf injury, it just seems like the deck has been stacked against me. I am determined though to get back out there and have several trips planned this year.
This weekend was more of a test of my calf to see how it is recovering. I figured worst case my PT would just kill me this week if I re-injured it.
I headed to Rocky Mountain National Park and the Fern Lake trailhead. I secured a permit to stay up at Odessa Lake. Anyone who has seen pics of RMNP is sure to recognize some of my pics as this is a well known lake. Going in from Fern Lake trailhead though is the lesser of two ways to go and fewer tourists end up on the trail thankfully. Overall it was a gorgous weekend with great weather and when I got to Odessa I literally may of saw a total of 10 day hikers. By 3 PM it was down to myself and the couple that secured the other campsite permit. I got to my campsite by 11ish and was set up, had a quick nap, and lunch by little after noon. I decided to swing around the lake and climp up the side of Notchtop mountain in an effort to explore some of the waterfalls caused by the melting snow and to just enjoy the nice weather while also testing my calf more.

Hope you enjoy the pics!

My travel distance to camp...

One of the first "features" is the Arch Rocks which are boulders the size of houses...


"The Pool" on the Big Thompson River...

Fern Lake



Fern Falls

First Sighting of Notchtop Mountain

Some deer walking past me while I sat down on a log like they did not care I was there. Literally passed within 6 feet of me.


Tree shots near Odessa Lake


My campsite...

More wildlife...


While climbing up the mountain alot of water was rushing down, but under the snow and ice. I found a place to climb under the ice to get a picture...

Sitting on a log at the water outlet for Odessa Lake at sunrise

Pics from my afternoon climb






Can you see my footprints across the snow down below?

Helene Lake and one other from up above while climbing

Odessa Lake from above

Sunrise pics:



More Odessa lake and water shots




Beautiful beautiful! Great pics! But the burning question is: Are you still on speaking terms with your PT? :)

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Thanks for sharing! What pretty views!
I stared at the photo of under the ice for the longest time trying to guess what it was before I read your description. Very cool!
Beautiful beautiful! Great pics! But the burning question is: Are you still on speaking terms with your PT? :)

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LOL... Well she said I did not do too much damage to it... though the way she was working on my tendon I think she was giving me a hint to insure I am being more cautious. I am happy though, overall after a day or two of rest it is doing much better.
Your report brings back so many memories- thanks so much for sharing! The picture under the ice is very cool........
Beautiful place, we will check out the Fern Lake TH- great tip.
We lived in the foothills of the Mile-High-city for a couple of years. During my first visit we watched Carlos Santana play in Red Rocks:dance:
Gorgeous evening, outdoor in that amazing open amphitheater- awesome! I just looked at Rick and said : " Don't screw up the interviews this week!"
Then a few days later we hiked from Glacier Gorge TH- close by the trailhead you mention in this report. We didn't make it further than Timberline Falls, but it was another very memorable experience, since I badly rolled an ankle on the return trip about 1.5 mile from the trailhead and we hadn't even driven through Rocky Mountain NP yet. We drove through the park and I first iced my very swollen ankle around 10 pm that night in Winter Park.
Hope your calf injury is gone by now- calf injuries can be pesky.

Oh - and after reading your first report I see you also made it to Glacier Gorge TH, but all the way to Sky Pond on another day in snow and ice- awesome! Thanks for sharing. We might check that out in a few months.
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