Roundtrip Length: 10.5 miles Difficulty: Strenuous
Tourmaline Lake is one of those hikes in Rocky where the impressive part is not just the lake itself, but also the feeling of accomplishment after tackling this challenging journey. At 10,600 feet, the small aqua colored Tourmaline Lake includes magnificent views of Gabletop Mountain and Knobtop Mountain.
The hike begins at the Bear Lake Trailhead and follows the Odessa Lake Trail. Once at Odessa, continue northwest along the shore up into the forest just before a small stream that feeds into the lake. This one mile off-trail ascent to the lake traverses through dead and down trees and slippery terrain - physically demanding even for the most experienced hikers.
Tourmaline Lake is located off the main trail and is only for advanced adventurous hikers who have strong route finding skills including the ability to read a map, compass and use of a GPS.