Sandbeach Lake



The sandy shore of Sandbeach Lake.

This is the rather large and deep Sandbeach Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. It is one of the largest bodies of water found in the park’s boundary. As its name suggest it does indeed have a sandy shore, at least along the north shore. The trail leads you right on to the sand and I found it to be an odd experience.¬†After hours of hiking¬†this tiring 4.4 mile (one-way) trail with 2,000′ of elevation gain across mountain sides and over creeks you come out on to this beach. It seems out-of-place for a subalpine lake to have a sandy beach.

My wife and I did this journey on a long summer day, but I would recommend getting a reservation at one of the backcountry sites and making it an overnight journey to give you more leisure time on the trail. The lake itself is beautiful and I would suggest exploring the area as there is a cascade waterfall that feeds into it and the towering Mt. Meeker can be seen much better from the southern side of the lake. This is a natural lake, but for nearly 80 years it had a dam on it that increased its volume. After the Lawn Lake Dam failed in 1982 the dam here was removed along with two others within the park’s boundary. I obviously never visited while the dam existed as I was born in ’82, but I would have never guessed that a dam stood here. The park did a great job of removing any signs of the structure and returning the area to its natural state.

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