There is no signage and you must follow a social trail to get to the lake, but despite it’s obscurity, Lake Helene is a spectacular destination. The lake is situated at treeline between Flattop Mountain (12,324′) and Notchtop Mountain (12,129′). Even lesser known Two Rivers Lake is a short walk from Lake Helene, and also worth the visit while in the valley.
Trailhead: Bear Lake
Round trip: 7.2 miles / 11.6 km
Elevation: 9,475′ -10,630′ (+1,155′)/ 2,888m-3,240m (+352m)
Follow the Bear Lake trail for less than 1/2 mile to the Odessa Lake Trail Junction and take the trail to the right. The trail climbs above Bear Lake to the Flattop Mountain trail junction. Continue towards Odessa Lake, climbing through forests and meadows. After approximately 3.5 miles from the trailhead you will see social trails on your left for Lake Helene. The lake is partially concealed from the trail and spurs are fairly easy to miss. If you make a sharp hairpin turn north (right) and begin descending, you’ve passed it.
Two Rivers Lake is near treeline just downstream of Lake Helene. A thick forest and boulder field stand between the main trail and lake, making it easier to walk east from Lake Helene through the forest and meadows.