Emerald Lake Trail

EASY 292 reviews

Emerald Lake Trail is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from April until November.

3.2 miles 780 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

fly fishing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

no dogs

Take Hwy. 36 out of Estes Park to the RMNP entrance, then drive to the Bear Lake Road, take a left, and follow this road to the Bear Lake Trailhead.

snowshoeing
17 days ago

One of my favorite snowshoeing treks in Colorado! The snow was perfect and the lakes were stunning. A little busy due to the holidays, but all friendly folks on the trail.

hiking
24 days ago

Very beautiful 3 days before santa arrives...alot of snow!

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Super windy at Emerald but worth it! The hike from Dream Lake up to Emerald would recommend microspikes and poles, the rest of the hike was snow pack and beautiful. Got there early expecting a crowd, got back to trail head around 10:30 and the parking lot was barely half full.

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic views! Proper hiking boots and ice-trekkers recommended this time of year.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail even in late November, very slick coming down. Highly recommend poles, yes even if you're "the man".

Saw lots of people unprepared give up half way up, needed more layers.

1 month ago

1 month ago

My first hike in RMNP. Took the trail when it was covered in snow. Fortunately the high traffic made it easy to follow. The views along the way are breathtaking. It is a relatively easy hike too.

2 months ago

2 months ago

Awesome views and beautiful ending by the lake

hiking
2 months ago

We took the trail from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake. It was a beautiful, moderately difficult hike. Initially it was raining and we were a bit bummed about that but decided to push through since this was our only chance to explore RMNP. Happily that paid off and it transformed into an absolutely perfect day. The rain even served to make everything glisten and pull out the pine smell. My advice is to keep pushing on if the forecast is good and it's only moderate rain since the weather changes so quickly in the mountains.

This was a heavily populated hike that provided *incredible* views, especially if you wander off the beaten path a bit. It was the perfect distance for getting in a good hike and not overdoing it. There were plenty of people and packed parking but honestly the shuttle was nice because it is quick and saves your car from having to do the switch backs, especially if it's a little compact car. Highly recommend this lovely hike!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome trail that takes you up to 10,000 feet elevation. The first my girlfriend and I went on in The RMNP. It has a gorgeous view of 3 different lakes. Going to the summit is certainly worth it however if it gets to hard you can stop at dream lake.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike with great views. The lakes are beautiful and the trail itself has a nice incline without being aggressive and great scenery.

hiking
2 months ago

We enjoyed this nice hike but there were a lot of people even for late season (late October). The incline is nice and keeps it fun. The views are gorgeous of course. Definitely worth the short hike.

hiking
2 months ago

I would rate this trail as moderate rather than easy. Mainly due to the uphill at altitude. Views are awesome and the three lakes you get to visit are spectacular. It does get busy though. Even in winter. In summer it's a highway.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing views on a relatively short hike. I'd say it's also relatively easy, but the elevation makes it a little challenging for your average Texan accustomed to breathing at 200 ft above sea level.

A great hike all around, which took us about 2 hours to Emerald Lake at the end, including LOTS of picture stops. Took about 30-45 mins to get back, since downhill is always easier. Perfect day hike trail, in my opinion. Can't beat the views, and the terrain is just rugged enough to be fun, without leaving you totally wiped out at the end.

hiking
2 months ago

Emerald Lake is a very nice little hike. We did this in late September and it the weather was perfect. We got to the trailhead very early in the morning and got started on the hike. After a brief stroll you first come to Nymph Lake, which is a pleasant sight with beautiful Lilly pads and beautiful foliage. The next stop is Dream Lake - this was absolutely beautiful and in our opinions just as rewarding as Emerald Lake. After a bit more effort you are at the gorgeous Emerald Lake. As all the guide books correctly describe, this is a fairly easy hike with big payoffs. It was well travelled the morning we did it but we did not feel like it was too crowded or anything. People who are in decent shape or do a fair amount of hiking will find this to be not terribly challenging, however the altitude may pose a challenge for folks not used to it. We highly recommend this hike!

2 months ago

Scenic and simple for the beginner. This trail boasts everything someone visiting RMNP for the first time would want to satisfy their hiking experience, even if your just a blue moon type of hiker. The ancient glacier that passed thousands of years ago provides viewers confirmation of the simple and raw power that sheered the face of the granite peek above the lake providing landscape mastery painted with boulders and rubble gracing the lake below as if it was always supposed to be. Enjoy!

2 months ago