Explore CO 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Steep ascent. Brilliant sunrise over Dream Lake.

High traffic beautiful scenery but if you want solitude and a challenge for a 20-25 year old it is not what you are looking for.

hiking
7 hours ago

I definitely think it was a little longer than 9.9 miles. but well worth the hike! Our group started at 9:40 ish and made it back to the car at about 2:20 PM. We saw a mama moose and her baby along with some deer and an elk!

Unbelievably amazing hike! Steady inclines at times but overall a pretty doable trail by anyone.
I arrived at 6:30pm on a Saturday and the parking had empty spots. Saw a ton of people at the beginning of the trail but the further you go the less people you’ll see.
A lot of bugs when you hike at a later time so bring some bug spray with you! Also, bring a flashlight just in case you need it!

Crowded but so beautiful. Not much of a hike at all.

Worth the hike to this lake!

Beautiful trail!

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
1 day ago

great hike, with views iconic to colorado - when you see colorado in a photo album, this trail contains views that showcases this.

Easy to moderate, gets your muscles working but nothing too strenuous. Maybe not the best for young children in some parts for inexperienced/non-local people like myself but still doable!

Got a late start on 7/7/18, started around 9:15. Plenty of parking in the huge lot at the trailhead. Only saw 3 groups or so on the way up. Made it to the lake around 1pm. Fished for a half hour/45 minutes before a pretty good afternoon storm looked like it was rolling in. Saw two bull moose, a deer and a Mama moose and calf on the way down. Be sure to give plenty of room when passing these animals. Mama was not happy to see me. Nice hike, but lots of uphill to get to the lake. Landslide area was a little tricky and you may want to avoid if a recent rain came through or is expected. Have fun!

A quick and easy walk. I’d recommend doing this as a cool down from the Emerald Lake Trail.

Gorgeous views from a reasonably short trail. Lots of wildlife along the way!

Beautiful easy hike and awesome views. We hiked Cascade Falls first and decided to head to Monarch Lake and was so happy we did. Beautiful!!

hiking
2 days ago

I did the emerald Lake route . I’m not sure why they called it moderate? It’s a nice 45 min stroll to the lake on a amazingly maintained trail, even paved at the beginning. It’s a great trail for families and young ones . If you want more of a challenge hike around the right side of emerald Lake. It is what I would call a very stable rock scramble and doable by older kids with good shoes( some traction on Btm). Then hike up to the falls which are really pretty . That extension makes the hike moderate and is well worth it plus it’s gets you away from the masses . If you are really an extremist then try hiking up the valley to the right of the river and falls. It is an advanced hike and gets to class 3-4 with 80% grade. Tougher going up but you need poles coming down or you take some falls . Do not hike in single file here as you will trigger rock slides due to grade. Also it is what I’d call a loose rock scramble!! Views are insane from up there but be careful as footing is tricky and it requires some rock climbing .

We loved this hike! Perfect hike for a day. On a Friday there were others out there but not a ton. Go to the end. Emerald Lake is worth it!

hiking
2 days ago

Easy, busy, but beautiful for sure

hiking
3 days ago

Super fun and easy!

Cool hike do early morning or at after 5 to avoid crowd. 3 cool lakes. Keep going to see the last view!

I liked that this was a loop and therefore I got 4 miles in without retracing any steps. I didn't have a problem with bugs although did see a couple mosquitos. Nice creek and lake views. Got there around 9am and not a lot of people there at that time so pretty nice. Seemed to arrive around 10.

If you’re not from Colorado, or used to the elevation, this trail may be a bit harder than easy. I dragged my brother through this one, all the way up to Emerald lake. We started with Bear lake loop and then headed upwards from the trail head. You’ll pass Dream lake on the way. Everything is gorgeous. This trail was highly trafficked but well worth it to see Emerald lake. If you have the gear, time, and skill level, you could continue hiking up the rock walls on the left side of Emerald lake and connect to other trails.

hiking
4 days ago

absolutely beautiful lake. i wish i could’ve made it further but was experiencing altitude sickness. but dream lake is definitely doable if you experience that if you take breaks and go at your own pace. before i got there, there was a bear sighting too

got there around 9 and didn't see anyone on the trail for the first hour. bug spray was a great recommendation, thanks to commenters below for that. excellent birding trail - spotted lots of thrushes and warblers, including an absolute gem of a macgillivray's. absolutely loved this hike, can't wait to come back!

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful views and water areas.

Great views and a decently challenging hike for those who don't have all day but definitely want to sweat a little!

Easy hike with beautiful views. But would never hike this again on a Saturday in peak season- kinda killed it

Saw 2 sets of moose with babies on the trail. Beautiful hike but definitely rated as moderate plus (++) in my opinion. after about 2 miles in, then the climb begins. Almost 1800’ in elevation from trail head. My knees and feet were pissed by the time I got back. Nice trail and maintained with some very beautiful scenery. Do not forget the sunscreen, water, sandwich or a Few snacks and bug spray.

What a great hike! Beautiful scenery abound. Great for families of all abilities.

Good hike, not too challenging, but that's why it's so popular. Add Lake Haiyaha either after Dream Lake or coming back down from Emerald and make it a spectacular 4 lake loop. Get there early so you can park, and be courteous on the trail when it's more crowded (walk single file to the right, don't block the way).

Great hike- too busy

Very popular trail so if you want to beat the crowds you have to go early. Very beautiful hike with awesome views.

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