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.

CO 2018 Map

on Emerald Lake Trail

14 hours ago

Gorgeous trail! The leaves are changing! Beautiful views along the way, it was very peaceful. Went today with my husband. I think it helped (as far as foot traffic) to be here on a weekday and also that we started a little after 5 pm—we only saw a handful of people. It was an awesome early evening hike for our first day here at RNMP!

We had a great time on this relatively easy trek. Trail mix fell into the Lake but we were able to retrieve it, and stayed dry in the smoothie container. But soooo many people in rmnp we will look for other places or maybe go once the weather detours most

1 day ago

We started by 7 am on 9/16/18 and had the trail to ourselves. We finished by noon and that included a lot of downtime at the lake which was spectacular. Loved this lake. The trail itself was underwhelming. Dense forest mostly. Not difficult for us. However, the beauty was the lake. We loved it, and having it all to ourselves was bliss. We also saw a lot of moose. It was a wonderful hike.

Probably the most rewarding easy hike suitable for the entire family in the park. My 3 year old daughter was able to do the majority of the hike on her own short of a few steep stretches towards the end. With about 0.9 miles between each of the three lakes on the trail, it makes for regular breaks and helps keep everyone motivated for the next stop. Each lake offers something a bit different with all having a slightly different appeal. Great hike to share with new visitors of all abilities and a perfect entry level hike to RMNP.

Great trails and views on the way to Dream Lake and then Emerald Lake... get there early as I had to use the park and ride at 7:00 am but it was very quick and free.

Although it takes a while to reach the trailhead (where parking is limited), the hike around the lake is first-rate. The four+ mile loop is an easy to moderate trail shared with horses. This is one of the best hikes in the Arapaho National Recreation Area—don’t miss it!

This trailhead also allows access to other (more lengthy and difficult) hikes.

On our second visit to the lake, we watched kayakers and canoeists paddling around the lake. Fishermen were also in evidence.

Beautiful trail, well maintained and gorgeous views throughout the whole hike. I would say it is more of an easy hike than a moderate, although the altitude coupled with a lot of stair climbing towards the end did take my breath away a few times (as someone who is used to 800ft above sea level, this is a big change for me).

We arrived to the trail head around 7:30am on a Friday morning and the parking lot was only about 25% full. The hike up was not crowded at all but it was getting significantly busier on the way down. I would suggest starting at 7.

Hiked this on Black Friday and with the road to the trailhead closed it adds about an extra mile out and back. Was pretty iced over and slick in areas so I hoghly recommend microspikes in the winter. I was the only one out there so I really enjoyed the serenity of watching the sunset over the frozen lake.

2 days ago

Used this trail to access Timber Creek Backcountry site about 3 miles in. Trail is very well marked and easy to follow. Uphill the entire way out, but not particularly strenuous. Great views of aspen trees changing color, but a little too wooded to get great views of the mountains in most spots. The only difficult part was the landslide area. It's very short (maybe 100 yards total), but the loose sandy soil, downed trees, and steep slope make it something you should be slow and methodical for.

The campsite was nice with great access to the creek, but it is an EXTREMELY active moose area. In addition to the deer we had coming through our campsite all evening, we had several bull moose come through the area throughout the night. They didn't bother us, but they did come within about ten feet of our tent and easily could have caused damage if they wanted to. Take necessary precautions to make sure you're safe during moose rutting season, but an extremely enjoyable trail and campsite.

Easy and short hike. A lot of people in the trail, but the trail is large enough to make your way in front of others. Nice lakes.

Was a fun hike with a beautiful lake! At the time I went the water was cold but clear!

Beautiful and easy hike. Amazing in the fall.

Easy hike with epic views.

Saw two moose in the marsh area. Beautiful hike that’s on the easy end of moderate.

4 days ago

I loved this trail; I was there with the GirlTrek StressProtest weekend. Took awhile to get used to the altitude.... I’m from Southeastern PA.... but it was worth it for the gorgeous scenery & wonderful fresh air.

Beautiful hike with amazing aspen colors (went 9/14). The hike to Dream Lake was really mild, then it’s just lots of stairs to get to Emerald Lake, completely worth it! Definitely the best lake you pass of the four. The only reason this is getting 4/5 is because of the crowds. Even on a weekend it’s super busy, not everyone knows Trail etiquette so some people never let anyone pass. Finding parking can also be a hassle. There is a shuttle available from other lots.
The hike itself is awesome, the popularity while understandable is not ideal.

This walk is great for any experience of hiker. The lake is beautiful & today the colors around the lake were great. There were a lot of people on the trail today also. Very busy trail.

The first attempt to hike this trail was Monday afternoon but we were asked to turn around because the parking was full. The second attempt was more successful . We went Tuesday morning at 6:30am. We had parking a plenty. The trail was lovely and the grand finale, Emerald Lake, was spectacular. It took at 3.5 hours at a brisk 33 min/mile pace keeping in mind the down is faster than the up.

High mountain lake, nice easy trail.

7 days ago

Wonderful trail with breath taking views and easily trekked as my 79 year old mother in law had no problem hiking from trail head to Emerald Lake and back.

Very challenging but rewarding with views. My wife and I saw 2 cows and one calf moose.

It was a good short hike for half a days worth of fun. Not very hard if you’re looking for something to do in the morning before lunch. A little crowded as the day goes by but well worth it.

7 days ago

Love this trail! Really beautiful the whole way along Dream Lake, and a great introduction to hiking for kids, because it's not too difficult. We added a side trip to Lake Haiyaha on the way back to make it about 5 miles, and that makes it a really nice little day hike. Lake Haiyaha was also beautiful, and different, with a steeper assent, so you get a little more exercise. Loved it!

Really nice hike with good lake and Mountain View’s. I think this should be rated as easy. I’m not that fit and had no problems.

great hike for acclimating. lots of solitude.

Beautiful hike! I’d say it’s closer to an easy-moderate then a moderate-hard hike. The trail is paved almost the entire way. Heavily trafficked hike.

9 days ago

shuttle to bear lake very convenient. trail is well maintained and paved. enchanting views!

My wife and I enjoyed a late afternoon (5 PM start) hike to all three lakes. Aspens were changing color and no wind made reflection pictures on the lakes great. Fortunately, Ranger Marie recommended we drive the park for several hours when we arrived at 10 AM. All lots were full due to Estes Park events. Really enjoyed Old Fall River Road bypass towards Grand Lake.

11 days ago

My wife and I hiked it this morning. Amazing views at all 3 lakes and the hike was not bad at all. We both haven’t hiked in over 10 years and we didn’t run into any issues. Would definitely recommend to anyone visiting the area.

11 days ago

Nice trail. Beautiful meadow. Be sure to bring binoculars to scan the meadow and high mountains.

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