Explore CO Hikes - 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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Great hike and view that you won’t regret trekking too

hiking
1 day ago

I've done this trail many times, but most recently hiked yesterday (11/7/18). It was all snow covered but packed down marking a clear path. Many people went without spikes, but it did make it easier having them from Dream to Emerald where it got a little steeper. The road up to Bear Lake is icy/snow covered but doable in a 2 wheel drive if you go slow.

Great trail!

snowshoeing
2 days ago

Well kept easy trail to hike or snowshoe

Really pleasant lake. Only thing is you can park right next to hit so there's no hiking needed to arrive at the destinations. None the less, super beautiful!

hiking
6 days ago

Great there and back walk on a great path - was snowing on the way out, sunny and clear on the way back - great views. Starts at 9000ft above sea level but we were fine

hiking
9 days ago

Great trail. My family and I hiked it in July. Still snow on the ground in places. Beautiful views. Bring a camera and a water bottle.

3 couples hiked it together in November 1st , there were several inches of snow on the ground and it was snowing the most big lovely flakes . The sun was peaking through and shinning off the water . How could I not give it a 5 star review ? Easy access , nice beautiful easy hike . We loved it !

hiking
10 days ago

Hiked this trail 10/26/18. If you’re looking for a nice, easy and scenic hike this is the place. Every corner you turn is picture worthy. At the time the lakes were partially frozen over. The closer you got to Emerald Lake the more slippery the trail got. I didn’t need crampons but I’m sure now you’ll need them. 10/10 hike it’s a must see.

Definitely a hike you should go on when you’re in the rocky! The views are amazing! The hike was not too difficult, but it will get crowded towards the day! Overall amazing place to explore!

Hiked 11/2/18. Lots of snow and wind chill, but overall awesome hike. Hiked in my hiking shoes + poles without spikes and was just fine. All the lakes are frozen which makes for gorgeous photos!

10/28/18

maybe horses hadn't been on the trail in a while and we got lucky, but horse poop was not a problem, lol. we took a 4 year old to complete his rocky mountain junior ranger badge on this and it was perfect. it was a beautiful hike through meadows and woods, and with beautiful views. I highly recommend this hike for small children.

I hiked to emerald lake on 11/1/18 and it was a snowy wonderland! I am glad I had micro spikes because it was slick in spots but with the spikes it was not a problem. I started hiking around 9:30 and only 4 couples were in front of me hiking. As I came down there were many more people. It was nice to have the Trail mostly to myself on the hike up so I could enjoy the views uninterrupted. I am not a hiker and came from sea-level the evening before and I could certainly tell my lungs were adjusting to the altitude. I did the the whole hike and 1x around bear lake in just under 2 hours.

Hiked this on 10/22. Parking is limited, but pretty sure the trail is accessible from another (Bear Lake) lot further down the road. We had a limited amount of time so this was perfect. I would consider this more of an out and back trail, than a loop. The first mile zig zags immediately UP a dirt path. There is zero tree cover, so you might want a hat. You are rewarded with stunning views looking out towards Longs Peak during the entire ascent. It’s not too difficult, but we did see a woman turn back because of her knees. It’s a good quick workout that leads you quite suddenly into a dense forest at the top — for a short trek to the lake. Overall, two different experiences on one trail. We probably missed the best views because we didn’t go around the lake (the loop part of the trail.) So I’d recommend doing that. But as mentioned, exquisite views the whole way up and down! (See photos) I’d definitely do this again, and allow more time to explore the lake and connecting trails! (I might add that a few in our group did this successfully in gym shoes, but there was ice in the woods and lots of snow around the lake.)

Beautiful roundtrip of Bear Lake. It was a snowy day so not many people on the trail, but it looks like it could be very crowded.

trail running
17 days ago

10/28/18 Went out first thing in the morning. Gorgeous views on the climb up to the lake. Couldn’t really run the first portion due to the climb but no biggie since the elevation and incline alone is a great workout.

This was a beautiful and scenic hike. It was EASY and great to bring kids for a “hike”, more of a walk for adults. This trail reminds me a lot of “Garden of the Gods”. Lots and lots of beautiful rock formations. There were many easy trails to venture out and do as well.

trail running
18 days ago

Great and easy hike if you don’t mind sharing the trail with lots of bikers. We saw many prairie dogs and mule deer. I’d prefer to go on trails with a little more shade but otherwise is a pretty good trail if you want to get in a short run.

Beautiful fall hike (10/27/18) with great views. Don't worry - there actually is a lake at the end

walking
18 days ago

Really pretty park! This trail was super easy and not crowded. Perfect for us with our energetic 3 year old! I loved how the trees hung over the trail ... made it very peaceful.

hiking
18 days ago

Amazing opportunity for incredible views with not that much effort. If you have time head to Lake Haiyaha. Its well worth it. (Review for Lake Haiyaha and Emerald Lake Trail). I got to Bear Lake trailhead at 8am Sunday. Very few cars. I had the whole trail to myself pretty much. I did Emerald Lake and then on the way back turned and headed to Lake Haiyaha. I'm glad I did because it was the best part. Its steeper and harder then Bear Lake trail. At the end there are a bunch of boulders to scramble over to get to the lake. Be careful, I fell, snow is deep and make sure you know how to get back to the trail. Its not as easy as it looks. Really incredible. Wear traction. Wear traction. When I came down the whole lot was full and there was a mile long line of cars trying to get in but they were routed to the visitor center.

Beautiful hike!! Rent shoe spikes and poles at a local hiking store in town or bring a walking stick at least. Parts of this trail are SLICK ice. I’d rate this trail as moderate. I could definitely feel the elevation climb! Well worth your time. We got there at 930 on Saturday with a few parking spots left. By the time we left at noon parking lot was full/closed.

Great hike (Sat) Oct 26. This was a great choice for a cool Fall day. The hike up would be brutally hot in the summer. The lake is gorgeous. We chilled out and drank some coffee and just enjoyed the gorgeous view. We hiked around the lake and then added on 1-1/2 miles on another trail for fun since this was a relatively short and easy hike. All uphill at the beginning with beautiful views of the mountains. We arrived around 9am and there were three parking spaces at the Bierstadt TH which was awesome because we were an hour later than we planned and there was no parking at Glacier Gorge (as usual) when you show up after 7:30-8am.

This is one of the most popular trails in Colorado and for good reason! If you go on the weekend it will be tricky to find a parking spot. This is a moderate hike with huge rewards, stunning views!! If you only have time for one hike in CO do this one or st Mary’s Glacier.

19 days ago

I was really excited to walk the trails with my puppy but since there was no mention of no dogs allowed until getting into it, we weren’t able to go on it.

We parked near the entrance to the amphitheater and came down the stairs on the right hand side and out to the trailhead. The sandstone rocks are incredible and are definitely the best part of the trek. The hike itself is fairly easy and the trail is pretty wide most of the way. If you’re visiting the amphitheater, go ahead and do this one.

hiking
20 days ago

Pretty easy loop around a beautiful lake. We found parking pretty easily. Part of the trail was packed snow/ice and very slippery. Enjoyed this loop on a beautiful day.

hiking
20 days ago

Great hike with great views! Each lake was spectacular. There is ice/snow packed in certain spots. We rented spikes and poles from a shop in Estes Park for $9 for the day...I would definitely recommend it!

Beautiful views at each lake. Still icy in patches but so worth it!

Fantastic trail for a quick hike that (including travel time to get there and get home) will only take a few hours from Denver metro. Brought our almost 4-year-old and 3-month-old with us and they did very well being carried, though it was a bit long for carrying. Recommend strollers if the very young kids can't make the distance. We went counter-clockwise on the loop, and I thought that was perfect. Walked through the valley first, got to see the overlook second and towards the end of the trail, so it was very rewarding.

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