Explore Colorado - 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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This hike was the perfect length and allows you to view the canyon from many awesome perspectives. Even some of the rock walls you hike right next to have a spectacular black, rust and silvery coloring to them. Beautiful!

Good short morning hike, with some rocky areas

Very busy due to the popularity, but an amazingly scenic hike. Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes are all beautiful. My 8 and 5 year olds handled the hike just fine.

Great hike; great views! It is somewhat busy, though. Pack lots of water and expect some rock scrambling.

hiking
6 hours ago

Beautiful and so fun to fish at, really enjoyed it

hiking
6 hours ago

Good trail with great views of the canyon.

Stunning! We started on the Emerald Lake Trail, and then we took the Lake Haiyaha trail on our way back. When we left Lake Haiyaha, we took the trail back to the Glacier Gorge bus stop. It was lovely!

Emerald Lake Trail itself was easy if you were in shape and moderate if you aren’t. It’s well-maintained.

FYI - The parking lot is usually full by 7 or 7:30. Otherwise, you’ll have to park at the shuttle station and ride up. Shuttles run every seven minutes or so. They cram them full of people.

hiking
10 hours ago

One of the MUST HIKES in the park in my opinion. Short, relatively easy hike that rewards you with breathtaking views. I rate it as EASY for experienced hikers and MODERATE for families. Do not stop at Dream Lake... go to the top, it is worth the extra 20 minutes or so. I recommend a sunrise hike to avoid crowds. Parking becomes rare after 7am in the summer so be prepared to take the shuttle if you sleep in. Mosquitos are a problem at the lakes in the morning, so plan accordingly to enjoy your time there. I suggest this as a first hike of the day, then go elsewhere when the buses begin to run. Enjoy!

hiking
10 hours ago

Easy hike that is absolutely gorgeous. There are some hikes you do for exercise and there are some you do for the views. This is for the views. Take your time and look around. We added in the Long Lake loop as well. Our dog loved splashing in all the streams.

Parking filled up before 8 am. We just hiked to the hike from the free lot outside the gate. It added about 4 miles onto the trip.

Beautiful.

Amazing hike today to Lake Isabelle. All the recommendations and suggestions with regards to parking were very helpful from the past comments. We departed Denver at 530am arrived 715am. Obtained one of the last parking spaces. An easy trail with amazing views at every turn. As we arrived at location 7 moose were along side of road. This started our day on a fine note indeed!

Beautiful scenery! This water fall is amazing. The trail is also very well kept up.

Awesome views! Harder than we anticipated but worth every step we took.

hiking
1 day ago

Listed well as a moderate hike. The views were breathtaking, and there are plenty of areas to stop and rest, if needed. As already mentioned, arrive very early (around 7AM) or later in the afternoon (after 5) to avoid the crowd and find parking. Definitely a hiking must for anyone visiting or in the area!

It was amazing! Very well marked trail. The lakes are evenly spaced out so you hike a little, then see a beautiful lake, hike a little more, see another one, and then hike a little further and you’re lead to the grand finally. Definitely recommend! Very rewarding!

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike, definitely tough! Lots and lots of "stairs". View at the top is totally worth it Go early, we started at 7:30 on Saturady morning and as we were going back down, the trail was packed with people heading up.

hiking
1 day ago

Proposed to my gf at the Royal Arch, beautiful view that shouldn’t be missed out on!

Get there early! Parking lot will fill up around 8AM. Got there around 9AM a few weeks ago and we waited in line at the pay station for over an hour. Worth the wait if you have the time!

Bring sunscreen and plenty of water. Pretty crowded tail. If you don’t want to add time to the hike try to park at Long Lake. I

hiking
1 day ago

As a first timer to the Rockies this was a nice easy introduction to the park, but start early to avoid high traffic. Arrived at trailhead around 6:30 on Saturday 7/14 and lot was half full. If you want more challenge and a more beautiful scenic lake, take the trail to Lake Haiyaha where the trail splits at Dream Lake, either after Dream or coming back from Emerald. The views going up are more breathtaking and more iconic than what you would see going to Emerald.

mountain biking
2 days ago

excellent to get back into riding after the winter months, take it easy and enjoy the view!

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike for views over Estes. The lake was a little disappointing. Definitely start early to avoid the crowds.

hiking
2 days ago

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
2 days ago

Lovely hike with great payoff. I have hiked this 3 times and done the 11-mile snowshoe to it when the access road was closed. Regarding the post for the hike on 6/29/18, you ***CAN*** use your RMNP annual pass, but you need to tell the people manning he Brainard Lake entry station that it is an "Access Pass" or "Interagency Pass". Any of the Federal annual or lifetime passes will work at Brainard. You just need to classify them as stated above because many of the people manning the entry booths only understand the passes when they are classified as above. I know this from experience and also received this exact info directly from the Boulder Ranger District.

Great hike but can get a bit crowded

Nice, short hike. The views are awesome.

Awesome trail! We started on the East side of the mountain and went up Dakota Ridge trail. It was a nice hike but very hot outside starting at around 9 am. I would suggest getting there earlier and bring water.

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!

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
3 days ago

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

Very heavily travelled trail, the view is worth it, but go early. most hikers get to the Arch and hang out having lunch etc, so it is very crowded at the top.

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