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19 hours ago

I would recommend using the Park-n-Ride option as the trailhead parking fills quickly. The shuttle runs every 15 min or so from the lot to the trailhead and back again. Plenty of bathrooms, which is handy when spending a full day there. From bear lake trailhead there are 3 lakes you’ll pass along the way. Watch for wildlife as I saw a female elk off to the side last week.

Amazing hike. We just completed his today and hit both peaks. Shadow Canyon's provides a bit more to see, and is just as difficult of a climb. Don't underestimate this one. Though it's low in altitude, you still truck up 3,000 feet and, likewise, bang your knees up on the way down those 3,000 feet. The trail is a bit difficult to follow when the elevation begins to pick up, but it's pretty hard to get lost. To avoid our big mistake, do an out and back if you follow this trail; the loop around can lead you about five miles away from the parking lot. Thank sweet baby Jesus for Uber. Either way, awesome views. Bring plenty of water. My wife and I went through three liters and a 24 oz Gatorade, but, again, we did both summits. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes and bears. We ran into two rattlesnakes on the side of the trail and word spread quick about two black bears roaming further down the trail. Nothing to worry about, though. Except for the ten gallons of sweat that poured out of me. It needs to be winter already. Get out and get it done! Not too difficult and spaced out really well. The tricky part comes at the very end. The climbing is a bit sketch if you want to get the views, but totally worth the risk.

Great for a hike with kids! Not too long nor difficult

Very cool to see the tornado damage along the trail as well, there are signs pointing it out.

One of my favorite hikes. Beautiful and fun! you will see definitely be able to see wildlife there. Expect a bit of climbing. Great view at the top.

backpacking
1 day ago

Beautiful

Easy and worth the trip.

Incredible views at the top!

Great hike with spectular views, but it is strenuous.

This was by far the most beautiful place that I have ever seen. We camped near the parking lot the night before and woke up before dawn to start hiking (we had a 6 hour drive back home). We started hiking at 5:15 and got to the lower lake at 8:00. We're not great hikers either. This time included many breaks to catch our breath and we stopped to eat breakfast as well. The trail itself to the lower lake wasn't too hard. I actually thought it was rather easy. The trail to the second lake had a lot steeper inclines and loose rocks. but it was definitely manageable. The trail to the third lake was dirt with a slight incline. The lower lake is so great, and I HIGHLY recommend not stopping at that. Even if you don't go all the way to the second lake, at least start heading there because looking down in the first lake from above is insanely gorgeous and worth the trip. It took us about an hour to get to the second lake, and maybe 15 minutes from there to get to the third. Overall, we were back to the campsite by noon, including many stops for photos and just taking in the view. I would go back 100 times.

This was a great hike filled with wildflowers and alpine lakes. The beginning of the hike is mainly through the woods and wasn’t as bad as I thought based on reviews here. Still took plenty of breaks but the trail was well maintained. I found this same section much harder on the way down due to loose rocks. Anyways, we had planned to sleep over but we made it to lower lake in less than 3 hours, so we just decided to drop our packs and hike all the way to upper lakes. You won’t be able to see all 3 lakes at once unless you hike the pass (which we didn’t do). Decided to just make it a day hike since it went faster than expected. I thought this hike was moderate and I’m 6.5 months pregnant and don’t live at altitude. Overall, it’s beautiful and can definitely be a day hike. Again the way out was worse than in due to loose rocks. Poles are essential on this hike and definitely wouldn’t recommend it if it’s raining heavily.

Took my family of teens up to Hiahaya and loved it! They thought the boulders were a ton of fun to climb on. So glad we went. Less people on this trail so more quiet to sit and soak in the serenity of it all. This is definitely one trail we will earmark for a return trip.

Easy hiking. At first, I was underwhelmed, seeing mostly whitish rock formations. Later, we came to beautiful gold, burnt orange, and pinkish red “painted rocks”. Definitely worth a stop off the main road for a nice walk. It is a little hot and dry back among the rocks...take a bottle of water.

7/18/18: Stunning views! There are so many beautiful sights to see on this trail and I would highly recommend it. It’s worth the effort to make it all the way to Emerald Lake at the end. The trail is definitely moderate difficulty and being from a low-elevation place made it even harder for my wife and I.
Word to the wise, take all the comments about arriving early seriously. We arrived right at 7am on a Wednesday and the parking lot was 3/4th full at the Bear Lake Trailhead. It was completely full by 7:30 and cars were still pouring in looking for spots. The trails weren’t too crowded at 7, but by 9 there were tons of people on the trails and we frequently were either passing people or getting passed. There was always a steady stream of people coming in the other direction as we were descending. There are lots of families, big groups, and elderly people, so if you want to avoid that, start hiking no later than 7am on weekdays. Keep in mind that it does take a while to drive from the park entrance to the Bear Lake Trailhead/parking lot.

My boyfriend and I were here in the fall of 2017. I absolutely loved this hike! Though the lower portion of the trail was fairly crowded it was still really nice. I was shocked by the number of people hiking in sneakers, pull overs, or no jackets or hats, no water, etc. It was pretty cold/windy and icy already on some spots of the trail. By the time me got up to Emerald lake the wind was vicious but SO worth it. The sun was setting and made for some epic pictures. We are returning to RMNP in a few weeks. Can’t wait to walk this trail in the summer.

Had the best time hiking this today! This was my tenth fourteener and probably has been my favorite so far. Not super hard and the trail was very well defined and easy to follow. Views were some of the prettiest I have seen! It also isn’t as popular as Elbert which I did last summer so it was nice not having the trail be super crowded. Saw some mountain goats as well. 10/10 recommend!

Loved this trail. It does get fairly busy during the later morning/mid-day time. I got there around 9:30 am and there wasn't much parking spaces left and by the time we came back out there were people parked all up and down the side of the road as well. The hike was pretty easy and super super beautiful at the top. It only took a couple hours to go up and back, we spent a good amount of time hanging out at the top of the lookout.

The road up to the trail head is pretty rough! Its all dirt and there's a lot of wash out so it gets very bumpy. The road is pretty steep and has a lot of blind corners. I had quite a few rude people come flying down on while I was going up and it was a little scary, especially since I drive a large truck and cant easily pull off on the side of the road. Don't be one of those people that tries to go flying in and out of there.

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.

Beautiful and so fun to fish at, really enjoyed it

Was awesome!! Done 11 and this was my favorite.

walking
4 days ago

I was underwhelmed at first, a easy trail and decent views. Then, I got to the main rock area!!! It is gorgeous! I spent probably two hours wandering around in the formation, could have spent more. Super pretty, bring a camera for sure. Definitely an easy trail, could wear sandals.

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.

Hmm... all trails is off!!
1. It’s 10.53 miles
2. It’s not hard, more moderate. If you’re out of shape, then it’ll probably be a little hard.

hiking
5 days 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!

Definitely a workout (step-style over rocks and roots in the canyon), but worth the views! Also quite easy (once you’re up there) to shoot over to Bear Peak. A lot of sun on the meadow trail area until the ascent, which is shaded for most of the canyon until the switchbacks leading up to the crest splitting the trail between South Boulder Peak and Bear Peak. Had to push myself a bit, but loved the vistas! Best to do on a weekday. I can see how it may get crowded. Barely anyone around today (Monday).

Did it for sunrise, awesome. Try to time it to arrive up top before sunrise as the colors start showing about 20 min before official sunrise time.

Beautiful.

hiking
6 days 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!

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