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.

colorado Map
VIEW FULL MAP

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.

loved it absolutely worth it very intense

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.

hiking
11 hours ago

Beautiful and so fun to fish at, really enjoyed it

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
15 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!

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.

Great view at end, but very rock, uneven trail for 90% of the hike..

Beautiful.

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
2 days 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.

hiking
2 days ago

Well worth the hike. Once you have made it to Crater Lake, look for waterfalls way up on side of Mountain.

hiking
2 days ago

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

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.

Great hike but can get a bit crowded

Such a beautiful view from the top of the tower - kids enjoyed climbing on boulders - really a great hike!! One word of caution... if driving from/to Woodland Park - stay on Rampart Range Road... I’m not familiar with the area and our GPS took us on road on the way back down that started our great, but ended up being a 4x4 road by the end.

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!

Really fun moderate trail. In late August/early September you can see ladybugs on the walkway up to the fire tower and the gentleman who runs it is a kind soul and happy to share his knowledge of the surrounding area and history. Beautiful view from the fire tower as well just don’t look down! Ha.

I’m from Northern CA, elevation 700, and had 3 days to adjust to the higher elevation. My husband and I started at 5:55am, it took 85 minutes up. I took my time due to the elevation... and my slight fear of heights. We jogged the trail down, which took 60 minutes. It was a challenge but totally worth it. Start early, lots of water, and enjoy the beauty this adventure has to offer. Anyone in good health can accomplish this trail, pace yourself, everyone was super friendly on the trail. One of the best adventures!

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.

hiking
3 days ago

One of the most amazing places I have been!
Hiked this trail on 7/8. Directions took us up West Dallas Creek and we could not access because it was private property. Make sure to use Dallas Creek road and it is easy to get to from there! The first mile/mile and a half is steep, but the rest of the hike is moderate. Get there earlier because it can get hot hiking up to the lake and also serious thunderstorms roll in around 3pm. Saw some people with one bottle of water... its a moderate/hard hike so make sure you bring plenty of water.
The views are SO worth the hike. The third lake is difficult to get to b/c it is a climb, but it is more secluded and absolutely gorgeous. Sat there and watched people summiting Sneffels and climbing the pass. One of the most amazing places I have been!!

The pinnacle of this hike, the last 143 steps, was meeting 86 year old Billy Ellis who has kept his watch on Colorado for 34 years atop the firefighter lookout. An incredible man and by far the coolest hike I have ever done!

hiking
4 days ago

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

hiking
4 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
4 days ago

Amazing workout! This one is TOUGH! But felt like a great accomplishment when you hit the top. Be sure to bring water. Did this one with my kids 13 and 16. We all loved it.

on Gem Lake Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Not too crowded compared to the other popular trails! Not too challenging, and the summit is just beautiful. You can hang out at the lake for an hour or two before heading back. Very satisfying hike, would recommend!

hiking
4 days ago

Easy, busy, but beautiful for sure

Loved this!! The scenery and rock formations everywhere were spectacular!! Took my 5 kids ages 5-13 . Was a challenge for them in length just because they haven’t done many long ones and it was raining most of the time. Will definitely do again on a dry day! Had a blast and loved the views and rock scrambling you could choose to do. Good elevation gain but plenty of time to get there.

Load More