Explore Colorado 9/18 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Colorado 9/18 Map
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Love this hike! Took off 12/9 at about 930a. I had spikes with me in case but never took them out of my pack. Wind was down and sun out so a thermal undershirt and fleece jacket was enough to keep the cold off. I had gloves and ski cap and took both off at points during hike as well. Few icy patches but lots of exposed ground in the non shady spots. Always see wildlife around the big open field before heading into trees. Some good inclines but the switchbacks keep the elevation manageable. Great views of the Fall River side of park.

snowshoeing
4 hours ago

Beautiful
Doable in regular hiking boots
Went on a Sunday at 11am and was moderately traveled
Lots of available parking

this was a fun and challenging hike for a flat lander. the snow added an extrsma challenge. I took off at about 10 AM so it was still cold. I didnt have much of a problem with footing. I only had hiking boots on, no spikes. it was ok going up, but on the way down, about 1 PM it there were some slick spots which just meant I had to slow down. the views at the summit were worth the hike. there is a great view of longs peak, the only 14er in RMNP.

hiking
1 day ago

I always love this hike! Today was probably the most windy day I've had there thus far, at the lakes, but still beautiful! I started out around 9:40am, plenty of parking in the lot. I used my crimp-ons until just after nymph lake, then switched over to the snowshoes. There were quite a few people making it to Emerald lake with just the crimp-ons. That said there was a lot of post holing as well! I would recommend having your snowshoes with you. And to Arizona ( just moved here from AZ) have fun playing this winter! and maybe I'll see you snowshoeing next time;)!

Great hike. Wore spikes to nymph lake then switched to snowshoes for rest of way. Trail was fairly well packed but a step off the trail and you quickly realize how deep the snow is. Got to dream lake and some hikers were ice skating. Walked across frozen lake and pressed to emerald.. some elevations getting to dream and emerald but nothing too long. Wind was down which made for a nice walk in the woods.

hiking
5 days ago

Just up there today, winds out of the west with gusts that had to be 60 mph. Hike out past nymph lake was calm, but approaching dream lake winds really picked up.. high drifting past dream lake, without snow shoes you can’t get beyond the last hundred yards or so to emerald lake. Still a beautiful and awesome hike despite the winds. Only got up to 9F, gear held up nicely

Super easy and super beautiful.

Beautiful hike for all skill levels.

snowshoeing
7 days ago

Nice show shoe, plenty of snow now.

Wind was intense once we reached Dream Lake! Got out of the wind by staying along the bank in the trees, but would've been much more difficult if we didn't have snowshoes.

Decent views. Cold around the lakes so don't quit. Snow shoes make it easier after dream lake. Emerald lake is gorgeous

Ok trail nice when you get to the lake
Easy trail

Nice pit stop on the way to black lake

All right trail nice views at times

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful and Cold with a straight west wind. All three lakes are frozen solid but remain breathtaking. Trail is hard packed up to Dream Lake, but leg up to Emerald is looser. Can be done with micro spikes, but changed over to my snowshoes and going was much easier.

snowshoeing
12 days ago

Went on 11/26 and there was great snow! We used crampon spikes with 2/3” spikes and could only get to Dream Lake. The snow got knee deep after that so we had to turn around but snowshoers continued. Beginning of the trail had wide, packed snow but got progressively looser and more narrow as the trail went on. Beautiful views and great fun!

snowshoeing
12 days ago

Beautiful trail, great views, definitely needed the crampons/snow shoes to finish the full 3!

Hiked in August and it was super crowded but still beautiful! We saw all age ranges and abilities on this hike. Awesome views.

hiking
17 days ago

Nice Thanksgiving Day hike! As others have said, parts are icy and snowy particularly the last third or so. Since we didn’t have poles or yaktrax, we just had to slow down. Great views of Estes!

Particularly good on a post snow winters day. The view is worth it

Cold and windy late Sept hike. But the fall colors were just gorgeous.

18 days ago

Nice, well maintained trail very close to Estes Park. Nov 20 there were many slick icy spots, but nothing too treacherous. After the single water crossing (frozen), the steps get steeper, but not terrible. Gem Lake itself is unimpressive, but turn around to get a great view of Estes Park and the scenery beyond. Worth the hike!

hiking
19 days ago

Lots of snow on trail but was easy to walk. Beautiful day yesterday!

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful easy trail, but very popular among tourists so get there early!

LOVED this trail. snowy, icy, and absolutely beautiful! not much effort.

hiking
20 days ago

Amazingly beautiful on a quiet Wednesday. The trail was icy in many spots, especially between Dream Lake and Emerald Lake. We had crampons that made the hike a lot easier!

Great view, really easy loop.

snowshoeing
20 days ago

The snow was amazing. Not a long hike, really easy and the scenery was beautiful. We had fun thrashing fresh powder since we wore our snowshoes. There was a lot of traffic but some parking was still available.

snowshoeing
21 days ago

Great beginning trail for snowshoeing! We went from the Bear Lake trailhead to make the trip a little longer, and it was beautiful and peaceful!

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful hike! Snowing the day I did it, microspikes came in handy.

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