Explore Colorado July - 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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hiking
3 hours 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.

Started at the trailhead at 3:30am. Absolutely incredibly place to watch the sunrise. We made it to the peak by 5:50. It was so perfect. I was surprised by the complete lack of wind above the tree line when we hiked. like others have mentioned the last portion of the hike is a pretty steep scramble but was definitely worth it. We decided to go down the southeast face to drop in on Little Blue lake and turn the hike into a loop. That was a pretty sketchy and steep descent and something I'll probably only do once. The whole hike was so overwhelmingly incredible and one I'll remember forever.

Hard work! Sore feet to be expected

Gorgeous views. Easy half mile hike. Perfect for kids.

Absolutely beautiful! Got there at 6:30 and had to park at Bear Lake. There is a friendly marmot at the Lake of Glass and on the way back down a herd of Elk with their babies were crossing the Loch. Truly a remarkable trail. Be prepared for elevation gains and pack bug spray!!

Such a beautiful hike- easily one of my favorites!

hiking
9 hours ago

Fantastic hike! Leave early to avoid heat and crowds. We camped at Longs Peak Campground and the next morning walked to the Chasm/Longs Peak Trailhead. Started at 7:30am and meandered the way up. Traffic was OK. Many of the Longs Peak hikers had begun a few hours earlier than us. Had fun scrambling at the end just before the lake. We stayed at the lake watching climbers, eating lunch, and relaxing then began the trek down around 1pm and it was really, really crowded. Cool weather at the lake. Hot on the way down above the tree line, cooler once in the trees. Beautiful views all along the trail! We stopped so many times to take in the scenery. Really great enjoyable hike! July 2018.

Steep ascent. Brilliant sunrise over Dream Lake.

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
13 hours 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.

15 hours ago

Hiked Ida in June and there was a lot of snow under the treeline. Took the group I was with about 2 hours to get out of the treeline. Once we were out, the hike was beautiful. The wildlife is abundant and the views are awesome. Ida is a little more tough than moderate I would say because she has a lot of false summits and it's an uphill climb most of the way. You feel like you're close, then there is more. Well worth it though, just be ready for a good challenge.

Awesome hike. Climbing the waterfall was probably my favorite part. I felt like we were discovering a new land as silly as that sounds. My brother and I loved it. Great hike.

Beautiful lake after passing waterfalls.several hikers saw bears. Was pretty crowded

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!

Crowded but so beautiful. Not much of a hike at all.

Honestly one of the best hikes I have ever been on. The elevation takes some getting used to if your like me (from North Carolina) so be sure to take some extra water with you. Went late afternoon, got on the trail around 3:15 because the parking lot was full. Got to sky pond around 6:00 without making any stops.
Trail is pretty rugged toward the end, but if you enjoy climbing, it shouldn’t be an issue for you. Be sure to bring bug spray because they will GET YOU!!! Also a change of shoes/socks (or water shoes if you want to swap). My feet got soaked climbing up the waterfall getting to the end of the trail and soggy feet can be a bit annoying after awhile.
All and all, probably one of the best hikes I have ever been on! Highly recommend!

Easy hike to see a great waterfall.

love this hike! My first hike rated hard! It was challenging, but we did it! Beautiful! So many waterfalls, wildflowers, and 3 lakes! This hike won my heart!

backpacking
1 day ago

Just spent 2 nights up here. Gorgeous in every direction. Tons of wildflowers!! Lots of fun exploring around the basin, Snow Lake and Thunder Pass. Lots of traffic coming in when we left Friday. For more solitude do mid week. Didn’t see area mama moose and baby, but did see a herd of elk moving through at dawn.

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
1 day ago

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

Easy to moderate, gets your muscles working but nothing too strenuous. Maybe not the best for young children in some parts for inexperienced/non-local people like myself but still doable!

Great hike! Bring your National Parks Pass and no need to pay the $11 fee. A ton of mosquitos once you get to the lake, so bring bug spray.

Great 4th if July hike. Fairly easy and well maintained.

A quick and easy walk. I’d recommend doing this as a cool down from the Emerald Lake Trail.

hiking
2 days ago

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

incredible views and easy hike! wish it was less crowded with tourists but the rangers manage the area and parking well!

Beautiful easy hike and awesome views. We hiked Cascade Falls first and decided to head to Monarch Lake and was so happy we did. Beautiful!!

hiking
2 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!

Such an amazing hike! I made the trek out to RMNP on a Tuesday morning, though made the mistake of getting there at 10am. Took a bit of time to find parking since everything was full (get there early!!!) but eventually parked and hit the trailhead at 10:30am. It took me 2 hours to get to lake of glass and then another .5 mile to get to sky pond. Beautiful views, definitely worth the longer hike! I went via bear lake trail so it ended up being a 10 mile hike total. Took me 5 hours total with stops and breaks for lunch. Trails weren’t super packed Tuesday morning but the parking lots definitely were, so just beware if you think you’ll luck out with a weekday hike.

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