Explore Colorado Trip 2017 - 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 in the snow! Great scenery along the way! Many folks had skis or snow shoes, but I was just fine with crampons and poles. I had a really hard time with the lungs of flatlander, but you feel awesome when you come off that last ridge.

This was my first hiking experience in Colorado and I’ll never forget it. There are several scenic places along the trail that would each be worthy destinations. The last of the lakes on the trail, Emerald Lake, is a generous reward for a moderate half-day hike.

hiking
2 days ago

What an amazing view at the top! This is a great hike to take visitors to. It's not too long, not too hard, and such an amazing payoff at the end!

As always, start early!

hiking
2 days ago

Easy, but not just a walk. Great views of surrounding mountains, wildlife, and the falls. Saw elk, mule deer, and wild turkey. The cross trail from Black Canyon Trail to MacGregor Trail is NOT marked. I ended up going past a little, followed map back to spot... there is a signpost at the intersection shown on the map referencing the clearly visible turn to ‘Pear’ climbing area and also possible, very faint evidence of a social trail where the trail is supposed to be. I crossed there... it felt more like crossing a field, but it quickly connected to MacGregor Trail (starts out as dirt road which leads to additional trail to the falls).

This trail starts out going downhill so it's harder to come back than to get to the falls. It can get really busy and the views of the falls aren't really great. You can't get far enough away to really see well. I think the hike is worth the effort but not something I'm dying to do again, like Mills Lake.

Extremely popular trail. We started at 6:30 in the morning and didn't have to share Emerald Lake with too many people, so going early will earn you a little more serenity. It's gorgeous all the way there.

RMNP is one of my favorite places. This hike was beautiful from beginning to end, I was unable to see the actual falls because of the packed snow. We hiked in a Blizzard the entire time and also lost the trail because it covered peoples footsteps. You can actually climb up to the falls because it is frozen and covered in snow. The sign for Alberta Falls is very small, so you can pass it if not attentive. Bathrooms on the trail head : )

Easy trail. Such a beautiful park. Sunny and cool today.

Hiked this on a Monday, 4/16 ~0930. Only shared the trail with 1 other couple but the lot was filled by the time we left. Microspikes absolutely needed, gorgeous hike! Can be difficult to find the trail at first, just take a left at the huge boulder after Nymph

hiking
3 days ago

We hiked this with 4 kids aged 5 through 9. We made many stops along the way but was delightfully enjoyed by all. We were there in July, the trail was crowded but less so as we passed the first two lakes. We swam in the lake, it was wicked cold, and then basked in sun on the large rocks to dry off. Great times by all.

Tourist spot, not a good place for a secluded nature hike. But it's very short and there are plenty of ponderosa pines to smell. Plus, the views at the top are pretty nice.

My wife and I where looking for a nice trail to hike on and decided to tackle this Maxwell Falls Trail. We really loved it. This is an easy hike through the forest for anyone looking to get out and have a bit of fun.

Took my sons dogs on this great hike . No snow . No people . Lovely & close enough to Denver

snowshoeing
8 days ago

(8 p.m. - 11 p.m.) Snowing at Bear Lake parking lot and all the way through Emerald Lake. Nymph and Dream both had water on top of the ice and had to walk along their shores. Used crampons from the parking up to Dream Lake and then switched to snowshoes. Wind has always picked up at the start of Dream Lake, with the snow visibility was poor, needed to use a head lamp to and from Emerald Lake. It was a good trip!

Great for most levels of ability. No need for snow shoes, was just fine in microspikes, probably wouldn’t recommend without. Beautiful views throughout the hike.

It's still really icy in places - we definitely needed yaktrax and/or poles to manuever some places. The falls were frozen, but parts of the stream we're thawed enough for our pup to play in. It wasn't horribly difficult, so our leisurely Sunday hike was great!

Short and sweet. Very pleasant. 9am Sunday with very few other people on the trail. Bike trail seemed more popular. Great picnic facilities, too.

Beautiful, fun hike! Did on 4/11 and traction definitely helped, especially coming down. You definitely don’t need snowshoes right now though. The trail is pretty easy to follow for the most part. Just make sure when leaving Nymph Lake, you go on the left side of the rock, not the right.

Words can’t describe the beauty of the entire hike. Not a bad hike at all good for everybody

hiking
15 days ago

Very beautiful area, you’ll definitely need micro spikes and trekking poles, it made a world of difference even on the easy bear lake hike. Unfortunately we got lost after nymph lake and had to turn back. Wish there was some visual marker after nymph lake.

The mountain shop is 30 minutes away, not 12 minutes as one reviewer posted so best to get the spikes first.

hiking
19 days ago

Went 3/24 and was still snow covered. Only had tennis shoes and was doable, but we were slipping a little bit on the way down. Absolutely gorgeous trail though. Competitive parking be prepared to wait or get there early

hiking
19 days ago

We hiked 4/1. There was a group of 6 of us new to hiking in CO, in snow. We hiked around Bear Lake as a test run and realized despite waterproof and good hiking shoes, microspikes is definitely a game changer. The ranger suggested we rented then at Estes Park Mountain Shop (12min away). Definitely worth it! They're $8/day and makes a world of difference. With that we decided to try the Emerald Lake Trail which has beautiful and breathtaking views! The view is so worth it when you get to the end. You get to pass Nymph Lake and Dream Lake on the way. Trail is very snowy and icy, a lot of the snow already packed from other hikers. General good rule we found is stick left going up and stick right going down until you get to Dream Lake. This hike is such a great hike for us snow hiking newbies and really gave us a great first start in hiking in snow. Trekking poles were really helpful for us and I would recommend. Microspikes I would highly recommend. Despite the wind and cold, we were able to hammock at the end to enjoy the wonderful view. It took us 2 hours (took 30 min break for lunch) to get there but that's with many stops because most of us were use to not hiking at a higher elevation and the steep parts winded a lot of us. We also stopped to take off layers since we were getting hot and great spots to take scenic pictures!

hiking
20 days ago

Very icy trails, definitely will want spikes. Ice is thin at the lakes outlets/inlets. Saw a few people get wet. (3/31/18)

Beautiful! Very slippery. You can make it without micro spikes but choose your footing very carefully and avoid the rounded frozen snow on certain trails (tons of people slipping hard!). Once you’re flat and able to walk on the lake, you can’t beat the incredible views especially if it’s clear!

Amazing hike! We did the hike in late march and while there was snow on the ground it was actually pretty warm, around 55. We were in t-shirts and so we're a lot of others. The falls is frozen until May(ish) so there isn't much to see falls wise and it's nearly impossible to find unless you know what you are looking for. Only the first part is a loop then it's and out and back to the falls. Once you are on your way back from the falls, you catch the other side of the loop. From the parking lot start on the left trail going up!Over all though amazing!

short hike, lots of stairs but a beautiful view. I suggest not going on weekend when it's crowded. actually it's better to go to Cheyenne Cañon on weekdays rather than weekends. gorgeous place to visit.

snowshoeing
21 days ago

Love this hike! Winter or summer. Moderate and BEAUTIFUL views.

hiking
21 days ago

this hike is still very snowy in the spring, but it isn’t too hard and offers a rewarding view at the end. don’t forget shoes with good traction.

hiking
23 days ago

Did this 3/29. Lake was still frozen over so you could walk over it. Can say much about the views is it was a white out the entire time. I had snow shoes but many had nothing at all. I would recommend at least micro spikes.

Great Hike...but hard to tell where the trail actually is!

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