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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beautiful trail, and an easy home for all skill levels.

Beautiful! Pretty easy hike with some incredible views.

Walked this on 9/20. We hadn’t researched it so we didn’t know what to expect, but it was probably the highlight of our day on the Trail Ridge. It was incredibly windy and cold. We got to the top and enjoyed climbing over the rocks up to the Memorial index. On the way down we saw a snow storm roll in. I thought it was rain coming towards us but it was snow pellets. Near white out conditions for about 15 mins. On our way back down a coyote crossed the path in front us, which was a surprise. We waited out the snow storm in the car. Really recommend, but prepare for the wind!!

Loved it. Had to take the shuttle to the trailhead due to crowds. Definitely had some people on the trail but it didn’t impede the hike. Emerald Lake felt good on tired feet!

My wife and I arrived about 2:20 pm and found parking that Sunday at the trail head (9/16/18). It was a little packed on the trail, but as the hike continued the crowds thinned out. I think dream lake would be a better place to sit and have lunch rather than at nymph lake or emerald lake. Nymph lake had a lot of people while emerald lake didn’t have much room. This is a great fast hike with a very well built trail.

Gorgeous trail once you get past Nymph Lake.

een prachtige wandeling. geweldige vergezichten. wel veel klimmen maar het is het zeker waard.

The actual hiking trail is short but spending a few hours at the Alluvial fan is worth it!

This is a great place to scramble around rocks all afternoon! Kids and teens will love this too. In early Summer the river will be roaring making it tough to cross to the other side without walking to the road. In the fall the water is generally low which allows you to hike wayyy far up the canyon.

I recommend wearing sturdy shoes for walking along the rocks but it is nice to bring water shoes if you plan on wading in the river. We always climb up on top of the huge boulders on the left side of the river and have lunch overlooking the valley. Beautiful views and a fun afternoon.

Meh. Nicely built trail. Views at the top were pleasant. But the road-crossings made this feel like I wasn’t really off the beaten path. I never found the ladder?! And I didn’t find the trail to be nearly as hard as others describe. I carried poles but never even took them out of my backpack.

hiking
2 days ago

Although this is definitely a crowded hike, the magnificent views around every turn made it worth it! All three lakes were beautiful. We made it to the Park & Ride area (on a Tuesday) about 10am and luckily found one of the last parking spots.

I do see everyone saying this is an easy hike. It is easy in that it has a well maintained path and is easy to follow. However, it is mostly stairs and uphill! So if you have bad knees or are out of shape, keep that in mind. This is not a “stroll along a path” type of easy. If you are a flat lander or from sea level, be mindful that stairs plus elevation will tire you out quickly. We saw all ages and shapes and sizes of people taking this hike and a lot were struggling. Take rests on the way up - no harm in resting and taking in the views! I recommend plenty of water and hiking shoes. Leave the flips flops at home and be prepared for high winds at Emerald Lake.

on Emerald Lake Trail

3 days ago

Gorgeous trail! The leaves are changing! Beautiful views along the way, it was very peaceful. Went today with my husband. I think it helped (as far as foot traffic) to be here on a weekday and also that we started a little after 5 pm—we only saw a handful of people. It was an awesome early evening hike for our first day here at RNMP!

We had a great time on this relatively easy trek. Trail mix fell into the Lake but we were able to retrieve it, and stayed dry in the smoothie container. But soooo many people in rmnp we will look for other places or maybe go once the weather detours most

Three stars because this trail is way too packed. You'll need to get to the trailhead between 6-8am although people tend to park on the side of the road. This is a moderate trail in the true sense. The beginning is mostly an incline and there are a series of ups and downs. You can wander a bit off the trail on certain parts for some amazing view points of the mountains. The flow and intensity of the fall will depend on the time of year you do it. Enjoy folks!

Fun little hike! Wasn’t expecting the stairs, so keep that in mind, it is a very man developed trail and there are a lot of steps, some are slippery because of gravel. Brought my 2 & 4 YOs and my 12 YO dog, and they loved it, we made it all the way to the top! We had a blast sliding down the “slippery” rocks at the top and enjoying the beautiful views!

3 days ago

Great for tourists

Probably the most rewarding easy hike suitable for the entire family in the park. My 3 year old daughter was able to do the majority of the hike on her own short of a few steep stretches towards the end. With about 0.9 miles between each of the three lakes on the trail, it makes for regular breaks and helps keep everyone motivated for the next stop. Each lake offers something a bit different with all having a slightly different appeal. Great hike to share with new visitors of all abilities and a perfect entry level hike to RMNP.

hiking
4 days ago

Great trails and views on the way to Dream Lake and then Emerald Lake... get there early as I had to use the park and ride at 7:00 am but it was very quick and free.

Great trail, but definitely a workout with lots of steep inclines and rocky terrain to climb up and over. We went clockwise starting on the Gregory Canyon trailhead in the parking lot and then meeting up with the Flagstaff trail. Saw some mule deer, but more importantly, heads up for bears! Not-so-little guy was greeting people at the parking lot towards later afternoon hours, so be aware. Also parking is very limited and there is a $5 fee if your not registered in Boulder or have a pass.

Beautiful trail, well maintained and gorgeous views throughout the whole hike. I would say it is more of an easy hike than a moderate, although the altitude coupled with a lot of stair climbing towards the end did take my breath away a few times (as someone who is used to 800ft above sea level, this is a big change for me).

We arrived to the trail head around 7:30am on a Friday morning and the parking lot was only about 25% full. The hike up was not crowded at all but it was getting significantly busier on the way down. I would suggest starting at 7.

I actually hiked this trail in the middle of winter and only saw 1 other hiker and her dog. It was quite peaceful and serene. The waterfall was frozen over and a perfect place to set up my hammock and have a snack. Not a hard hike even with some snow cover on the trail. A great winter acclimization hike for newbies.

Nice walk! Pretty easy but lovely and a nice morning walk that is not far from Denver! Hiked 8/16/18.

Nice little hike. Decent views from the ridge up above the falls. Popular trail, so it pays to get there on the earlier side. If you are going to bag your dog poop, please remember to actually pick up the bag; the trail is littered with good intentions. ; )

Great hike overall! Parking was easy. There are a few points when the trail was unclear, but we were back on the right trail pretty quickly. Took our dog and it was good for him too! Some pretty exposed parts where it got very warm, bring your sunscreen! Awesome views of the changing leaves!

Response to post below concerned about little boys carving names in teepee on Horse Thief Falls trail: I was there yesterday, saw the teepee and several marks made by past hikers. The teepee is not sacred, looks like it was made by someone with some time on their hands, using dead wood from the surrounding area.

Carving names into something that's not alive, nor an artifact, is not akin to harming live trees. One could make the same argument about whomever built the teepee in the first place. Shouldn't that person have been equally aghast about that?

I'm glad she didn't scold the mom in front of her little boys. We all have personal opinions and are usually better off keeping them to ourselves. Rating the trail as a 4 due solely to a personal reaction to someone else's behavior is no reflection on the quality of the trail. It is lovely and serene!

While not evident at first glance, the trail continues beyond the series of falls for a while. Absolutely beautiful!

Easy and short hike. A lot of people in the trail, but the trail is large enough to make your way in front of others. Nice lakes.

Was a fun hike with a beautiful lake! At the time I went the water was cold but clear!

Beautiful and easy hike. Amazing in the fall.

hiking
6 days ago

I loved this trail; I was there with the GirlTrek StressProtest weekend. Took awhile to get used to the altitude.... I’m from Southeastern PA.... but it was worth it for the gorgeous scenery & wonderful fresh air.

Beautiful hike with amazing aspen colors (went 9/14). The hike to Dream Lake was really mild, then it’s just lots of stairs to get to Emerald Lake, completely worth it! Definitely the best lake you pass of the four. The only reason this is getting 4/5 is because of the crowds. Even on a weekend it’s super busy, not everyone knows Trail etiquette so some people never let anyone pass. Finding parking can also be a hassle. There is a shuttle available from other lots.
The hike itself is awesome, the popularity while understandable is not ideal.

This walk is great for any experience of hiker. The lake is beautiful & today the colors around the lake were great. There were a lot of people on the trail today also. Very busy trail.

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