Explore Colorado Trip 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Grand Lake Monday-Thursday night Tuesday Emerald Lake Moderate 3.1 miles and Lake Haiyaha 3.6 Wednesday Timber Lake Trail Moderate 9.9 miles Thursday Mount Ida Moderate 9.2 miles Other options for Friday Flat top Mountain Hard 8.2 miles Great tundra hike and easiest hike to the Continental Divide (can access it from Grand Lake Side) Friday Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail Hard 8.1 miles Estes Park Friday-Monday night Saturday Longs Peak Hard 13.1 miles Sunday Ouzel Falls Trail Moderate 5 miles Monday Twin Sisters Peak Hard 7.5 miles

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Beautiful trail! Enjoyed being able to see and hear the creek throughout the hike. The falls and cascades impressive. Moose sighting was a bonus.

So beautiful! The most beautiful and the most difficult trail I’ve ever done. It was an all day experience so wear your hiking boots, bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a Camelback of water. SO worth it! The entire trail is beautiful but it’s worth it to keep going until sky pond!
My husband and I are moderately fit but not acclimated to the altitude and it took us 8 hours, we took quite a few breaks to take pictures and enjoy the scenery.

So beautiful! The most beautiful and the most difficult trail I’ve ever done. It was an all day experience so wear your hiking boots, bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a Camelback of water. SO worth it! The entire trail is beautiful but it’s worth it to keep going until sky pond!

hiking
23 hours ago

Amazing trail with small waterfalls alongside while hiking to a huge waterfall. I was there in mid July and it was hot, the water was cold and refreshing, kept me cool the whole time.

Took my family of teens up to Hiahaya and loved it! They thought the boulders were a ton of fun to climb on. So glad we went. Less people on this trail so more quiet to sit and soak in the serenity of it all. This is definitely one trail we will earmark for a return trip.

trail running
1 day ago

First time on this trail. $25 to get into the park but totally worth it. I read previous comments about getting to the trailhead early... do it! I made it to the parking lot around 730am, and it was 3/4 full. Luckily I got a spot and didn’t have to make the trek like others later in the day. Trail is mostly shaded. Moderate incline with some rocky terrain. Go to the waterfalls. It’s a great place to have a snack.

So beautiful! Worth the mini rock climb to get to the top!

Great hike! It’s rated as hard but it’s probably more moderate. Amazing views at the top. Not a ton of parking so get there early.

7/18/18: Stunning views! There are so many beautiful sights to see on this trail and I would highly recommend it. It’s worth the effort to make it all the way to Emerald Lake at the end. The trail is definitely moderate difficulty and being from a low-elevation place made it even harder for my wife and I.
Word to the wise, take all the comments about arriving early seriously. We arrived right at 7am on a Wednesday and the parking lot was 3/4th full at the Bear Lake Trailhead. It was completely full by 7:30 and cars were still pouring in looking for spots. The trails weren’t too crowded at 7, but by 9 there were tons of people on the trails and we frequently were either passing people or getting passed. There was always a steady stream of people coming in the other direction as we were descending. There are lots of families, big groups, and elderly people, so if you want to avoid that, start hiking no later than 7am on weekdays. Keep in mind that it does take a while to drive from the park entrance to the Bear Lake Trailhead/parking lot.

Heed the advice of other reviews, arrive at Bear lake before 6:30 or be condemned to the ride and park. The trail is well maintained and heavily trafficked. Several scenic views are available to stop and have a drink on the ascent. Marmots and Elk abound above the timberline. The only negative is the view from the top is obscured by the flatness of the summit. My advice is to take this hike, but do it as part of your hike to Hallet Peak which offers a better vantage point and very little additional hike.

My boyfriend and I were here in the fall of 2017. I absolutely loved this hike! Though the lower portion of the trail was fairly crowded it was still really nice. I was shocked by the number of people hiking in sneakers, pull overs, or no jackets or hats, no water, etc. It was pretty cold/windy and icy already on some spots of the trail. By the time me got up to Emerald lake the wind was vicious but SO worth it. The sun was setting and made for some epic pictures. We are returning to RMNP in a few weeks. Can’t wait to walk this trail in the summer.

Absolutely beautiful. Had a bit of bouldering to reach the peak.

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.

Beautiful and so fun to fish at, really enjoyed it

Gorgeous hike and one of my all time new favorites. Highly recommend. However, realize it is 5 miles to the summit and not 4 as advertised. Not a problem and WELL worth it. Go early.

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
2 days 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!

Arrived to the trailhead around quarter of 2, but parked at about 2 because of how busy the Glacier Gorge trailhead lot gets. Made it up to Sky Pond around 3:30, motivated by the threat of lightning, but the thunder that had developed by this point cleared up about ten minutes in, and the sun came out, making this one of the most gorgeous hikes I've done. Each hanging lake is worth a hike if its own! The trail is very nicely carved nearly the entire way up except for a small waterfall scramble, which makes it great for trail running down. After spending about an hour at the pond I jogged back down to the parking lot for quarter of 6. Will easily be coming back to show friends this one!

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked this trail on Saturday 7/14 after doing the 3 lake trail to Nymph, Dream, and Emerald. So much prettier at Haiyaha and the trail had more breathtaking views on the way up. Honestly I was slightly disappointed at Emerald after reading all of its reviews, but the extra detour I took to Haiyaha made it worth it. Climbing the giant boulders right before reaching the lake made the hike a bit more challenging, which was what I was looking for. Also don’t miss a beautiful unnamed lake full of boulders to the right of the trail just before reaching Haiyaha.

We did this fabulous trail today. We had to use Bear Lake car park as Glacier Gorge was full at 6:40 am. The walk is excellent and was a great experience. It was more crowded than expected but was interesting in every section. As late 50s Aussies we found it okay in terms of difficulty. The only harder sections were the steps leading up to the final waterfall - and the climb back down the waterfall. The views and vistas were well worth the effort. Start early, take your time, use bug spray and enjoy the beautiful hanging lakes!

Beautiful.

3 days ago

Amazing alpine hike with spectacular mountain views. Ended up seeing multiple elk along the trail and big horns near the summit! First time seeing big horn in the park. Do start early to avoid the crowds and the afternoon showers. Also you’re exposed for the majority of the trek so bring appropriate gear/sunscreen. Definitely would do again!

hiking
3 days 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!

Beautiful trail with picturesque settings. One of my favorite hikes.

hiking
4 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.

Hard work! Sore feet to be expected

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!

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.

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