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Hiked today 1/21. 11 am parking lot only 1/3 full. Almost no wind the whole way. Sunny until Emerald lake, then started snowing. Had micro spikes, but could have made it without them. Trail compact but not icy yet. Was an amazing hike

1-20-19 . Was super windy when we got there and barely stayed. Beautiful hike though and roads getting there were not too bad. Favorite Colorado hike

Fun hike. It was a little sloshy after noon. Microspikes are fairly necessary.

hiking
2 days ago

1.20.19: beautiful, we made it all the way without snowshoes just fine (did have spikes on our boots). It was PAINFULLY windy and cold both at Dream Lake and Emerald Lake (felt like North of the Wall on Game of Thrones) - highly recommend some kind of Buff Neckwear to pull over your face and either ski goggles or at least sunglasses for eye protection.

hiking
2 days ago

Nice little Sunday hike. View at the top is incredible. Justin dropped his phone in a crevice but I saved the day with a long stick. Superb hike for when you want to sweat a little but not die completely.

hiking
4 days ago

Opened the park a few days ago after shuffling around some money. We made it to Dream Lake w/o snow shoes. It was incredibly windy there and everyone we saw turned back - definitely need snow shoes to go from Dream to Emerald. Great hike up to Dream, though.

hiking
snow
4 days ago

This trail is a gem not to long but the views is amazing. Today the trail was covered in snow but very passable and just a treat to hike in mid January. I did have my Yaktrax on for traction but probably did not need them with the amount of snow on the trail. It did cost $9 to get into the park and parking is hard to come by. I got there early 9 AM and did not have an issue.

hiking
6 days ago

Did this hike in mid November and it was amazing. We got hit by a decent amount of snow throughout the entire hike which just added to it. The silence walking on Dream Lake with nothing but the snow falling was stunning! Definitely rent spikes.

Did this hike on 1/11/19 after 6 inches of fresh snow (and still snowing) that morning. It was beautiful in the trees with all the snow. Can’t comment on the views because it was cloudy and snowing hard. Incline was tough with all the fresh snow, would recommend spikes!!

Did this hike on 1/15/2019 in the late afternoon. Still completely snow covered from 1/11 snowfall. We did not have spikes/yaktrax and still completed this hike with our dog with relative ease. Rather slick on the packed snow in places but overall made it up okay. Difficulty is moderate I would say especially with the packed snow. At the top there is rock scrambles to get to the views but it was worth it. Beautiful short hike with the snow cover. Good views at the top after the rock scramble.

on Emerald Lake Trail

9 days ago

I tried to go there today but the road is closed during government shutdown

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful views! Bring some micro spikes because the top has some pretty icy spots right now.

Great hike! Beautiful views throughout this short hike near Boulder. Hop over to Instagram @2_Summit_Up or my website here2summitup.wordpress.com to see more pictures of this awesome adventure.

It’s pretty, but if you’re not into touristy, I’d stray.

snowshoeing
20 days ago

The snow on the trail is packed so it is easily visible although completely covered. Trail is not overly difficult and the views along the way are spectacular.

Fun bit of exploring. Read the signs about the historic hotel site . . . Colorado's history is fascinating.

Spikes required in winter, but the trail has plenty of traffic that snowshoes are probably overkill. Lovely even in winter. Arrive super early, the line for parking when we left was outrageous.

Should mention that all these in boulder open space seem to be fee $ stations :(

Well maintained trail. Gets icy so pack your micro spikes. The brass rattle snake near the trailhead is unsettling when you accidentally sit next to it. Easy trail to get to from the boulder area.

hiking
29 days ago

Completed this in part with Dream lake. Really slippery and busy. We arrived at trailhead lot a little before 7 and it was half full. When we were done, there was a line about a half mile long with cars waiting to get in.

hiking
29 days ago

What an amazing trail! The view points are unreal. My wife and I completed this in late October and some crampons were definitely needed!

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Nice little hike any time of year, just be prepared with snowshoes if a fresh snow or spikes during winter time.

Good low-country hike, already ice on the trail so microspikes are useful. Nice views of the continental divide from the top, especially if you go up to the left on a small offshoot from the loop after the designated lookout. Interesting little hotel structures left from about 100 years ago!

hiking
1 month ago

Super beautiful and incredibly easy! We went 12/21 and didn’t snowshoe. The snow was packed enough on the trail, but if you took one step off you’d be able knee deep in snow. So I’d recommend bringing a pair!

The views were flawless and it’s a great, easy hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Hey Guys,

This was a pretty amazing trip. Although it cannot compete with my June 2017 trip I took with family and a real close friend.

Today, I left Estes Park near 9am and arrived at the trail head shortly after to a parking lot of maybe 10 cars and 20 degrees most of the trip. The road up to the trail head had some really good ice patches so just watch your speed.

I did not need to use my snow shoes or micro spikes along any part of the journey. I did use my trek poles which may have offset the need for my spikes. I did post hole in a few places, but nothing bad.

Even for twenty degrees is was really nice and I saw quite a few people along the way. If you plan on going all the way to Emerald Lake, please have the right shoes and not jeans. I saw so many people in sweatpants and jeans where the leg portion from the knee down look as if it was beginning to freeze. You may feel warm as you are moving but once you stop, you will feel the pain.

There are quite a few places to rent snow shoes, gaiters and poles close by. I’ve rented from Estes Park Mountain Shop before and really enjoyed the service. Whether you go here or another place, the rentals are decent prices and will save you some heartache.

For Nymph Lake:

If you are traveling further than Nymph Lake, then you will probably be walking across the icy lake at some point. If you go the way I did, you could lose the actual trail. If you do cross to the left like I did, yes it is shorter but you lose site of the trail. Well here is a TIP. When you cross the left side, look for a bench to your right. The trail is easily marked beyond this and you can follow it up to the main trail leading to Dream Lake. I included a photo of the bench in this from August 2017 from Google Maps.

Dream Lake:

I skirted around the shore of this lake as the trail is unrecognizable here. Also going around the shore on the ice is pretty relaxing and level. Once I got to the end of Dream Lake, I easily spotted the trail continuing to Emerald Lake. Although as you are walking along the lake’s edge you can see the walls of the mountain ahead of you and really think you are at the end on the lake and cannot believe there is one more lake. Well there is!!

Emerald Lake:

The end of the road. I took a walk to the middle of the lake and took a really fun 360 degree photo using an app called “Street View” by google. A really cool way to take photos anywhere. I would hope that you practice using the app at home prior to trying it out in nature, 20 degrees and wind whipping though at times.

Have a fun and safe trip. Remember to hydrate before your trip even though the colder temperatures fool you into thinking you are fine. If hiking alone, let someone know where you will be and don’t deviate from the plan useless they know.

Also, there is sporadic cell service here.

I walked this trail 12/17/18 and it’s a beautiful trail. The trail was snow packed with patches of ice but easily trekked.

Patches of ice (Dec 18) but I was fine with hiking boots. Trekking poles or YakTracks would be helpful. I've done this hike many times. Enjoy it everytime!

Fun to walk/slide on the ice covered lakes and slide in the snow. We wore tennis shoes and made it just fine without fancy equipment. There were several spots where we slid down the hill on our rears—very fun! Be prepared to fall in the snow!

Dec 15. Sections of ice.

hiking
1 month ago

Went up yesterday 12/12/18 and although it was quite windy it wasn't to bad with the trees shielding the wind. Really easy hike with a very good snow pack conditions, all I needed was crampons. I have trouble breathing at altitude but this hike didn't leave me to much out of breath. Didn't go on to Dream Lake since I would need snowshoes and didn't bring any with me.

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