Explore denver - 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
1 hour ago

I've done this trail many times, but most recently hiked yesterday (11/7/18). It was all snow covered but packed down marking a clear path. Many people went without spikes, but it did make it easier having them from Dream to Emerald where it got a little steeper. The road up to Bear Lake is icy/snow covered but doable in a 2 wheel drive if you go slow.

Great trail!

Well kept easy trail to hike or snowshoe

hiking
2 days ago

My favorite trail on the west side of the Rockies. Vista views the entire way and amazing 360° view at the top including Long's Peak and Grand Lake.

Really pleasant lake. Only thing is you can park right next to hit so there's no hiking needed to arrive at the destinations. None the less, super beautiful!

Waterfall is currently iced up and slow flowing. Not one of the most exciting destinations to visit amongst the Rocky Mountain trails. Would recommend traversing past and head over to Mills Lake.

hiking
5 days ago

Great there and back walk on a great path - was snowing on the way out, sunny and clear on the way back - great views. Starts at 9000ft above sea level but we were fine

Beautiful even in snow-packed conditions. The falls are mostly frozen over right now, but there’s lots of easy trails in the area. Good grips on shoes (or traction clamps for shoes) would have made it easier, but still fun! And dress warm!!!

hiking
8 days ago

Great trail. My family and I hiked it in July. Still snow on the ground in places. Beautiful views. Bring a camera and a water bottle.

3 couples hiked it together in November 1st , there were several inches of snow on the ground and it was snowing the most big lovely flakes . The sun was peaking through and shinning off the water . How could I not give it a 5 star review ? Easy access , nice beautiful easy hike . We loved it !

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked this trail 10/26/18. If you’re looking for a nice, easy and scenic hike this is the place. Every corner you turn is picture worthy. At the time the lakes were partially frozen over. The closer you got to Emerald Lake the more slippery the trail got. I didn’t need crampons but I’m sure now you’ll need them. 10/10 hike it’s a must see.

Definitely a hike you should go on when you’re in the rocky! The views are amazing! The hike was not too difficult, but it will get crowded towards the day! Overall amazing place to explore!

Hiked 11/2/18. Lots of snow and wind chill, but overall awesome hike. Hiked in my hiking shoes + poles without spikes and was just fine. All the lakes are frozen which makes for gorgeous photos!

I hiked to emerald lake on 11/1/18 and it was a snowy wonderland! I am glad I had micro spikes because it was slick in spots but with the spikes it was not a problem. I started hiking around 9:30 and only 4 couples were in front of me hiking. As I came down there were many more people. It was nice to have the Trail mostly to myself on the hike up so I could enjoy the views uninterrupted. I am not a hiker and came from sea-level the evening before and I could certainly tell my lungs were adjusting to the altitude. I did the the whole hike and 1x around bear lake in just under 2 hours.

trail running
13 days ago

Fun trail. Good grade for trail running, but there can be crowds. Was lucky enough to catch a rainbow on my run.

Beautiful roundtrip of Bear Lake. It was a snowy day so not many people on the trail, but it looks like it could be very crowded.

Very slippery in winter, wear good shoes with grip. Husband slipped three times. Beautiful falls.

trail running
15 days ago

10/29/18 Beautiful trail. There were some icy spots but not too bad. Was able to run most of the trail, but ended up stopping several times to take in the waterfalls.

hiking
16 days ago

Amazing opportunity for incredible views with not that much effort. If you have time head to Lake Haiyaha. Its well worth it. (Review for Lake Haiyaha and Emerald Lake Trail). I got to Bear Lake trailhead at 8am Sunday. Very few cars. I had the whole trail to myself pretty much. I did Emerald Lake and then on the way back turned and headed to Lake Haiyaha. I'm glad I did because it was the best part. Its steeper and harder then Bear Lake trail. At the end there are a bunch of boulders to scramble over to get to the lake. Be careful, I fell, snow is deep and make sure you know how to get back to the trail. Its not as easy as it looks. Really incredible. Wear traction. Wear traction. When I came down the whole lot was full and there was a mile long line of cars trying to get in but they were routed to the visitor center.

Beautiful hike!! Rent shoe spikes and poles at a local hiking store in town or bring a walking stick at least. Parts of this trail are SLICK ice. I’d rate this trail as moderate. I could definitely feel the elevation climb! Well worth your time. We got there at 930 on Saturday with a few parking spots left. By the time we left at noon parking lot was full/closed.

This is one of the most popular trails in Colorado and for good reason! If you go on the weekend it will be tricky to find a parking spot. This is a moderate hike with huge rewards, stunning views!! If you only have time for one hike in CO do this one or st Mary’s Glacier.

hiking
18 days ago

Pretty easy loop around a beautiful lake. We found parking pretty easily. Part of the trail was packed snow/ice and very slippery. Enjoyed this loop on a beautiful day.

hiking
18 days ago

Great hike with great views! Each lake was spectacular. There is ice/snow packed in certain spots. We rented spikes and poles from a shop in Estes Park for $9 for the day...I would definitely recommend it!

Beautiful views at each lake. Still icy in patches but so worth it!

Gorgeous

Still very crowded on weekends but an easy hike with great views. Definitely wear or rent microspikes for your boots. People were slipping all throughout the hike and it will take away from your enjoyment if you don’t have them.

Easy trail around a beautiful lake. Steep in some sections but only for short distances. In late October the trail on the north side of the lake was clear to wet. The trail on the south side (no sun) was snow packed and icy. Slippery. Even in late October the parking lot was half full.

Beautiful hike for all skill levels. Recommend walking sticks because the trail was snowy and very icy at points. A lot of people were slipping with out proper footwear and walking sticks. Beautiful scenery with several lakes along the way. Check out bear lake also!

absolutely beautiful!

Perfect family hike! Start at bear lake, make your way to emerald and then before you head home walk to the Alberta falls.. was so much fun!!

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