Explore RMNP - 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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My husband and I have been on soooo many hikes. Not only inside the RMNP but all over Colorado. This one is by far my favorite one! Make sure you go during the summer time, last year we tried going up there several times,as early as April and we lost the trail under about 6 feet of stiff snow! We thought we were on the trail until we checked in AllTrailsApp... we were way off. The trail itself is pretty moderate. A little rough at times, so not so many people once you get up there. Which we actually love, we take our lunch up there and enjoy the quietness. It’s definitely not crowded like the surrounding lakes (Bear, Emerald)... the water is so clear you can see the bottom of the lake no matter where you stand! It’s so beautiful. Can’t wait to be back this year!

Did this today. Perfectly clear, warm morning which was wonderful. The first 2 miles were great with hiking boots and micro spikes, but the last .75 had lots of post-holing and wet socks. Can be done without snowshoes, but I would recommend them if you're looking for a trouble free hike. Super easy (no hard climbs or switchbacks) and lots of fresh mountain air!

4/21/18 Drop dead gorgeous views at every step! It has moderate steepness but the rewarding views are worth it! Definitely need microspikes! Some spots were a bit slippery/on edge!

backpacking
2 days ago

A few friends and I hiked this trail about 2 weeks ago right after it snowed about 3 feet. It was the most beautiful and breathtaking hike I’ve ever done.

Attempted this hike 2 times before in January and February but failed due to not having snowshoes and hiking through extremely dangerous winds, but finally finished the entire hike to Sky Pond on 4/15 with the proper equipment. The trail from Glacier Gorge should be 9.8 miles RT (rather than 8.1 miles according to this site) since it’s 2.2 miles to the split point between Loch Vale and Mills Lake, and then another 2.7 miles to Sky Pond from the split point.

By far my favorite hike I’ve done so far! Views throughout the entire hike were very scenic, rather than just one nice view at the end of the trail. The canyon and basin views were amazing throughout the hike and the frozen lakes (Loch Vale, Lake of Glass, and Sky Pond) were all extremely breathtaking. The first 2.2 miles of the trail were moderate with some slippery snow so I used my yaktrax. Once you pass Loch Vale you will definitely need snowshoes as the snow can get knee deep. The hike up to Lake of Glass from the basin area above the tree line was extremely steep and slippery, definitely the most difficult part of the trail, so take your time with this part (snowshoes not recommended for this part.) It took me 6.25 hours to finish the trip because of the snow and ice, it probably would have only taken me about 4 hours to complete if the trail was clear. Will definitely come back in the summer to hike it!

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
5 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!

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

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.

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
6 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.

Hiked this on a very icy December day... without micro spikes! Probably not the best idea haha. Very dreamy ! Continue to lake hayaiaya

Did it yesterday, MicroSpikes are a must, however some people did it without them.

Hiked 4/14. Trail was mostly snow pack all the way to the Loch, after that snowshoes are a must unless you like postholing every step all the way to timberline falls. We had only poles and crampons but made the extra work easier. Otherwise trail was clear for the most part and views were awesome, with all the lakes well frozen.

hiking
10 days ago

Just did this today, took 2 hours to get up at a steady pace not rushing with a couple small breaks maybe 5 min each. Micro spikes are fine as well a must. I saw people with out them and didn’t look fun for them. Took 90 mins to come down as well a steady slower pace. Great views!

snowshoeing
11 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.

snowshoeing
11 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!

hiking
12 days ago

I did this hike at the end of February. I initially set out to go up to Emerald Lake as well but the snow was too deep after Dream Lake. Stopped at Nymph Lake on the way up. It was frigid cold, wind was howling (especially crossing the lake) but the views were beautiful. The only difficult part of this hike was crossing snow. Definitely want to come back now that it can be hiked without snowshoes. $20 to get in.

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.

Hiked 4/11 with spikes. Beautiful hike. If you are going all the way to Dream Lake, you might as well do Emerald Lake, 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.

hiked this morning 4/10, microspikes were sufficient up until the Mills/Loch junction but from there up to the lake snow shoes were definitely necessary (snow was well over knee-deep) super windy but beautiful as always!

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

Snow storm set in just as we got started. Glad we had snowshoes!

hiking
18 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.

snowshoeing
21 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike. Not too difficult and definitely worth it. Amazing views of Notchtop and Flattop. Beautiful day today (4/3) but pretty windy. Snowshoes are definitely a must. Might be able to get by with microspikes but prepare for postholing. Especially with the wind, the trail is somewhat difficult to follow. There were a few times I pulled up my AllTrails map to find where the trail was. It’s just not too obvious with all the snow, especially the closer you get to Mill Creek, Two Rivers Lake, and Helene. Planned on continuing down to Odessa but as said below, the gorge looked like a death trap.

This hike is beautiful! We wore spikes on our shoes which made it easy for us to hike. If its snowy while you go I highly recommend at least spikes. The right shoes make a difference! We didn't have hiking sticks when, but they would have been helpful. Once you get to dream lake it's exactly what it's called... a dream! Gorgeous!!! We are from Louisiana and didn't think to wear sunscreen because it was overcast. Wrong. Wear sunscreen! We got sunburnt pretty bad! You can learn from our mistakes haha.

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