Explore rockies - 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.

Beautiful scenery! This water fall is amazing. The trail is also very well kept up.

hiking
12 hours ago

We did this hike this past weekend, on a Saturday. We got to the trailhead around 9:15am and there were lots of cars already parked all along the road. Luckily, there is plenty of space to park nearby, with lots of pull off areas near the trailhead. The hike is a bit steep in spots but is doable. The last .2 miles or so to the summit is pretty steep. The view from the top are great. It was a pretty heavily trafficked trail, but not too annoying. There was a lot of horse poop to dodge.

15 hours 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
16 hours 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!

hiking
1 day 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Fantastic hike! Leave early to avoid heat and crowds. We camped at Longs Peak Campground and the next morning walked to the Chasm/Longs Peak Trailhead. Started at 7:30am and meandered the way up. Traffic was OK. Many of the Longs Peak hikers had begun a few hours earlier than us. Had fun scrambling at the end just before the lake. We stayed at the lake watching climbers, eating lunch, and relaxing then began the trek down around 1pm and it was really, really crowded. Cool weather at the lake. Hot on the way down above the tree line, cooler once in the trees. Beautiful views all along the trail! We stopped so many times to take in the scenery. Really great enjoyable hike! July 2018.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike for views over Estes. The lake was a little disappointing. Definitely start early to avoid the crowds.

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.

Hiked Ida in June and there was a lot of snow under the treeline. Took the group I was with about 2 hours to get out of the treeline. Once we were out, the hike was beautiful. The wildlife is abundant and the views are awesome. Ida is a little more tough than moderate I would say because she has a lot of false summits and it's an uphill climb most of the way. You feel like you're close, then there is more. Well worth it though, just be ready for a good challenge.

Great hike but can get a bit crowded

One of the best moderate hikes in RMNP, I really love this one. Make sure you bring plenty of water and a camera as this trail offers great views, wildlife, and a relaxing journey. Get there early in the summer as the trail gets quite full the closer to noon you get.

Allow for at least 3 hours, maybe closer to 4 depending on how much time you take to rest. Also plan on it being close to 7 miles total if you park at one entrance or another as they are a mile apart from each other.

If you can, go in the fall, as the fall leaves are truly mesmerizing.

Unbelievably amazing hike! Steady inclines at times but overall a pretty doable trail by anyone.
I arrived at 6:30pm on a Saturday and the parking had empty spots. Saw a ton of people at the beginning of the trail but the further you go the less people you’ll see.
A lot of bugs when you hike at a later time so bring some bug spray with you! Also, bring a flashlight just in case you need it!

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike! Flowers still out in full force. I recommend getting there early because parking is tight later in the day. I got there by 8am and saw few people until 10am. I saw an elk and mule deer. The stream is beautiful. I was wearing a full pack for the first time and it was a great trail for that.

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
2 days ago

great hike, with views iconic to colorado - when you see colorado in a photo album, this trail contains views that showcases this.

Crowded as hell so many rude people, couldn’t go more than 15 seconds without seeing someone else

hiking
3 days ago

Gorgeous views from a reasonably short trail. Lots of wildlife along the way!

hiking
3 days ago

I did the emerald Lake route . I’m not sure why they called it moderate? It’s a nice 45 min stroll to the lake on a amazingly maintained trail, even paved at the beginning. It’s a great trail for families and young ones . If you want more of a challenge hike around the right side of emerald Lake. It is what I would call a very stable rock scramble and doable by older kids with good shoes( some traction on Btm). Then hike up to the falls which are really pretty . That extension makes the hike moderate and is well worth it plus it’s gets you away from the masses . If you are really an extremist then try hiking up the valley to the right of the river and falls. It is an advanced hike and gets to class 3-4 with 80% grade. Tougher going up but you need poles coming down or you take some falls . Do not hike in single file here as you will trigger rock slides due to grade. Also it is what I’d call a loose rock scramble!! Views are insane from up there but be careful as footing is tricky and it requires some rock climbing .

We loved this hike! Perfect hike for a day. On a Friday there were others out there but not a ton. Go to the end. Emerald Lake is worth it!

on Gem Lake Trail

hiking
3 days ago

Not too crowded compared to the other popular trails! Not too challenging, and the summit is just beautiful. You can hang out at the lake for an hour or two before heading back. Very satisfying hike, would recommend!

hiking
3 days ago

Easy, busy, but beautiful for sure

walking
4 days ago

Fun trail - serves as a good warm-up hike. A moose came from the marshy area south of the lake and proceeded to go in the lake to eat on 7/11/18.

Loved this!! The scenery and rock formations everywhere were spectacular!! Took my 5 kids ages 5-13 . Was a challenge for them in length just because they haven’t done many long ones and it was raining most of the time. Will definitely do again on a dry day! Had a blast and loved the views and rock scrambling you could choose to do. Good elevation gain but plenty of time to get there.

if you stairs you'll love this one

4 days ago

Loved this trail. Switchbacks through the woods and then nice clearing with beautiful views on the way up. Near the lake, there is a bit of a scramble but it was such fun. Go early to avoid heat and the crowds!

hiking
4 days ago

Super fun and easy!

Cool hike do early morning or at after 5 to avoid crowd. 3 cool lakes. Keep going to see the last view!

hiking
5 days ago

7/11/18
Really nice hike with great views over Estes Park and RMNP. Nice well marked trail, mostly shaded and plenty of rocks to climb. The lake is pretty small, but it’s in a cool canyon which was a good place for us to have lunch. Recommend.

hiking
5 days ago

Just hiked this trail today, July 11th, and the scenery is superb. You get above tree line fast so the views start within the first 30 minutes. Of course, this means that you are gaining elevation quickly so it is a bit challenging. It took us about six hours round trip moving at a good steady pace, including about 25 minutes at the summit. Some guidebooks say to plan for eight hours, while some reviewers say they did it in about four. I don’t think I could have gone much faster than we did as the trail can get a little slippery in spots due to loose gravel, and the boulder field up top takes time to navigate. I am bushed but it was totally worth it! We started at about 6:15 AM and shared the trail with just a handful of people at that time. We had a good 20 minutes at the summit all to ourselves. Even on the way down it wasn’t super busy, but the parking lot is small so you should get an early start. An early start also ensures you are down below tree line before afternoon storms pop up as you are VERY exposed on most of this trail. Once you hit the boulder field below the summit the trail disappears so just find a good line and head upwards. Beautiful 360 views! I really liked this trail and would do this one again! My gps clocked this at 10.1 miles but that may be because we kept trying to find the trail through the boulders.

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