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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
1 day 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

hiked this morning 4/16/18, some snow and ice accumulated on the upper half of the trail, microspikes would have been helpful but was doable without. beautiful as always!

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

hiking
3 days ago

Great Hike! Great views! Right now (Mid-April) there’s still a lot of snow - packed on the trail -about a mile from the summit. Crampons are recommended for that section but it can be done without - trekking poles were very useful as well. There’s some good uphills but it’s never too strenuous. If you’re in decent shape this will be a great hike! Please bring water! Saw so many tourists without water! It’s a 6 mile RT hike!

hiking
3 days ago

This trail will reward you with fabulous views and a particularly rewarding view of Estes Park as you crest the summit. I carried micro-spikes for the snow and ice but found I did not need to use them. The trail got busier as the day wore on, but the views are worth tolerating the traffic.

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
6 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
6 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
6 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.

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful trail!

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!

Easy hike, did 4/11 and used spikes only. Definitely recommend going to Dream and Emerald Lake for even prettier views!

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

This is not a "bang for your buck" kind of hike, like the big name hikes out of the main RMNP east entrance. I ran into several tourists near the entrance who seemed disappointed with the hike. Instead this is a hike for solitude and being in the wilderness. Really nice water features along the hike and pristine woodland. If you need some peace and quiet then this is your hike.

We clocked 8.25 miles accounting for the extra 2 miles (1 each way) due to the winter parking lot as well as some wandering around the falls. we had snowshoes but never used them, however I suggest having them right now just in case. The waterfalls will be a lot more exciting in a month or so.

Quite icy. Had snowshoes but only needed them to deal with the ice.

hiking
12 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.

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.

I hiked this on Easter. It was snowy but packed enough for spikes and not snow shoes. Several times there was no one in sight, so I wonder how many people make it to the top. The wind was whipping! Had to stop at loch Lake but a beautiful and somewhat challenging hike!

We hiked this today and it was absolutely beautiful! We found it challenging since the snowpack was icy as well. Highly recommend using microspikes and trekking poles.

hiking
16 days ago

Went 3/24 and was still snow covered. Only had tennis shoes and was doable, but we were slipping a little bit on the way down. Absolutely gorgeous trail though. Competitive parking be prepared to wait or get there early

hiking
17 days ago

We hiked 4/1. There was a group of 6 of us new to hiking in CO, in snow. We hiked around Bear Lake as a test run and realized despite waterproof and good hiking shoes, microspikes is definitely a game changer. The ranger suggested we rented then at Estes Park Mountain Shop (12min away). Definitely worth it! They're $8/day and makes a world of difference. With that we decided to try the Emerald Lake Trail which has beautiful and breathtaking views! The view is so worth it when you get to the end. You get to pass Nymph Lake and Dream Lake on the way. Trail is very snowy and icy, a lot of the snow already packed from other hikers. General good rule we found is stick left going up and stick right going down until you get to Dream Lake. This hike is such a great hike for us snow hiking newbies and really gave us a great first start in hiking in snow. Trekking poles were really helpful for us and I would recommend. Microspikes I would highly recommend. Despite the wind and cold, we were able to hammock at the end to enjoy the wonderful view. It took us 2 hours (took 30 min break for lunch) to get there but that's with many stops because most of us were use to not hiking at a higher elevation and the steep parts winded a lot of us. We also stopped to take off layers since we were getting hot and great spots to take scenic pictures!

hiking
17 days ago

Very icy trails, definitely will want spikes. Ice is thin at the lakes outlets/inlets. Saw a few people get wet. (3/31/18)

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