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hiking
10 hours 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.

on Emerald Lake Trail

2 days ago

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

hiking
10 days ago

We wanted to do the Mt. Zion Mtn bike but there wasn’t much signage so we ended up on part of this trail. Started at the trailhead with the porta-potties and went a total of 3 miles. Stopped at the mansion and the nature center for a few before heading back down. Parts of the trail had packed snow but basic hiking shoes worked well (went on 01/05/18). Our dog loved it, but we really wish more people would be responsible for picking up their pet’s waste. We never leave home without poo bags, they are so small and easy to grab! Also, as someone else said, lots of kids and people who weren’t actually hikers out on the trail. More busy than we would have liked. When there was a view it was amazing, we are glad we took this trail.

The hike itself is nice the terrain is good although some snow. This is a moderate hike with some great views definitely enjoyed it.
You can access the trail from different points so keep that in mind.

hiking
10 days ago

A nice way to spend a couple hours in the afternoon. The dog loved it. Crampons not needed unless you intend to see the cave but otherwise it was fine with just my old hikers.

snowshoeing
13 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.

hiking
14 days ago

If you can get off the beaten path in this area of Rocky, this is pretty close. Join up with hikes to other lakes and make a day of it. Beautiful!

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.

Hiked 12/22/18--the day of the shutdown. The Loch Lake Trail was absolutely stunning. I arrived super early the morning that Rocky shut down, unaware of the government shutdown, so, fortunately, I was able to drive directly to the trailhead. I love snowshoeing and it was a gorgeous powder day and I got to break trail first, solo. It was cold, one of the coldest hikes I've done yet but I was fully geared up. Though I was first on the trail I could tell where the trail was as it wove around trees. About a mile and a half into the hike, two men passed me who were going ice climbing around Mills Lake. They were in hiking boots only. If you don't have snowshoes, you can't possibly walk in this deep snow. Be prepared. Have shoes, poles AND spikes. When I finally got to the lake, I literally ran the last 100 steps, I was so thrilled that I had made it, solo, and other than those two men, no one had passed me. It was very, very cold and windy at the lake. The lake appeared 100% frozen but given that I was solo, I was not going to walk on it. It was too cold to eat so I headed back down and tucked into the trees and ate very quickly and then started heading back down. I kept my snowshoes on, although usually I would have switched into spikes. I passed two other couples coming up the trail and then a few others and that was it. So, the trail wasn't packed down enough to wear spikes and the shoes worked great. It was about a 6.5-mile hike and I headed out of Rocky at 12:30pm and that's when I saw the rangers turning everyone away. I'm thrilled I was able to make this hike; the waterfalls and running water were absolutely gorgeous.

hiking
16 days ago

First time in RMNP and this trail was amazing! The lake was frozen over (duh). Was very windy in the valley and also with increased elevation particularly where there was limited overhead coverage. Snow could be fairly deep at times.

So much versatility in terrain and landscape. At times, it was hard to believe we were on the same trail. Definitely a must hike and really spectacular in the winter!

Hiked this today. Icy in several spots, clear dirt in others. Made it without spikes but would have been nice to have.

This is a beautiful trail that isn’t that difficult. We went all the way to the top right before you climb to get to the cave, and decided not to climb it. Not worth it for me since the people coming down said it was icy. There wasn’t much snow or ice on the rest of the trail on 12/29.

hiking
20 days ago

Really fun trail that has some intense inclines. The payoff at the end at Malloy cave is worth the effort.

Beautiful midway point to stop and snack on your way to sky pond. Hiked on an early October day and the weather was perfect. Very serene and peaceful lake with amazing views and refreshing breeze. But keep going on past Loch...as the true treasure is Sky Pond and the waterfall before lake of glass. An amazing and rewarding day in RMNP

Some icy spots on Christmas Day.

hiking
22 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
22 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
24 days ago

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

hiking
24 days 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.

Nice climb with nice views

Hiked 12/15/18

Beautiful morning in Rocky. Trails well-packed, microspikes completely sufficient and snowshoes not at all necessary; however I know that the mountains received a storm yesterday so unsure if these conditions are still the same. There was plenty of parking at the Bear Lake trailhead at 10 AM on that Saturday.

hiking
26 days 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.

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!

Nice quick hike! Great in winter....

hiking
1 month ago

This was a nice, moderately trafficked trail.
It was just the right amount of difficulty and ease.
Aside from Mallory Cave, there are a bunch of different trail systems at this open space.

Now I know why this trail is so popular. Did this trail on 10/25. Beautiful day. Some icy patches, but did not need spikes. I want to go back and see this place again in winter, spring, and summer.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Beautiful
Doable in regular hiking boots
Went on a Sunday at 11am and was moderately traveled
Lots of available parking

Fabulous! Parking spaces open when we arrived at 9 am. Spikes until the last mile and then it got deep and tricky. Super windy at the lake but lovely. Snow shoes necessary to get to the lake. Took us 3.5 hours to finish! Awesome day!

hiking
1 month ago

I always love this hike! Today was probably the most windy day I've had there thus far, at the lakes, but still beautiful! I started out around 9:40am, plenty of parking in the lot. I used my crimp-ons until just after nymph lake, then switched over to the snowshoes. There were quite a few people making it to Emerald lake with just the crimp-ons. That said there was a lot of post holing as well! I would recommend having your snowshoes with you. And to Arizona ( just moved here from AZ) have fun playing this winter! and maybe I'll see you snowshoeing next time;)!

Beautiful winter trail! Did this trail today and the snow was perfect. Snowshoes were definitely helpful, but can easily be done using only spikes. This took us around 4 hours round trip with plenty of photo stops and a little break up top. A good moderate hike

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