Explore To-do - 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
2 days ago

The trail is beautiful. The day we went, it had snowed earlier in the week, then partially melted, then absolutely deep-freeze froze, then it was super slippery. Our group could not continue to Emerald due to the slow ascent and descent. Those who had some sort of trail traction blazed past us, safely and not really impacted. Do yourself a favor and go get yourself 1 pair for you and 1 for your ill-prepared friend, so that you both can blaze up and down the trail. You don't have to get them from Amazon; buy locally if you want, but they are less than $20/pair and essentially make a difference of whether or not you can hike that day. https://www.amazon.com/Yaktrax-Walk-Traction-Cleats-Walking/dp/B01LJ6FX3C And each of my kids is getting a pair for Chrismas this year. Lesson learned.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful day on the trail on 10/14. Lots of fresh powder came in overnight. Some areas were quite icy, but it was very manageable if you come prepared and aren't hiking in sneakers. We saw less than 10 people total during our 3 hours out. Views were limited by the snow clouds, but it was still spectacular!

hiking
3 days ago

Incredible view of multiple lakes and Mountain View’s, steep climb in the half mile

hiking
3 days ago

The trail had spectacular views of Estes and looking at the entrance for the national park. I didn’t like how soft the trail itself was. I sunk down into the sand with every step. It was quite the challenge there and back with good elevation gain. The views made up for the little faults it has.

It was beautiful but very icy! The whole trail was nothing but ice. Need some yak tracks and hiking poles. Went on 10/12 and it was very crowded on the way back down. Worth the views but definitely would wait until the summer to do it again.

For someone from Indiana this was definitely more moderate than easy.

hiking
5 days ago

Gorgeous views! The journey was through snow and ice for the entire hike. Would recommend traction and waterproof shoes. Sunny and clear Friday oct 12 when we hiked but very windy, especially at the edge of the lakes!

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful hike as expected but extremely windy! We started around 8:30 and the parking lot was pretty empty. Def would recommend wearing micro spikes because a good portion of the trail is very icy and also waterproof shoes! The wind was blowing so hard at Dream Lake I was sliding across the ice! It was pretty with the snow but hard to see the mountains. The trial was very crowded on our way back down so still would recommend going early.

hiking
6 days ago

It was pretty chilly, but still beautiful! Took us about 3 hours with a lot of photo stops. Unfortunately we couldn’t see much of the mountains, but we got some pretty amazing photos of snow-laden trees being reflected in the waters. It was by far the busiest trail that we did all weekend, I can’t imagine what it would be like during peak season! We went early (around 8am) and didn’t have issues with parking. The lot was filled by the time we got back

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
6 days ago

One of my favorite hikes ever, even with the crowds. A must see during winter, too!

hiking
6 days ago

So happy we did this hike! The weather ended up being way better than we expected. We had to guess our way for most of the hike bc the snow covered the trail. It’s pretty slushy right now so I’d recommend waterproof shoes! We made the scramble up to the top through the crevasse and enjoyed the amazing views!

hiking
8 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike! A steady ascent led to a rocky area with a fantastic view. This is an easy hike to do with dogs. There are bag stations. The trail isn’t very rocky.

hiking
12 days ago

Amazing 360 view on top of the rock. Make certain you scale the crevasse between the rock to get to the very top. Truly breathtaking views.

Moderate hike climbing 1k feet over 2 miles with a steep stretch the last .25 mile of the trail. Good for everyone jut go prepared with water, protein and maybe a good walking stick.

2 hours in and 1 hour out and that was with lots of stops along the way.

Amazing hike.

Very nice hike.

Nice trail. Great views of Estes Park and RMNP. Some steep parts but nothing really more than steep steps. Hermit Park is a very nice area and the trail is well marked and well maintained. check on the fee before you go in.

hiking
13 days ago

Yes, this is an absurdly popular hike, but that is for a very good reason. The views are just absolutely spectacular, and you get an awful lot of scenic beauty for relatively little effort. The whole thing is uphill, but it is not bad at all. In fact, you are doing it wrong if you zip through it, you should really stop frequently and just enjoy the amazing views that await around almost every corner. We did it on a weekday in October, hitting the trail head about 8:30 and that was definitely about as late as you want to arrive. The way out was fairly uncrowded, but the later part of the way back was just nuts. Near the end, we probably passed 100 people headed towards where we had just come from. It is easily the busiest trail I've ever been on, and as it starts to fill up, you get the more casual hikers, including loud teenagers, the families with lots of kids yelling etc. that really detracts from the serenity of the experience. We got to enjoy most of the hike, but had we started at 10AM I think we would have hated it. So this is one where you should start by about 7:30 if you want to avoid feeling like you went to Disneyland instead of RMNP. But don't let the crowds deter you, just start early.

Great easy to moderate hike. Make sure to go all the way to the top for the full experience.

We drove to the small parking lot by the falls. Very short hike but it is steep. That being said I saw an 80 year old man in his orthotics making the trek. The falls are beautiful! Old Fall river Road is about 9 miles and is a one way road. It has sharp switchbacks and very deep ruts. I mean DEEP. If you are skilled enough to navigate on top of the ruts a car could make it but if not you will bottom it out and be stuck. The SUV in front of me actually attempted to drive in the ruts instead of on top and bottomed out immediately. Luckily he drove in instead of falling in so was able to spin his tires and back out and attempt again. If you don't want to risk it park at the picnic area and hike up.

We got to the trailhead at 8AM and were the first car there. As we started the hike we were greeted by a beautiful rainbow to complement the golden aspens. We encountered a grouse along the trail, a large trout in the pool beneath the smaller waterfall, and a confused squirrel who ran around my legs as he tried to find his way across the trail. I agree with the previous post that the last 1/4 mile is difficult, but finding the trail at the sloped rock was a bigger challenge. We followed a couple false leads before stumbling across the way to the main event. The Bridal Veil Falls was beautiful, even in October. I can only imagine it in the Spring. One last comment- doing this hike in the summer sun would be brutal.

So amazing, but the wind almost blew my trailface off! Cray cray! Don't forget a jacket

One of our favorite hikes. Lots of people and parking sucks, but hike is wonderful!

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful views and lakes!

the trail is well built and maintained. a little slope but good for even beginners. be careful of the high altitude dizzy

walking
16 days ago

GO TO @2_SUMMIT_UP on Instagram to learn more about the Dream Lake Trail (picture blog) Dream Lake is one of the most beautiful short hikes I have ever witnessed. Breathtaking view after breathtaking view. My blog here2summitup.wordpress.com provides a sample of what you can expect on this hike

Fun trail with beautiful fall colors. I'd rate it easy until the last 1/4 mile when you have to climb some steep areas and walk across steeply sloped rock. it can be hard to find the trail toward the end. There is a nice mini waterfall right before you get to the steep part.

hiking
17 days ago

An amazing hike that gets your blood pumping. From the Ranger Station to Chasm Lake is a 4.2 mile hike that ascends 2,522 vertical feet, so the out and back hike is 8.4 miles as opposed to the 7.7 miles listed here. It’s a tough and steep high altitude trail, so bring plenty of water. It’s strenuous, but the payoff is absolutely surreal. This trail brings you right up to the east face of Longs Peak. Chasm Lake is one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring high altitude lakes that I’ve ever seen. Bring a good camera, because the photo opportunities are terrific throughout.

hiking
17 days ago

Great views and well worth the hike! Should be listed as ~8.4 miles though.

hiking
17 days ago

A fun, but steep trail with wonderful views of the valley. It was incredibly windy above the tree line. I'll post pictures tonight.

This was a gorgeous hike! 3 awesome, unique lakes on a less than 4-mile out and back trail

camping
18 days ago

Get there early! Lots of people by about 7-8am (Aug. 20th). The trails were fine, limited sub-trail routes to deviate to without feeling like you’re damaging the surroundings. The landscape was beautiful. Glacier Basin was a nice place to camp and was close enough to Emerald Lake, some neat wildlife, and Alpine Peak.

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