Explore to try - 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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18 hours ago

challenging, at some points you're going up steps that are 1-2ft high. but the view is 100% worth it, and the lake is beautiful. don't go in it, tho, there are leeches!

hiking
18 hours ago

It’s a fun hike up to the lake with tons to see on the way. Dream Lake was our favorite part of the hike - absolutely gorgeous, we felt at point like we’d stepped into a lord of the rings movie. I agree the trail is moderate depending on the person. We hiked it pretty quickly but there were a couple parts that got a little steep. It’s partially paved or there are rock steps pretty much the whole way though. Great hike and would do it again! We got there early around 7am and it was not too crowded at all - go early.

hiking
18 hours ago

Very pretty hike with good elevation gain, but huge crowds...

This trail is gorggggg. We went during the week so didn’t have an issue with parking. I typically try not to repeat hikes since there are so many trails to be traveled in CO, but I’d totally do this again with visitors. It’s an easy hike and it’s beautiful the whole way to the lake. The lake itself was, as my visitor said, “the exact scene I wanted at the end of the trail.”

hiking
19 hours ago

Beautiful, easy, hike! Got there around 9AM and it was extremely crowded the whole time. However, the views and lakes truly are incredible.

Great scenery. Easy route. Lots of people with lots of dogs. Very limited parking at trailhead, be prepared to start your hike from a remote parking lot.

Great Views. Only complaint was that it was very rocky so it was challenging for the dogs at times.

hiking
1 day ago

fun hike! we only made it as far as lower blue lake due to some issues with the altitude, but it was gorgeous nonetheless! the trail opens up to some beautiful meadows along the way and once you hit a space suitable for camping you have arrived at lower blue lake. would love to go back and make this a two day trip. the road out there is easy to maneuver and it definitely gets crowded pretty early. highly suggest this hike!

Absolutely stunning. Even though wild flowers had already peaked, this trail is breathtaking.

1 day ago

Good, fairly easy hike. Bring plenty of water. Weather changes quickly. Very pretty views of the valley.

Was warned about the crowds, so we left the Bear Lake parking lot at 6:45 AM. Hike was peaceful and spectacular. We stopped 3-4 times to catch our breath. We hiked at a modest pace and finished in two hours.

Beautiful hike... Well-marked and easy to follow. It will fall between easy to moderately-difficult depending on the person. The last bit of the trail leading up to Emerald Lake is the most challenging portion: a steep incline with LOTS of stairs. Dream Lake and Emerald Lake are breathtaking and well worth it, though. I gave it four stars because of how heavily trafficked it was. If you are looking for a peaceful wilderness experience... this may not be the choice for you. Lots of people, loud voices, and cell phones at every turn.

hiking
2 days ago

Rocky but moderate hike. Summer 2018 Crater Lake is more like a pond but we burned the calories so we could eat more great food in Aspen.

Beautiful scenery at every turn, and very, very crowded. I would rate this hike as Easy-Moderate. Half the trail is literally paved and the second half is well maintained stair steps. Our 5 year old tackled this with no problems.

so beautiful at the top. highly highly recommend. get there as early as possible for parking.

Really enjoyed this hike! From the parking lot we ended up covering about 6 miles. The view from the top is worth the difficulty. If you have a 4wd you can drive up a good portion of the trail and take a few miles off the hike. Highly recommend this hike!!!

took our young children and really enjoyed it! challenging but doable for them. plenty of shade and places to stop. breathtaking scenery.

hiking
3 days ago

Great trail overall. Very sandy and steep at parts but my 3 year olds did it like champs.. Make sure to do early AM or evening and take lots of water, no shade. We did it at dark after a day at Dinosaur National Monument and it was great. Don't follow google maps. Dirt road is easy to miss will try to add a screenshot of the longitude and latitude for the turn off. Follow blue metal signs to "parking area" Always go right at the forks and download the map ahead of time as their are some ATV trails at the beginning that could be confusing.

Definitely gets full of traffic early, and make sure everyone uses the restroom before you park; the restrooms at the entrance are the most disgusting things I’ve ever walked in and then immediately out of.

Beautiful views along the entire walk!

Great route not to be missed if visiting area. Stay hydrated, especially if not used to altitudes.

Up and down

Gorgeous! Hike is moderate with trails easily marked. We saw many elk along the way. We took the shuttle from town because we arrived later in the day and couldn’t park at Big Bear of transfer station...they were full. It was a very pleasant drive up to the hike...and we could both admire the scenery!

This trail felt like walking through a fairy tail. Just too perfect. We arrived at 4:30, after the crowds were leaving; but the trail was still swamped with people. Completely worth the crowds. Just magical.

hiking
4 days ago

Couldn't have asked for a better hike today. The weather was beautiful, we had to park at the Brainard Lake Lot after getting there at 9am. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I had expected
Everyone we did come across was super nice and very quiet. If someone can tell me of a place that is this easy of a hike and even more beautiful please let me know. I'm not sure there is a place.

hiking
6 days ago

We were told by the bus driver that Crater Lake was a lot more dried up this year, and that was completely obvious once we saw the lake. I’m sure it would have been a lot more attractive if the water were higher. But pretty views throughout the hike! Saw a ton of families, so should be doable for most kiddos. And if you have a dog, they’ll probably enjoy cooling off in the lake at the top.

I’m physically active so I thought the trail itself was mostly easy, but we flew in from GA ~18 hours before the hike and I definitely felt some negative affects of the altitude adjustment. If you’re not used to high altitudes, bring plenty of water and remember to take deep breaths.

hiking
7 days ago

Very cool hike! We did the day hike to Lower, Middle, Upper Blue Lakes and to the Sneffels pass. I recommend camping at the trailhead for an early start. The lower lake is beautiful (it's better than the other two) but pretty full of campers. The best view is from near the middle lake looking down on the lower lake. The path can be hard to find going from lower to middle. The trail from upper lake to the pass was narrow and steep and did get boring, so you could definitely skip this and you wouldn't be missing out. The hike is quite steep in beginning sections, so it gets real old on the way back down (we saw two people who appeared to have twisted ankles from sliding or falling in these sections... both of whom were hiking in tevas, so do with that what you will).

Vraiment beau paysage !!

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful trail. Definitely arrive by 7:30 am to avoid heavy traffic. If you are not an early riser and always lucky, arrive around 10 am to take the early birds' spots.

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