Explore the most popular Partially Paved trails in Rocky Mountain National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We did this hike around 2pm today and there were a few spots in the parking lot at that time. The trail is uphill most of the way, but it was not overly rocky and not too difficult other than the elevation change. We made it to the first two lakes (Nymph and Dream) and then a storm came through with thunder, lightning, and hail so we turned around before reaching Emerald lake. I did get to see photos of part of our group that was ahead and saw it. Looked beautiful.

hiking
13 hours ago

Easy trail, connects to the Emerald lake trail and lots of wildlife.

hiking
13 hours ago

I would recommend this trail to anyone. If you live in Colorado then I highly recommend coming during the weekday, as the parking lot will be completely full by 7am. It’s roughly a 2.5 hour drive from Denver and completely worth it

hiking
bugs
15 hours ago

It's probably been mentioned but this is a very popular trail so get there early like 6:30 early, it gets pretty crowded. The hike is moderate as listed there are plenty of places to stop and view. The lake is gorgeous totally worth any discomfort you may encounter on your hike. I would hike this trail again.

This hike was beautiful! Got to the trailhead around 7:50 but it was full and had to go down to the park and ride.l and take the shuttle up. What I didn’t realize is the entire hike up to Emerald Lake is all uphill, and lots of steps. Took plenty of rests but it was hard work! The views make it worth it. When I left around 11:30, there were plenty of spots open at the trailhead and they were letting people up. It wasn’t as crowded as I expected based on reviews, there were plenty of times it was just me or maybe one other group.

hiking
1 day ago

We had a great time hiking this trail with our three kids (5,3, and 9 months). Lots of rocks to climb for the kids and they loved looking at all the fish in the lakes! Had some heavy traffic due to the summer busy season, but it was still a blast. There was a vehicle restriction on Bear Lake Road, so check ahead of time to see if it is closed to traffic and plan to take the hiker shuttle from the Estes Park Visitors Center.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 day ago

Excellent trail for moderate hikers! It's 4.4 miles out and back from the Bear Lake Trailhead. The first mile is heavily trafficked, but after the diversion from the Emerald lake trail, it gets a lot quieter. Sections of it are muddy and the end of the trail is rocky, but there's a lot of shade in the morning.

hiking
1 day ago

Parking trailhead for many hikes. We arrived at 9am and lot was full and they began to only allowed shuttles after us. However when we left at noon, there were plenty of spots to park.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful trail with some of the Most breathtaking scenery I have seen. There is a lot of traffic and given it starts at Bear Lake TH parking can be a challenge. I believe the ascent is only 650’ or so but make no mistake - it is a constant uphill most of the way. I highly recommend for all especially families BUT be prepared for an uphill hike that is worth every step taken.

hiking
2 days ago

This is a 5-star trail that gets docked a star because of the traffic. The views and the lakes are gorgeous, and the climb is not too difficult for young kids but feels like an accomplishment. I don’t mind some company on the trail, but this felt like a convoy up and back with constant requests to pass or be passed.

hiking
rocky
2 days ago

Great less crowded hike to one of the best alpine lake views in RMNP

hiking
3 days ago

Gorgeous views. Not very busy around 8:00 a.m. and it was nice to walk along in the quiet.

hiking
3 days ago

So much to look at and appreciate on this hike! I definitely recommend getting there before 8:00 a.m.

So glad we did this hike! It is a continuous uphill hike to the lakes at pretty high altitudes, but the views along the way, and at each of the three lakes, are well worth it!! At Emerald Lake, be sure to look up on the side of the mountain for streaming waterfalls (likely depends on the time of year). Bear Lake, very close to the Emerald Lake trailhead, is also beautiful and well worth seeing.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

This is a special trail because of the views and landscape. The lack of oxygen makes it a pretty slow walk, but you don't need to rush the view, so take your time. Climb the rock formation at the end of the trail to see the map, have a seat and realize how lucky you are to be there.

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Absolutely amazing experience!! Very crowded by 8am, but well worth it!

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

The trail is actually 4.4 miles out and back from bear lake, closer to 8 miles out and back from glacier gorge parking. The only snow was at the start by dream lake which meant most people went on to emerald lake so less traffic. The trail is fairly easy and has nice views. It gets very rocky by the lake. The name haiyaha is a native american word for big rocks, and the lake is surrounded by big rocks, I didn't go far, but didn't see any shoreline without rocks where I was, but it was fun to climb around on. It was nice to have a different view of Hallett peak, and the lake was a nice bluish green color.

Such a beautiful trail, everything is a scenery as you hike up. Most of it is covered and you get a cool breeze as you hike. Very high traffic even during weekdays

on Alluvial Fan Trail

hiking
5 days ago

Absolutely stunning! Trail bridge was closed due to construction.

hiking
5 days ago

Great stop for incredible views, but not much of a hike.

Loved this trail. Started this hike on a Monday at 9am after hiking to Sky Pond the day before. Parking lot was only half full. It took us 5 hrs to get to Lone Pike lake and back to the parking lot. The first half of the trail is flat, and the uphill is very doable.

The hike itself is pretty nice, there were a few stream crossings which were fun and bridges that crossed by waterfalls on the way up. The incline isn’t bad, although it is constant. we counted around 700 steps to climb one way, and it took us about two hours to get to the lake. It’s a good hike, 5.5 miles to the top, but I wouldn’t do it again. The lake itself is ok, it’s just nothing special

hiking
6 days ago

A pretty simple hike with amazing views!! If you make it all the way to the top of emerald lake you get to pass two other beautiful lakes. Definitely get there early, I got there at 7:15 and the lot was almost full. Overall one of my favorite hikes ever!!

hiking
7 days ago

Gorgeous hike with stunning vistas. Rather than waking up before the sun I just went in the afternoon on Monday and there was plenty of parking. Also, there were only a handfull of people on the trail.

hiking
7 days ago

Started hike about 10:45am. Fairly easy up with two kids (5&9). Stopping at the lakes made it seem much easier too. Stopped at Dream lake as rain rolled in. Saw dozens of trout in the lake all around the edges. There was some snow still around Dream lake, but paths were mainly dry. Definitely a number of people on the trail, but not overwhelming.

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
7 days ago

Excellent Trail. The views at Emerald Lake were stunning and so beautiful

hiking
muddy
scramble
snow
7 days ago

The perfect trail if you’re visiting RMNP for the first time or will only be visiting for a short period of time. Most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. Trail was snow covered in some parts and muddy in others but still easily traveled. Rock scrambling is not necessary, but is optional. Be sure to get there early (7am) to avoid the crowds.

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