Dream Lake Trail is a 2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 2.0 miles Elevation Gain: 426 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

closed

no dogs

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. Starting at the Bear Lake trailhead in Glacier Gorge, follow the signs for Nymph lake, your first destination. In summer it is filled with lily pads. Heading up to Dream Lake from there follows a well maintained trail, with great views, wildflowers, and wildlife.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike! Fantastic sunrise spot. A bit snowy and icy in spots today (5/28), with an interesting traverse past Nymph along an icy drift sloped perpendicular to the trail. Doable in hiking boots in the dark (microspikes not needed) but wouldn't recommend in tennis shoes or with small children until the snow melts a bit more. WARNING - there is a mule deer doe around the back of Dream (right before the trail climbs towards Emerald) that surprised and charged multiple people today. She's probably just protecting her fawns but beware if you choose to try and loop around for different views.

hiking
1 month ago

This is my favorite hike that I have done in Rocky Mountain National Park. The hike itself isn't too hard, but offers a beautiful lake. Bring a lunch and eat next to Dream Lake.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was absolutely gorgeous probably my favorite trail I’ve hiked in the park so far. Beautiful views, a large pond at the end...highly recommended

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Absolutely stunning hike, one of my absolute favorites in Rocky Mountain National park. A true gift from God. I would suggest wearing micro spikes, the trail is pretty packed down but would not have been reachable without spikes.

icy
off trail
rocky
scramble
snow
2 months ago

We attempted to make it to Dream Lake this past Saturday (3/14) for sunrise but only got as far as Nymph Lake. We started around 6:45 am with blowing snow and the trail was covered with about 8 inches of fresh powder. Not bad going to Nymph; someone had just gone ahead of us with snowshoes. Hard to get to the other side of the lake without crossing directly over the lake. The snow turned significantly deeper on the north end and we couldnt make it past without snowshoes. Nymph was pretty though.

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

hiking
icy
off trail
snow
2 months ago

Beautiful view

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Busy day to Dream Lake but there was no one on the trail once we left it. Still needed snowshoes and there were some tight spots on the way up. Beautiful once you go there. Windy as usual but sunny and warm.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is packed down well but micro spikes are recommended. We couldn’t have done it without them. When we got to Dream Lake the winds were howling and fierce but it was beautiful. I never walked over a lake before and was nervous but others were skiing over it so we kept going on and went all the way to Emerald Lake. We have done these trails in the summer and fall so this was a first for us and highly recommended. Just as beautiful just a different kind of beauty.

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

Spectacular winter hike. Did it twice in January. It was cold and windy but definitely worthwhile. It's a lot harder in the winter than summer, but it's worth doing in both seasons to see the difference in the terrain and vistas.

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

I wanted to do much more hiking today, but I kept getting lost looking for Lake Haiyaha. The weather did cooperate with beautiful blue skies and only a light wind. Hope to hike this again when it has thawed out. Arrived at 10 am and there were still spots at the Bear Lake Trailhead. Grateful and surprised for this!

hiking
icy
2 months ago

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Get here as early as you are able because parking is limited and there’s no shuttle to the Bear Lake Trail head. I arrived around 11:30 on 2/29/2020 and it was absolutely nuts. Well worth it though, especially if this is your first time in the Rockies. Trails are well worn, even in the snow. Speaking of which, There’s a lot of snow still even as we get into march so I recommend chains for your boots at the very least if you want to avoid a sore bum. Just a fundamental tip for the fellow filthy tourists. Gentle incline most of the way and views are breathtaking. The excellent photography on display doesn’t do it justice. Majestic, panoramic views of the peaks and valleys await for those with a thirst for a bit of adventure. Be advised, an extra layer may be prudent if you decided to move on to emerald as the wind picks up significantly and the incline ramps up a little. Stay hydrated and stay safe.

hiking
icy
snow
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

great winter hike,the trails are well marked however I would Definately download a map because the snow can cover the lakes wich I walked across without knowing.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Spikes were helpful. Very windy, especially at Dream Lake!

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Great hike today. Was the first one up the trail around 8am so it was difficult at times to actually find the connecting trail from Nymph Lake due to so much snow. Look for the bench and the trail continues behind it. Very windy at Dream Lake. Wore snowshoes and had no issues, although I saw some people wearing microspikes when I was coming back down. Snow was pretty deep/loose getting closer to the lake. Wear layers and gloves!!

hiking
snow
4 months ago

The trail was absolutely beautiful! Views the entire way and some beautiful birds along the way. I would definitely recommend spikes for your boots and poles. They were very helpful especially along spots where the packed snow of the trail was very thin.

hiking
4 months ago

This hike was so great. It was still accessible even covered in snow while still being so beautiful! It’s well trafficked, so prepare to see a lot people! If you’re doing this hike in the winter I recommend wearing layers. Over all, incredibly gorgeous.

hiking
icy
snow
4 months ago

Can’t wait to go back in the summer !

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