Dream Lake Trail is a 3.2 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is best used from April until November.

Length3.2 kmElevation gain130 mRoute typeOut & back
Kid friendlyHikingSnowshoeingForestLakePartially pavedViewsWildflowersWildlifeFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (3)

Rocky Mountain National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are per vehicle/motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is per person. You can also purchase a park-specific annual pass. Please check with the park for current rates. Start at the Bear Lake trailhead parking lot in Glacier Gorge. There are also options to shuttle buses there as well from other parts of Rocky Mountain National Park. 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. Get ready for a vertical climb with some good elevation gain from the trailhead to the lake. The trail is clearly marked and easy to follow. Once you reach Dream Lake, you are in for a scenic view. The alpine lake water is so clear that users say one can see the cutthroat trout in it very clearly. Users highly recommend wearing microspikes in the winter months due to icy parts of the trail. It can be very windy by the lake, so make sure to bring appropriate clothing.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1,569)
Photos (3,974)
Activities (1,100)
Completed (10,317)
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E Kaplan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 18, 2021
Hiking

Incredible trail. Spikes needed.

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Tiffany Vargas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 13, 2021
WalkingIcySnow

Beautiful! We went during April and it was covered in snow it was absolutely gorgeous.

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Kat Peterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 13, 2021
HikingIcySnow

Gorgeous views and a quick and gentle hike. The trail is entirely snowpack right now, so we were very glad for our YakTrax.

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Emily Simon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 13, 2021
HikingIcySnow

Definitely take spikes if there is any snow, some slick spots where they would’ve been helpful but we managed okay without them. An amazing view at the end, would love to see it in the summer when the lake is melted

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Carmine L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 12, 2021
FishingGreat!IcySnow

Great trail, great views on the way and at the end. Not difficult either. Highly recommend crampons / spikes during this time of year, it will make this hike a breeze.

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Ingrid Carbajal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 12, 2021
SnowshoeingGreat!Icy

Get there early or after 2pm. Parking on a Sunday morning after 10am is a nightmare so be prepared to wait. NO DOGS ALLOWED (only service animals) saw a few groups being turned away because this, some left, one LEFT THE DOG IN THEIR CAR!!! Don’t be that kind of person. We brought our spikes and jeee I’m glad we did, if you are going past Nymph lake you’ll be happy your brought them.

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Olivia Style
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 11, 2021
HikingGreat!

My boyfriend and I did this trail today!! We started around 9:30am, we found parking right away!!! We think we ended up doing multiple trails all in one, but the views were amazing!!! We ended up seeing a bunch of skiers with poles (I am not sure the correct terminology) ski down from the very top of the mountains all the way down. This is was so cool!!!! We did not have spikes, it was a little icy at times, but we tried to stay on the packed snow verse the icy snow and we were just fine! We are in our 20s, but overall thought the hike was very easy (we did stop and take many many pictures) but saw a lot of older people doing this hike as well! The views were amazing!!!!

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Debora Almeida
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 11, 2021
Hiking

great trail, very accessible to many. can be crowded. Nymph lake is okay but keep going to dream lake tje view is worth it

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Cory Ellis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 6, 2021
Hiking
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John Pareizs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 6, 2021
Hiking

thanks to previous reviewers who recommended spikes! Cheapskate me rented some for wife and I. Worth it. 56 at scotts sports. Spikes helped a lot on the hills. a bit slushy on the lakes.

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Joy Wattawa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 5, 2021
Hiking

Gorgeous, fairly easy going. Spikes alone ok.

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mis mcc
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 5, 2021
HikingIcySnow

Absolutely stunning trail!! Not intense at all, but definitely recommend some form of traction when hiking up. Got to see the sun set behind the mountains as well as a shift into cloudy / misty weather. Highly recommend!!

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Dominic Martinez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 4, 2021
Hiking

can't take any dogs on most of the trails, kinda sucked.. but did see alot of fishing spots.

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Giovani Casillas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 4, 2021
Hiking

Was able to accomplish with no microspikes but was very difficult definitely recommend using microspikes. Both lakes were frozen but views were better with snowy mountains!

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Jaime VanSlyke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 4, 2021
FishingSnow

Such a great hike today! Very slushy and slick so recommend micro spikes ($8 at the mountain shop in town) Beautiful weather!

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Belle M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 1, 2021
HikingIcySnow

Super crowded by the first lake and by dream lake, there were only a few people left! Had dream lake almost to ourselves. It was stunning. Used snowshoes but I’m sure micro spikes would work fine.

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Shosh H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 1, 2021
HikingGreat!Snow

Decently busy, 60/40 unmasked to masked, microspikes were definitely useful. Some slick areas - but we just slid. Worth it!

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mattie fort
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 30, 2021
HikingGreat!

The trail was pretty busy when we went (3/28/21) and not of lot of people were wearing masks. At first there was no parking and Bear Lake Rd was closed off, but we gave it 30 mins and there was plenty of parking. Definitely needed micro spikes but other than that it was awesome. The wind was pretty intense.

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Kris M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 30, 2021
HikingSnow

Really scenic lake, I will definitely be returning when things thaw. The end of the trail is guessing which tracks to follow but it is pretty straight forward. Went for sunrise and it was blasting windy in the open area near the end. Definitely wear glasses, a beanie, gloves, and micro spikes. Gators would have been nice. Lots of people heading in as I was heading out. And if you’re not a fan of passing dozens of people not wearing masks on narrow parts of the trail then you might want to wait a couple more months.

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Breanna Andersen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 30, 2021
Great!IcySnow

Absolutely breathtaking view! It was sunny and VERY wind in the open spaces, but still very doable. The trail was still snow covered, but it was packed down. We rented micro spikes from the Mountain Shop in Estes and this saved us (saw some without and they were having to slide down rocky hills on their bottoms). Snow shoes not necessary. We got hot on the way up and were shedding layers, but I’d recommend some sort of windbreaker for the way back down. Otherwise 1 layer on bottom and 1-2 warmer on top were fine for us. Hiked 3/29/21.

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