Emerald Mountain Trail [CLOSED]

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Rocky Mountain National Park

Emerald Mountain Trail is a 1.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 1.5 miles Elevation Gain: 902 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 day ago

Good first hike on our visit as we get acclimated to the altitude. It was easy to follow and the teen-aged kids enjoyed climbing to the top of all the rock outcroppings. The scrambling wasn't bad. It was easy to follow the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

A quickie trip when everything else was starting to shut down. Do your tick check when you get down!

hiking
2 months ago

Relatively short but tough with great views the whole way.

hiking
off trail
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

This trail we accidentally came up on. The initial trail from the parking lot was easy, but started a steep incline before long. We hiked to the summit and we were rewarded with beautiful views. We only saw a few people, so if you’re looking for a less crowded trail close to the YMCA area, this is a decent hike. We also had our kids ages 9 & 12 and they loved it. Keep and eye out for landmarks as we lost the trail a few times coming down.

hiking
over grown
rocky
10 months ago

Pretty good trail, a little rocky and overgrown. It is fun to climb the rocks along the side. The view at the top is alright, but it has a lot of trees. Fun trail to do from the YMCA.

hiking
10 months ago

This trail is poorly marked and completely full of horse crap. We actually didn’t see any signs for emerald. Ended up going to Sprague and that was also poorly marked. The sign that said 1.1 to is easily missed if you don’t take a right turn otherwise you go an extra 1.4 miles further to the other side of Sprague. Nevertheless the trail 80% full of horse poop

hiking
11 months ago

This was the best part of our east portal hike to Sprague Lake. Emerald mountain climb was strenuous, very vertical. Trail was loose rock, sand fair amount of scrambling. View from top was awesome and well worth the climb. Strongly advise Hiking poles!

hiking
11 months ago

A really nice hike. Parts are definitely hard, not moderate.

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful views once up there. As said in other reviews not marked very well. My 9 & 7 year olds did great but I was trying to backpack with my 3 year old and coming down was challenging. If hiking with a small child I recommend passing them back and forth until out of the loose rocks.

hiking
Fri May 24 2019

If you pass the YMCA of the rockies, you park at the end of that road and start hiking where there is a sign with a map on it. The trail isn't very well marked, so when the trail divided we would just take the way that looked like it went up to the top. Very steep and very pretty views.

Mon Apr 15 2019

If you go up from the Y you still need snow shoes or skis. I only took spikes and had snow basketballs under my feet until I found a place to take them off. The trail is marked ok at the start but with the wind covering all the tracks it's bushwhacking early on. It's at least knee deep when you step through, but well worth the effort.

hiking
Sat Apr 13 2019

Beautiful hike, but as others have said—very crowded. The views were phenomenal and my husband said this is his favorite hike that he’s ever done. I would say this a close second to hikes I’ve done in the Alps. Microspikes were very helpful; some people didn’t have them and they were having a pretty hard time getting up and down. The best part of the hike was seeing the skiers at the top. That’s next on the bucket list!

hiking
Sat Feb 09 2019

Hiked this trail on 2/9/19. Just a bit of patchy snow. Great 360 degree views from the top. Very steep on the top half. I would suggest poles for beginner hikers.

hiking
Sat Feb 02 2019

Hiked up on 2/2/19. Little difficult to find but followed the road past the YMCA and found it. Recommend poles because it is steep with loose rock. The portion from the false summit to the actual summit is pretty easy. Worth the effort!

Tue Sep 25 2018

9/24 We did Emerald and then Haiyaha. 5.7 miles in less than 4 hours. Less than 2l water per person. It was very windy and a little sleet. The views were fantastic and it was worth braving the weather. There is some uphill to Haiyaha, but amazing scrambling and lots of fun boulders to climb.

hiking
Sat Aug 18 2018

A little difficult to find, but very few people. Good hike.

hiking
Mon Jul 30 2018

This is a worthwhile jaunt, and was probably the least-crowded hike in Estes this Sunday afternoon! Follow Hwy 66 past the YMCA to the end of the road, where there's a cul-de-sac. There's parking available here. You'll see the start of the trail to the righthand side, with some informational signs about Estes and the surrounding areas. The "mountain" you see directly in front of you is Emerald. The trail is well-defined most of the way up. When you come to the intersection with several trail options, take either of the two trails to your right (going up the mountain). At the moment, the trail continues to be mostly well-defined to the top. When you reach the first rock outcropping on the left, continue on past it to the true "summit." Because it's not a designated trail, it's rather steep to the top, with lots of loose rock/gravel. Good shoes and/or poles would be helpful. Don't let the short distance fool you; this is harder than you might expect. Enjoy!

Fri Jun 22 2018

Alright hike nothing special Views are ok from top

hiking
Mon May 14 2018

Read the reviews - they give great directions for following the tail.

hiking
Sun Feb 18 2018

A bit hard to follow after you leave the main trail, but the views are amazing and I didn’t see a single other person the entire hike.

hiking
Sat Sep 02 2017

At about .4 miles, you'll reach a group of directional signs. None said Emerald Mountain, at this time, but take either of the 2 trails up, don't continue straight. The one to your right is a switchback which is easier and probably quicker, but they both meet up quickly. After this, there is again no trail marking for Emerald, but look for the first rock outcropping along the trail in this open area. The trail up to the top starts just on the other side of the rocks and is clearly visible to the top, but can be sandy with loose rock at times. The views from the top (both points) are fantastic.

hiking
Mon Jun 12 2017

It was nice. The trail was loose and occasionally steep, but not enough to be a real problem.

hiking
Tue Jun 06 2017

No snow anymore. Excellent 360 views at the summit. The trail to the summit is not marked currently. It is not obvious but with the use of this app, we figured it out. If you hit the Aspen grove you missed the summit trail. It is a challenging final 500 ft of ascent and then descent. A little loose, easy to slip. I am taking up my entire family later this week, including an athletic 10 year old who routinely walks a few miles per week. Challenging but doable.

hiking
Thu May 25 2017

Awesome trail! Definitely a challenge in the May snow, but well worth it at the end. Bring snow shoes this time of year!

snowshoeing
Wed May 24 2017

Hikes this 2 days ago and it was amazing. Very strenuous in snow shoes and with a child carrier but well worth it. Gorgeous!!

hiking
Sun May 07 2017

Great views from the trail. Everything seems to be under general restoration and all of the trail signs have fallen over during the winter. The trail to the top is not marked, once leaving the main trail, other than some small cairns people have placed along the way. I'm not sure it really is a designated trail. Loose rock near the top makes hiking a little slow at times. Saw some wildlife as well. Grouse nesting at the top.

hiking
Sun Oct 09 2016

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