Emmaline Lake Trail is a 13 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Glen Haven, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 13.0 miles Elevation Gain: 2,135 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

waterfall

wildlife

From the trailhead the trail skirts the west side of the Pingree Park Campus on a former jeep trail for 3.5 miles to Cirque Meadows, a popular destination for visitors. There are seven designated campsites with metal fire rings below and in Cirque Meadows, before you reach the Comanche Peak Wilderness and the Emmaline Lake Travel Zone. Campsite #1 is located at the junction of the Mummy Pass Trail. In the Cirque Meadows area proper, there are four campsites east of the meadow, and two campsites across Fall Creek to the north.

hiking
4 days ago

Very nice trail. Beginning of trail was dry but definitely got snowier the further you went. Needed snow shoes right around camp site 3. Lost the trail around camp site 4 and ended up 1/4 mile south of the lake but still a great hike. Anywhere from 1-5 feet of snow, without snow shoes we would have never made it. Cirque Lake was frozen but Emmeline was completely thawed. Had to climb over a handful of fallen trees.

hiking
muddy
snow
7 days ago

Hiked 5/26/2020. Very easy and beautiful up to Cirque Meadows. About .5-1 mile after the Meadows you’ll encounter slushy, post-hole paradise. If you go early enough you won’t need snowshoes until the next set of campsites but then snowshoes are a must—especially on the return treck. Be prepared for multiple layers of clothes—warm weather but significant snow on the ground. Boots, gaiters, snowshoes are essential for the next couple weeks I’d say. If you don’t have these things, be prepared for soaked through boots. Even with those things, I wish I had brought an extra pair of socks. The trail is very difficult to follow due to the amount of snow still present. I criss-crossed the trail at multiple points, kept referring to my GPS watch and eventually just decided to find what path worked best. Some boot prints remaining but after Memorial Day weekend snow, a lot of the tracks were covered up. If it’s your first time hiking this trail, GPS is absolutely essential. FYI about Cirque Lake—it is very snowed over and hard to tell if it’s frozen still or not. Better to just stick to the shoreline and enjoy climbing the massive snowbank up to Emmaline.

hiking
muddy
snow
10 days ago

Hiked this trail this morning. Got there around 7:30am. There are only 3-4 parking spots at the trail head so plan on parking along the road. We saw a moose about 1 mile from the trail head and it was 30 yards away from us. We kept walking so not to bother it, but it was a cool sight for sure. We only made it to the Meadows and then the trail was too hard to follow due to snow and water pooling. Will definitely come back later in the season to finish the hike! Awesome views and not very crowded.

15 days ago

this is one of my favorite hikes in Colorado. you walk along streams/waterfalls for the last half and emerge to see two gorgeous glacier lakes at treeline.

hiking
snow
29 days ago

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Awesome views from Cirque Meadows! Do NOT go past the creek without snowshoes. Will you survive? Probably. Will it be the most miserable, post hole punching, 2 miles of your life? Yes. 100%. Don’t do it.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Was able to hike to the creek before it became too snow covered to continue. If you’re trying to make it further you would need snow shoes. Beautiful views of the valley. Not very many people yet. Lot’s of Moose activity, so be prepared and ready for that.

hiking
1 month ago

Very snowy, over a foot of snow, up to a couple feet in some places. Storm coming in this afternoon we didn’t get very far. Would recommend snowshoes given trail conditions today and more snow on the way.

snow
4 months ago

Completed 1/27. Ok trench up until the Meadows. No flotation needed, microspikes worked great. Then the trail is drifted over. Turned around there as I didn't have my snowshoe's. Otherwise awesome hike with great views

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Was a solid day hike, fairly windy at the top but easily doable until late October. Trail was clear the whole way and we saw some moose on the way back.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful day hike was relatively easy. End had some rocks nothing to major. Saw a cow moose and calf feeding in the lower lake. Amazing trail.

hiking
scramble
snow
8 months ago

Such a beautiful view and trail! Definitely scrambling near the top of the Emmaline Lake Trail, mainly over rocks and some streams. But the views are worth it! It started to snow when we reached the summit, but not much. Starting to get cold so pack for hats and gloves starting this time of year. We camped at the Cirque Meadows campgrounds and made Emmaline Lake a day hike, but was spectacular all around! Leaves are just starting to change too!

Wonderful trail! I spent the night at campsite #4 (closest to the lake) and hiked up to Emmaline to watch the sunrise. Start early before it gets too warm. You also want to leave yourself plenty of time to explore the area (Cirque lake is also gorgeous) and make it back down.

hiking
8 months ago

beautiful and challenging ✨☀️✨

hiking
8 months ago

beautiful trail ♡♡ love this area

hiking
8 months ago

Follow signs to the CSU mountain campus and take CR 145 to get to the trailhead, limited parking. Pretty nice and wide trail through aspen groves for the first while until you get into more forested areas leading up to the Cirque Meadows. Lots of stream/creek crossings over logs and trees and very gradual easy elevation to the meadow. The view from the meadows cannot be beat, one of the best spots on CO to hang out and relax. Continuing up to the lakes has much more elevation gain. Cirque lake was a more beautiful spot to hang out because of the crystal clear blue water but both are amazing. Best camping spots are near the meadows.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike and beautiful views. Trail is well maintained to Cirque Meadows with ample camping. We planned to day hike from the camp site to the lakes but our dog got altitude sickness. We will be back.

hiking
9 months ago

As good as it gets! Long trail but gentle incline most of the way, a little steeper at the end. Water features around every corner along the way up, stunning views at the end. Took us about 7 hrs including long breaks to soak in the views.

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

Excellent hike. We were ages 12 to 72, and all enjoyed it. Actually this is two very different hikes. The first, from trailhead to Cirque Meadows is easy and largely on rocky roads or Jeep trails. The second half, from the Meadows to Emmaline Lake is considerably steeper with some scrambling required. There were multiple river crossings, but no water shoes were required. The campsites near the meadows have moved a bit in some cases from the All Trails map, but are well marked with multiple good tent sites. Just about all the sites beyond the meadows are inside the travel zone and do not allow open flames. Most are poorly marked and hard to locate. We camped at Site 3 (Pine), and it was excellent. On 12 & 13 August, mosquitoes were present but not very bad, probably due largely to fairly strong winds The lakes at the base of the cirque are beautiful complemented by the spectacular background of the double cirque. Wild flowers were extensive and varied, also beautiful! A great trip for backpacking or day hikes. A day hike to the upper lakes is a good workout...

hiking
9 months ago

Went from Tom Bennett to Cirque meadows. Not a hard hike. Walking along a dirt road. Pretty wild flowers and river stops.

hiking
bugs
rocky
10 months ago

hiking
bugs
washed out
10 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
10 months ago

Beautiful area but BUGS BUGS BUGS! We were going to stay overnight but the mosquitoes were too bad. We had only brought a small amount of bug spray which was a huge mistake.

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