Four Lake Loop Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews
#73 of 186 trails in

Four Lake Loop Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Estes Park, 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 August.

DISTANCE
6.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,332 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

no dogs

Beginning and ending at the Bear Lake trailhead, this wonderful loop hits on many of Rocky Mountain National Park's biggest attractions. Along the way you'll have the opportunity to take in the views at four beautiful lakes as well as one stunning set of cascades. ------- From the Bear Lake trailhead, follow the signs for Dream Lake onto a well traveled, asphalt-sealed trail. Hiking is very easygoing along the Dream Lake Trail as it contours at very mellow grades up the slope. Just over 0.5 miles from the TH, you'll reach Nymph Lake, a picturesque mountain lake that makes for a good place to take in the surrounding peaks. Continuing up the trail, you'll eventually cross Tyndall Creek and come to a junction with Lake Haiyaha Trail. Hike just past this intersection to reach Dream Lake. Dream Lake is a spectacular, narrow lake that sits in a drainage on the rugged eastern slope of Flattop Mountain. Retrace your steps on Dream Lake Trail back to the intersection with Lake Haiyaha Trail and turn right (south). Lake Haiyaha Trail heads over the ridge then trail switchbacks its way through dense forest before quickly topping out and descending towards Chaos Creek. Cross the creek and start hiking up the southern bank past a junction with Lake Hayiaha Cutoff. Soon afterwards, the trail descends to Lake Hayiaha. Enjoy the beauty of the lake before retracing your steps on the Lake Hayiaha Trail to Lake Hayiaha Cutoff. Turn right on Lake Hayiaha Cutoff and follow it as the trail descends at moderate grades before flattening out drastically. The trail contours around the eastern flank of the West Glacier Knob before dropping down to the junction. Turn left (east) onto Loch Vale Trail and begin the descent along Glacier Creek. The trail is mostly flat to start as it passes through the Glacial Knobs but it steepens as it switchbacks down toward Alberta Falls. At Alberta Falls, Glacier Creek thunders down this spectacular waterfall that ranks as one of the park's more popular hiking destinations. Continue your descent along Loch Vale Trail to a low spot and cross Tyndall Creek. Follow the trail up the northern bank of the drainage for a short climb back to the Bear Lake TH.

4 months ago

Loved this trail! We decided to do the lakes as an out and back trail and skipped the extra bit that made it a loop... had a great time!

hiking
5 months ago

A lot of these hikes are just different combination of the various lake. Pick the distance and elevation gain you feel confortable, and pick your lake.

Mills lake is one of the best, and not so hard to reach. Skypond is amazing, but include some scrambling. The other lake on this current suggestion are good. Bear lake is the most boring

snowshoeing
10 months ago

A fantastic day today on this loop! Despite not seeking a whole lot of unpacked snow at Bear Lake, the loose snow quickly made it necessary to switch to snowshoes. Lots of post holing on the way up to Emerald and on some of the off-trail stuff, but still a lot of fun. Spectacular views and a great workout. Highly recommended.

WARNING: the trail to Lake Hiayaha is no longer safe. Right at the nose on your way south, there is significant avalanche danger. I ran into a local who spoke of a “winter trail” that avoids this hazard, but I’m unclear as to where it is. I did end up leaving the trail in a second avalanche-prone area closer to the Loch/Mills intersection, but it was not easy going.

hiking
11 months ago

1/14/18: Trail was packed down and relatively easy from the TH to Dream. Snowshoes required from Dream to Haiyaha Lake due to chest deep snow drifts (made clear by a 6ft+ man covered in snow). Disappointed we couldn't finish as not all brought snowshoes but will be back!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

This trail has it all! We experienced every season....snow/ice, sunshine, leaves falling...beautiful.
We gave it 4 stars instead of 5 simply because portions of the trails were way too crowded.
If you want to see waterfalls, lakes, rocks, ice/snow....do this entire trail and include Alberta Falls.

hiking
Thursday, August 03, 2017

Loved this route! All the lakes are gorgeous! We tracked it at being a bit longer and more elevation gain but definitely a great hike!

hiking
Monday, July 31, 2017

Lovely trail with a bit more than gradual incline throughout. Lake Haiyaha is a brilliant blue lake in the middle of a beautiful boulder field that was my personal favorite vista on the hike. The other lakes are lovely and worth the detours off the main loop but Haiyaha is a must see. The trail also crosses several small creeks via rock paths to hop across or basic log bridges so be aware during high water times. Overall a gorgeous hike!

hiking
Friday, July 28, 2017

Great loop. Get there early! We started at 7 and it was still pretty crowded between Bear and Emerald lakes. Once we headed on to Haiyaha the crowds vanished. The last quarter mile back up to Bear Lake from Glacier Gorge is rough!

Friday, July 28, 2017

this hike is immediately beautiful. we had to go on a Sunday and it was very crowded, but cleared out a bit on the way to Lake Haiyaha. also, it may be a bit more than 7.1 miles with the side trips to the lakes...our phones tracked 9.5 miles.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Fantastic trail. Did it with 2 boys aged 8 and 10 and a 3 year old girl who was sitting on moms back 3/4 of the track and walked 1/4 by herself.

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

I'm surprised this trail isn't already on here! You can read more about it at http://www.rockymountainhikingtrails.com/four-lakes-loop.htm it's a gorgeous loop that allows for flexibility based on how long of a hike you want to make it. My friend and I went to Alberta falls first which I thoroughly enjoyed. I would suggest starting early because the bear/emerald lake area can get heavily trafficked later in the day but for good reason The trail is awesome!!

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snowshoeing
10 months ago

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

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Saturday, August 26, 2017