Lake Emma Trail is a 1.6 mile out and back trail located near Alma, Colorado that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips.

Distance: 1.6 miles Elevation Gain: 629 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

lake

views

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

This is a great hike and the lake is beautiful. The road to the trailhead is fairly rough as you get closer but not too too bad. Also a $3 parking fee and there are restrooms. On the hike be aware that when you get to the creek close to the top the trail splits. If you like rock climbing then go to the right but if you would like the easier route go left over the creek. It is a little technical and poles may help but we took our time and enjoyed the challenge. The lake is at approximately 12,620 ft. elevation. Even though it is short, this trail may not be good for smaller dogs, older folks or small children that have trouble climbing. But it’s a good one and I would definitely do it again!!!

hiking
9 months ago

We inadvertently did this trail after taking a wrong turn out of the Kite Lake parking lot on the way to Decalibron. The lake itself is very pretty; the trail is short but quite steep. I'm not sure this would be worth a trip on its own, but if you have any legs left after Decalibron, it's a worthwhile stop.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

This trail is HARD. The only thing that allows it to be a moderate is the briefness. That said, the trail head spits you out about 12,000 and you climb 600 and change. My Pittsburgh lungs did not adjust during this hike, despite having been in CO hiking the front range and alpine 7-10 k ft) for two weeks already. Take your time while climbing, because the path is steep and at times treacherous. With all that in mind, this lake is 100% worth the 3$ parking fee. It was gorgeous, you walk through a rock field and are basically surrounded by Pikas, and the glacial lake at the top is pristine. There is something truly magical about the turquoise color of glacier water. The drive up to the trail head is tough but doable. Just go slow and be careful. High clearance is certainly nice but we saw some sedans at the trail head too.

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

Beautiful lake still has ice. Steep at end but very doable. Gorgeous views of valley behind. $3.00 fee for parking. Trail to lake is by restroom. Other side leads up toward Mt Lincoln. Fields of wildflowers are beautiful.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful drive up. A bit rough at the end. The trail was great. Gorgeous views. Lake was still partially frozen. The dog loved the snow.

hiking
10 months ago

Trail to Emma starts right next to the bathroom. I had to park about one mile down from the parking lot. Drive up to the parking lot and pick up an envelope to pay the $3 day use fee. Or pay the fee when you finish your hike. Somebody went by and put the envelops on all the cars parked below the parking lot. The trail is clear all the way to the lake. If you stay on the trail, you don't need climbing gear for this lake. The lake has ice on about 1/3. There is snow around the shore of most of the lake. That makes it a challenge if you are going to fish this lake. Fishing was slow. I caught a fish on a Caddis and a couple on a black zebra Midge, number 12. The fish are eating size 50 midges. They are so tiny. There are some big cream color moths that were landing in the water. I also saw some caddis activity. Go deep if you don't see any surface action.

hiking
10 months ago

Amazingly beautiful. Hard to find the trail head, as we never actually saw a marker that said the name of the trail. When you park and are looking at the small lake, the trail will be on your left.

hiking
10 months ago

Can’t say enough how much we loved this trail. Little difficult finding the start - it’s on the side with the bathrooms. The views are just spectacular. Other worldly. We saw several beavers, ptarmigan and grouse along the way. Beautiful wildflowers too. We got within a few hundred yards of the lake and had to turn back. If we’d been able to rope up, perhaps I would have felt better crossing the snow and boulders near the top. Road can be done in an SUV or similar higher clearance vehicle. Would not recommend going up in a sedan. This was surely the best hike of our week in the area.

hiking
10 months ago

We hiked this trail this morning and we weren't able to make it all the way to the lake. We ran into some decent snow about 1/8 mile downhill from the lake and figured it wasn't worth the work to get up there since the lake was probably still snow covered. Still a great trail with really nice views down the valley and the wildflowers are starting to really show. We plan on going again in a couple weeks with hopes for less snow.

hiking
snow
10 months ago

We hiked to the lake 7/5 and it was still frozen and snow covered. The trail is currently a flowing stream from all the melting snow and there are a few snow bank crossings that were very manageable. Once you gain the ridge to see the lake, there are fantastic views of the 14k ft peaks surrounding you and the valley below. Still gorgeous despite the frozen lake. The meadow floor is beginning to grow vegetation.

hiking
Wed Apr 24 2019

Did this in late June last year at sunset. One of the memorable experiences from Colorado. At one point, a buddy of mine and I left the trail to follow a stream which led to several small ponds at the top. Seeing the perfectly still mountain ponds reflecting the mountain face beyond made me feel like I was detached from reality. We walked around in the shallow parts of the ponds and discovered fairy shrimp swimming around our feet. If you’re going to hike the four peaks, be sure to take this side trip. You don’t want to miss it.

hiking
Fri Apr 05 2019

Stunning area, but note the road is closed about a mile out from the trailhead until June.

Fri Jun 22 2018

Fantastic hiking - not too strenuous but still offers some of the BEST views of the stunning Mosquito Range. The road to the Kite Lake trailhead was pretty rough in a sedan, so would recommend a fwd vehicle. The first part of the trail is very easy, but the second half was a little more difficult due to the snow coverage on the ascent to the lake, which was located at the top of the waterfall. We had to detour around the snow which added some extra mileage to the hike, but it was well worth it. The lake, which was still partially frozen, was a beautiful turquoise color and offered incredible panoramic views in all directions. The only company we had was a pair of mountain goats who snuck up on us while we ate our lunch. 10/10 recommend this hike if you are looking for something short and spectacular.

hiking
Sun Jun 10 2018

Really enjoyed this short ascent to Lake Emma via Kite Lake. If you're camping at Kite Lake trailhead and doing 14ers and want to stretch your legs, Lake Emma is a sweet little ascent that offers great views of the valley. We went in early June and were able to make it almost the whole way. There was more snow than we felt comfortable traversing without trekking poles. Snow was melting rapidly. Better in July. Would love to see the lake, though we know it was most likely frozen.

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8 months ago

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9 months ago

recorded Lake Emma Trail

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10 months ago

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