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Nymph, Dream, Haiyaha and Loch Vale Lakes Loop [CLOSED]

moderate(72)
Rocky Mountain National Park

Nymph, Dream, Haiyaha and Loch Vale Lakes Loop is a 7.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September.

Distance: 7.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,660 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

waterfall

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
closed
icy
off trail
snow
11 days ago

hiking
snow
27 days ago

hiking
4 months ago

Stunning. Outstanding variety. Great climbs and views, peaks towering above, enveloping lake basins, shaded forests, and sunny ridges. We had time for only one big hike in our visit to Colorado, and I would pick this one again 100 times over. Sunday mid November, parked at 8:15 am, ample parking even though the conditions were excellent. Got back to the lot about 3:15 pm. Skipped the Loch, since we were far too tired by then and had taken about 18,000 pictures already. All the other lakes were well worth the 9 mile (iPhone clocked) loop. Haiyaha in particular was remote and wild - the winds were unbelievable but the giant boulders were awesome and fun to climb, and the peaks loom closer than ever there. We had the lake to ourselves. 100% recommend going in the direction suggested, due to the initial steep climb and the fact that our ability to appreciate the lakes waned as our miles hiked increased. We forgot our crampons but there were only about 2-3 really tricky (but short) sections, but a good tread, observant eye, and solid balance were fully adequate to get us through as fast as our lungs could allow at that altitude and without any nasty tumbles. Have to stay vigilant at all times but the safe places to step are always there. Winds can be very strong, particularly at the lakes. Only saw birds and chipmunks, and deer while driving.

hiking
4 months ago

Good loop. Alpine views the whole way up with great peaky views.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
4 months ago

Great hike! Definitely a moderate walk, but there are difficult sections where the path isn't clear due to the snow and the snow is at waist height. Make sure you bring all the correct equipment.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike, you can get in so many lakes.

hiking
5 months ago

Hit a bunch of lakes in one shot. Lots of people along the loop (good for hiking alone) but not many on the stretch between Haiyaha and The Loch cutoff. So few in fact I startled a moose and it’s baby, a startling moment for all of us. If you’re looking for aspens no need to do the whole loop only the bottom sections (below Alberta Falls) have aspen groves. The lakes are pretty majestic.

hiking
5 months ago

Couldn't ask for a better hike or better scenery. Moderate is the right rank for this. It gets a lot less busy as you get away from Bear Lake, so don't be discouraged by the crowds.

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

There are so many different combinations you can do on this network of trails! We got to the Loch/Mills junction and decided to go to Mills Lake instead of the Loch for our final stop. The initial hike from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake is extremely crowded as it is very family-friendly. Taking the fork from Dream Lake to Lake Haiyaha was my favorite part, as we were alone for the majority of it and the scenery was beautiful. Very rocky around Lake Haiyaha, but it's fun to scramble among the boulders and claim one for yourself to take in the views. Mills Lake was beautiful as well. So serene and peaceful as we got there near the end of the day and no one was around. Very crowded heading back down Glacier Gorge past the falls. Seems like a lot of people come to stroll along the easier trails near the parking lots. Total loop was about 10 miles and took around 5 hours. Great day of hiking in the Rockies!

hiking
6 months ago

There are so many different combinations you can do on this network of trails! We got to the Loch/Mills junction and decided to go to Mills Lake instead of the Loch for our final stop. The initial hike from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake is extremely crowded as it is very family-friendly. Taking the fork from Dream Lake to Lake Haiyaha was my favorite part, as we were alone for the majority of it and the scenery was beautiful. Very rocky around Lake Haiyaha, but it's fun to scramble among the boulders and claim one for yourself to take in the views. Mills Lake was beautiful as well. So serene and peaceful as we got there near the end of the day and no one was around. Very crowded heading back down Glacier Gorge past the falls. Seems like a lot of people come to stroll along the easier trails near the parking lots. Total loop was about 10 miles and took around 5 hours. Great day of hiking in the Rockies!

hiking
7 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. Just when you think you’re used to how gorgeous the park is, you round another bend that takes your breath away. Some areas were difficult, but most were moderate to easy. I’ll admit though, as someone from the East Coast, I could definitely feel the elevation, so I had to take my time. But it was 100% worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

I'll start this off with the fact that I was not well adjusted to the altitude because I arrived from sea level 24 hours prior to this. I didn't get altitude sickness too much, but I felt it. These lakes are gorgeous! The first climb up to Nymph and Dream looks worse on the map than it really is. This part of the loop gets super crowded though. The way to Haiyaha was very empty. It seems most people go back down from the first 2 lakes. We ran into 3 or 4 people on the way to the lake, and a handfull at the lake itself. This lake has tons of large boulders you have to climb over to get some cool views. The loch has some switchbacks you have to tackle before you can get there, which was a little rough, but the lake is awesome. There are tons of rocks all around that you can relax on and take a break. It was more crowded than Haiyaha, but less than the first 2 lakes. The trail back from Loch was fairly busy. We did not stop to get a great view of Alberta Falls, but it looked great from what we saw. A lot of this trail down is not covered, but at least it is downhill. The whole hike took us around 4.5 hours, taking some breaks at each lake. Definitely a great bang for your buck on this loop!

hiking
bugs
scramble
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

We did this hike a 7/22 and the conditions were perfect. Each lake kept getting prettier. We added bear glass sky and jewel and mills for a total trip of 15.2 miles top 3 hike of my life.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful area and just in time for wildflowers. A bit crowded during peak hours, but well worth the effort to get up early and have the lakes to yourselves. Emerald lake is positively gorgeous. I definitely recommend taking the park and ride up to the trailhead to avoid the fight for the few parking spaces available.

hiking
7 months ago

Great route to check out some of the best spots in RMNP. This whole section of the park is overcrowded, so if you are looking for solitude with nature, definitely look elsewhere. Bugs where only bad when you stopped. Avoid stopping in the shady wooded areas. Its worth adding a quick trip up the gorge as well if you have the legs/time for it.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Really amazing 8-9 mile hike. Stretches that would rate as difficult as major up hill climbs and then rocky downhill hikes. Overall amazing scenery and you can fish at two of the lakes.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

This trail is amazing! Definitely bring bug spray and start as early as you can. We arrived at 7:30 and there were already a lot of people. We started at bear lake trailhead and finished at glacier gorge trailhead. We saw Nymph, Dream, Emerald and Haiyaha. The hike to Dream and Emerald was heavily trafficked but the rest of the loop to Haiyaha and to Alberta Falls we mostly had the trail to ourselves. Again once we got to Alberta Falls the trail was heavily trafficked. We believe that we did close to 7 miles!

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