Bear,Nymph,Emerald,Dream lakes

21 reviews #2 hike out of 250 in
3.1 mi
Distance
1 hrs 37 min
Time
terrain
659 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

While in Rocky Mountain National Park, if you want to travel beyond the roadside overlooks and the walk around Bear Lake, this is the hike to do. The hike to Emerald Lake is most closest and easily accessed trail to visit the rugged east edge of the continental divide. This is a very popular trail, year round this trail is well defined, well maintained, and well traveled.

You will be walking up an elevation that's equivalent to walking the up the stairs of a 10 story building. Keep in mind, it's not the exactly like walking up 10 flights of stairs, you'll be stopping to take pictures, rest, having a snack, and taking in the view. But no matter you will be climbing around 660 feet, starting at 9,400 foot elevation. How long you stop and rest along the way is up to you. People of average health, and acclimated to the elevation can do this hike in a few hours.

You will start to walk towards Bear Lake, see a glimpse of it, and turn left up the trail toward Nymph Lake. Nymph Lake is a scenic small alpine lake. There’s a few outcroppings that make things scenic. The steepest part of the trail is just past Nymph Lake.

Dream Lake is where the view really goes from good to great. You will have – Wow! – moments if you've never been in an alpine environment before. This is one of the marquee views of Rocky Mountain National Park.

A little farther is Nymph Lake. The view goes from great to outstanding. It’s similar to Dream Lake, but everything is closer. Plan some time to take in the views of the cliffs and snowfields from the waters edge.

In the winter months (typically November through May), the trail is snow covered. Usually the trail is packed down and boots with good traction are adequate. Snowshoes are not needed unless it has recently snowed. Deep into winter (typically Late December through Early March) it is normally safe to walk across the frozen lakes. If you have any doubt about the stability of the ice, do not walk on it. Always remember, you are responsible for your own safety.



    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    4 months, 1 week ago
    Couldn’t beat the break in the weather - especially with the storms coming over the next two days. No snowshoes but absolutely should have beyond dream lake. Post-holed the the entire distance from Dream to Emerald. Very windy up top but bluebird day. Avy conditions are wild right now so this was a safe alternative to get out and enjoy the day. Access road was fine in AWD (Forester with all season tires). Plenty of Elk and deer.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 7 months ago
    Beautiful hike past three different lakes. Saw a few Elks along the way. Elevation change is moderate. If you arrive in the morning, plan on arriving very early as the parking lot fills up. Later in the day you might arrive just in time to catch the spot of someone leaving. There is also a shuttle.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 8 months ago
    Beauty was unbelievable. We hiked this one in the snow so the trail was icy and slow but the trail was well maintained and all the climbs had steps built into the trail.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 10 months ago
    My favorite hike. Very easy route. Bring warm clothes in summer
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 month, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 months ago

    user_profile
    5 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    6 months ago

    user_profile
    8 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    8 months, 3 weeks ago

    user_profile
    1 year ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 6 months ago

    user_profile
    1 year, 7 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 3 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 5 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 7 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 8 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 10 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 years ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 years ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 years, 1 month ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Public Tracks

user_profile
andrew 5 years, 8 months ago
Bear Lake Trailhead to Emerald Lake
A toddler hike at around half a mile per hour. We saw a herd of elk as we drove to the trailhead, and we saw a marmot when we reached Emerald Lake. Also zillions of chipmunks and many varieties of birds.
user_profile
bwkangas 1 year, 9 months ago
user_profile
hong1945 2 years, 11 months ago
user_profile
susanj.birk 2 weeks, 4 days ago
user_profile
jbona2011 2 months ago
user_profile
michael_h_garrett 7 months, 4 weeks ago
user_profile
dflippo 8 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
weizhao 9 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
abert 10 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
dbogs16 10 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
ferr712 1 year, 1 month ago
user_profile
Amy 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
cascadehigh 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
rosie.piller 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
jwetli 1 year, 7 months ago
user_profile
xl 1 year, 7 months ago
user_profile
katherine0andrews 1 year, 8 months ago
user_profile
nbatdorf 1 year, 8 months ago
user_profile
karstendelap 1 year, 9 months ago
user_profile
Fctile303 1 year, 9 months ago
user_profile
michaelhernandez 1 year, 9 months ago
user_profile
grahamlacy 1 year, 10 months ago
user_profile
Greg Galbo 1 year, 10 months ago
user_profile
b.a.embry 1 year, 10 months ago
user_profile
jtautry 1 year, 10 months ago
user_profile
chuckwpj 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
Steveke 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
Mark 2 years, 6 months ago
user_profile
gdev 2 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
ryansepnafski 2 years, 9 months ago
user_profile
Troyrasmussen 2 years, 9 months ago
user_profile
Martin Roberge 2 years, 9 months ago
user_profile
ed 2 years, 9 months ago
user_profile
paulpunt 2 years, 9 months ago
user_profile
methridge413 2 years, 10 months ago
user_profile
AngelaO 2 years, 10 months ago
user_profile
ExploreAZ 2 years, 10 months ago
user_profile
frankierose 2 years, 10 months ago
user_profile
selliott868 2 years, 10 months ago
user_profile
forrestmid 2 years, 11 months ago
user_profile
mh1j6245 2 years, 11 months ago
user_profile
marlbro 2 years, 11 months ago
user_profile
ncfox1182 2 years, 11 months ago
user_profile
dkemme 3 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Joshua Allen 3 years, 9 months ago
user_profile
CheapCigarMan 3 years, 10 months ago
user_profile
Shreyas Purohit 3 years, 10 months ago
user_profile
Durk 4 years, 5 months ago
user_profile
shmoore1 4 years, 10 months ago
user_profile
smboeder 4 years, 11 months ago
user_profile
shaunpsweeney 4 years, 11 months ago
user_profile
timcasenet 5 years, 5 months ago
user_profile
gross 5 years, 7 months ago
user_profile
Nathan Cahill 5 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
Nathan Cahill 5 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
sammyg 5 years, 10 months ago
user_profile
jakehervey 5 years, 10 months ago
user_profile
Mike 5 years, 11 months ago
user_profile
sazzzzzonov 6 years ago
user_profile
David Houdyschell 6 years, 6 months ago
user_profile
wtommey 6 years, 11 months ago