Emerald Lake

 95 votes

3.3 Miles 5.4 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

661' 201 m

Ascent

-651' -198 m

Descent

10,104' 3,080 m

High

9,476' 2,888 m

Low

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Minor Issues

15 days agoUpdate

An easy to moderate out and back that culminates at views of Emerald Lake.

Brian Smith

Overview

This is a short, fairly easy out-and-back that features Dream and Emerald Lakes.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek — Swimming — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Family Friendly: This hike is short enough and gradual enough to bring along young kids. You can turn around whenever you want and there are many great picnic sport along the way!
Dogs: No Dogs

Description

From the Bear Lake trailhead, follow the signs for Dream Lake onto this 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 1.5 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 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. The lake makes for a good resting point on this hike. Once you've gotten your fill at Dream Lake, continue hiking along the trail for another mile until you reach Emerald Lake. This lake is a beautiful sight to see as it sits nestled into the rugged western face of Flattop Mountain.

From Emerald Lake, turn around and hike back the way you came to the Bear Lake TH.

Flora & Fauna

This hike follows Tyndall Creek up towards its headwaters. Look for riparian vegetation typical of this environment including various willows, mountain alder, and water birch with dark-colored bark. In a few places, blue spruce may grow near streams and sometimes hybridize with Engelmann spruce.

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4.6 from 95 votes


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Check-Ins

Sep 21, 2017
Maren Miller
Sep 16, 2017
Sue Dennis
Sep 16, 2017
Garret Clanton
Sep 15, 2017
John Copp
Sep 14, 2017
Drew C
Crowded but definitely worth the views 3.6mi
Sep 12, 2017
Oksana Polinovski
3mi
Sep 9, 2017
Rebecca C
Sep 9, 2017
Ashley Pearce

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 95 votes

#2

in Bear Lake

#10

Overall
  4.6 from 95 votes
5 Star
71%
4 Star
23%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#2

in Bear Lake

#5

in Colorado

#10

Overall
823 Views Last Month
7,989 Since Jan 8, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

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Conditions


Minor Issues 15 days ago

Getting forecast...

In winter, go with snowshoes. Incredibly beautiful. And go on a weekday when there are very few people. Rent gear including warm clothes at Estes Park Mountain Shop and ask for Zion. Feb 2, 2017


If you don't mind the hordes of people on this trail during the summer months, there is a great payoff at the end. Emerald lake is visually fantastic for such a short hike. Get there early! Aug 24, 2017


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