The trek to Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is incredible and takes you to one of the most photogenic places in Colorado, let alone RMNP. It is definitely a must see if you are visiting the park. Only a 3.5 mile hike gaining less than 1000ft of elevation gain, this is a fairly easy trail that delivers a big bang for its buck. Being a National Park, you will need to pay a fee or be a pass holder to enter and get to this trail.
This hike starts at the Bear Lake Trailhead. You can also park at the Glacier Gorge trailhead and there is a trail up to Bear Lake, but this adds about a half mile each way. Being one of the most popular spots in the park, get there early, especially on weekends. A free shuttle runs throughout RMNP and stops at both of these lots if you need to find parking elsewhere. More info can be found on the shuttle HERE.
Start the hike at Bear Lake, check out the views from there and strap in, because they only get better! From Bear Lake, follow the signs and hike the short distance to Nymph Lake. Keep going past Nymph lake, starting to gain elevation a bit. Make sure to stop and enjoy the killer views of Longs Peak on the way up. Dream lake is absolutely stunning, with Hallet Peak and Flattop Mountain towering above. This is a perfect spot to stop, relax, listen to the water, and take in the sheer beauty of everything around you.
Continuing past Dream Lake, you will climb a bit up to Emerald Lake, even closer to the towering peaks above. It can get a bit windy up here, but it is so other-worldly beautiful. Definitely check out this hike in all seasons, as it is a whole different world between Summer and Winter.
This is a fairly easy hike in RMNP, a great one for delivering insane, iconic views without a crazy climb or super lengthy trek. It does get busy especially on weekends, so be aware!
Bring the camera, this trail is a perfect one to capture the out-of-this world beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park!
This is a popular spot to snowshoe in the winter. The trail is usually fairly packed and you can make it in just spikes, but especially after a fresh snow, snowshoes will be helpful! Emerald Lake is a gorgeous spot for a winter adventure!
Starting this trail from the Bear Lake lot is optimal, however, you can also start from the Glacier Gorge lot. There is a free shuttle that runs throughout the park with stops at these lots if they are full. Click HERE for more info on the shuttle.