If you're looking for a moderate, not super steep hike with a phenomenal payoff in Rocky Mountain National Park, lake Haiyaha is for you!
A stunning alpine lake that can turn an enchanting blue color after a rockslide, Haiyaha is gorgeous and a RMNP favorite.
Start this hike from the ever popular Bear Lake Trailhead. Be sure to get there early or use the park and ride shuttle to get to the trailhead. You'll start on the same trail up to Dream and Emerald Lakes. Right before Dream Lake (which you should totally check out on the way up or back!), you will take the fork to the left and begin climbing to the left of Dream Lake. There are a few switchbacks and this is the most demanding section. Push on though, Haiayah is worth it!
Only a short 2.2 miles and 750 ft of elevation gain from the trailhead, you'll arrive at stunning Lake Haiyaha. There are tons of large boulders around the lake, so it can be a bit difficult to get close to the water. Be sure to carefully climb up some of the rocks and catch the insane views. Take care to not disturb the vegetation and fragile trees surrounding the lake.
The color of Haiyaha can turn an almost tropical blue after a rockslide. These pictures are from October 2022, after a rockslide brought glacial sediment into the lake in June 2022.
This is a perfect hike to hit a few of the best alpine lakes the park has to offer. You can make a loop seeing 5 or 6 incredible lakes. Starting with Bear Lake, you take the trail towards Emerald, seeing Nymph Lake, followed by the aptly named Dream Lake, then head up to Haiyaha. Keep going to the Loch and even over to Mills Lake.
This hike is great for families with a bit older children who want to explore in the park!
Haiyaha is a perfect place to get some killer shots! Be sure to hit Dream Lake on your way up or back as well!
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.