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Emerald Lake

Intermediate
 4.7 (312) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

3.3

Miles

5.4

KM

85%

Runnable

10,104' 3,080 m

High

9,476' 2,888 m

Low

661' 201 m

Up

651' 198 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This is a short, fairly easy out-and-back that features Dream and Emerald Lakes.

Description

From the Bear Lake trailhead, follow the signs for Dream Lake onto this well-traveled, asphalt-sealed trail. Running 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. Run 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 run. Once you've gotten your fill at Dream Lake, continue running 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 run back the way you came to the Bear Lake TH.

Flora & Fauna

This run 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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith with improvements by Waylon Calabrese

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 312 votes

#2

in Bear Lake

#13

Overall
  4.7 from 312 votes
5 Star
76%
4 Star
22%
3 Star
2%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Bear Lake

#7

in Colorado

#13

Overall
430 Views Last Month
43,727 Since Jan 8, 2015
Intermediate

7%
1%
83%
3%
6%
0%

Photos

The view to Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain from Dream Lake.
Dec 8, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Long's Peak and aspens
Jan 19, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Dream Lake
Jan 8, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Hallet Peak, 2 am, with moon and Jupiter
Mar 23, 2021 near Estes Park, CO
Dream Lake
Aug 25, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Dream Lake from the Emerald Lake Trail
Aug 24, 2017 near Estes Park, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Jul 25, 2019
Beth Kleekamp
Apr 10, 2019
Anna B
Oct 6, 2018
Andrew G
Aug 29, 2018
Kyle Stephen
Dec 30, 2017
Cassi Zimmer
Sep 29, 2017
Raúl Gross
Hiked
Aug 12, 2017
Junior Henry
Jun 11, 2017
Anthony Carroll