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