Monday, October 29, 2018

Emerald Lake Hike || Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Hike: Emerald Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Distance: 3.1 miles round-trip, out-and-back trail, 700ft of elevation gain
Details: This was one of the first hikes my husband and I completed when we got to Colorado. The trail head sits at around 9,500ft, so we knew the elevation would effect us, but we weren't sure how badly we'd feel it. This was a great first hike in the park and the elevation gain was so gradual that we felt absolutely fine. There were people of all ages and fitness levels enjoying the hike (and views)!

 Although the trail is called the Emerald Lake Trail - it actually features three different lakes! The first is Gem Lake, then Dream Lake (pictured above, our favorite) and at the end of the trail is Emerald Lake. The farther you go, the less people there is. 


A few other details on the hike..

Parking: The parking at Bear Lake (where the trail head is) fills up very quickly in the morning. If you're not up there by 7am, park at a lower lot and take the free RMNP shuttle bus to the top. Not only will it save you gas, but you can enjoy the views as a passenger while someone else drives!
Trail Conditions: Check out the weather forecast before you go, but be prepared for anything. Afternoon thunderstorms are an almost daily occurrence in the Rockies, so be sure to pack a rain coat and get down off the mountain by early afternoon.
Final Thoughts: The trail was a little crowded for our taste, but we still enjoyed this hike and would do it again. The views were beautiful, the aspens were perfectly golden yellow, and all three lakes were beautiful.


  1. Wow, I love these pictures! So calming and therapeutic to browse through this post. Looks like a fun hike! :)

  2. This place looks amazing! I've been asking my husband to consider a trip out to Colorado for the last year or so. I have friends and family in Denver and Golden that I'd love to visit. But hiking would be something amazing to do out there!

  3. I love a good hike! My husband just got back from CO and I am so jealous! I can't wait to get myself there soon!


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