Dream Lake is an alpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. It is an extremely popular destination due to the ease of access, incredibly beautiful views, and shared trailhead with other fantastic Colorado hikes.
Elevation: 9,905 Feet (3,019 m)
Distance: 2.2 Miles (3.54 km)
Elevation Gain: 450 feet (137.2 m)
Duration: 1-2 hours
There is one main trail to Dream Lake, which is from the Bear Lake Trail. This 1.1 mile journey will take you past 2 lakes, Bear Lake (a couple hundred foot detour at the trailhead) and Nymph Lake, before hikers reach Dream Lake. Each of these lakes feature stunning views of Hallet Peak and Flattop Mountain.
This trail is very well traveled by all types of hikers. Taking a trip around dream lake to the various viewpoints is common due to the ease of access and fantastic views. Many hikers choose to travel an additional half mile or so to Emerald Lake, with even more impressive views.
Hikers begin on a relatively flat trail heading towards Nymph Lake. Once passing Nymph Lake around (.5 miles into the hike) hikers will quickly ascend towards dream lake. The destination is only .6 miles away from Nymph Lake, making the climb relatively quick. The trail features views of Tyndall Gorge and even Longs Peak.
This is also the same location that hikers start at for summiting Flattop Mountain.
Dream lake is accessible year round. It is gorgeous in all seasons, and each season provides a unique and beautiful perspective.
Fishing is allowed in dream lake and is extremely fantastic. The cutthroat trout are beautiful and plentiful. Barbless hook, catch and release only.
Directions & Parking
This is an extremely popular area, so during peak season, it is recommended taking the Rocky Mountain National Park shuttle system to the trailhead. During the off season, this hike still gets quite busy, and the very large parking lot can fill up. The parking is located at the end of Bear Lake Road.
Information on the shuttle can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/shuttle_bus_route.htm
To Bear Lake Trailhead Parking Area (At the end of Bear Lake Road)
Estes Park, CO
Snow showers and areas of blowing snow. Mostly cloudy. Low around 13, with temperatures rising to around 17 overnight. West wind around 22 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
Snow showers likely and patchy blowing snow before 5pm. Partly sunny. High near 19, with temperatures falling to around 14 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -5. West wind 18 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Mostly cloudy. Low around 11, with temperatures rising to around 16 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -9. West wind 23 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 25. Wind chill values as low as -3. West wind 22 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.
Snow showers likely after 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13. West wind around 21 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.
Snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 19. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of around one inch possible.
A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 9. Chance of precipitation is 30%.