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Hike to Dream Lake – A Colorado Rocky Mountain Easy & Beautiful Hike

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Article Categories: Hiking

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)
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 1-2 hours

Need To Know Information

 

Trails

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.

 

Trail Map

Seasons

Dream lake is accessible year round. It is gorgeous in all seasons, and each season provides a unique and beautiful perspective.

 

Fishing

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)

 

Weather Forecast

Estes Park, CO

Tonight
Mostly clear. Low around 26, with temperatures rising to around 30 overnight. West wind 18 to 32 mph, with gusts as high as 52 mph.

Monday
A chance of snow showers between noon and 3pm, then a chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Sunny. High near 41, with temperatures falling to around 39 in the afternoon. West wind around 33 mph, with gusts as high as 54 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Monday Night
A slight chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Partly cloudy. Low around 22, with temperatures rising to around 24 overnight. West wind 17 to 32 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tuesday
A slight chance of snow showers before noon, then a chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 38. West southwest wind 14 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Tuesday Night
A chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 25. West southwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Wednesday
A slight chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 44. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Wednesday Night
A slight chance of snow showers before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 28. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

 

Additional Pictures

Dream Lake

Views overlooking Dream Lake during summer.

Views Passing Nymph Pond Heading Towards Dream Lake

Views Passing Nymph Pond Heading Towards Dream Lake

Dream Lake Views

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, backcountry skier, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued climbed all of the Colorado 14ers, is always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about

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