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 and areas of blowing snow. Cloudy, with a high near 21. West wind around 32 mph, with gusts as high as 52 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 9 to 13 inches possible.
Snow and blowing snow. Cloudy. Low around 14, with temperatures rising to around 17 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -4. West wind 29 to 33 mph, with gusts as high as 53 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 11 to 17 inches possible.
Snow and blowing snow before 5pm, then blowing snow and snow likely. Mostly cloudy. High near 19, with temperatures falling to around 13 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -9. West wind 32 to 39 mph, with gusts as high as 62 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
Blowing snow and snow likely before midnight, then snow likely and areas of blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 11. Wind chill values as low as -12. West wind 26 to 33 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
Snow and blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 16. West wind 24 to 31 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.
Snow likely and areas of blowing snow before 11pm, then areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow between 11pm and 3am, then a chance of snow and patchy blowing snow between 3am and 5am, then areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 11. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.