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 an extra loop around Bear lake 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 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.
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
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny. High near 57, with temperatures falling to around 55 in the afternoon. West southwest wind 22 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 42. West wind 16 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 46 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 62. West wind 17 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 45. West wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 62. Southwest wind 12 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 46.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 62. Chance of precipitation is 30%.