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

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 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.

Trail Map

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

This Afternoon
Showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy. High near 46, with temperatures falling to around 44 in the afternoon. Northeast wind 6 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Tonight
Showers and thunderstorms likely before 9pm, then a slight chance of thunderstorms and rain and snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy. Low around 33, with temperatures rising to around 36 overnight. South wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Sunday
A slight chance of snow showers before 7am, then a chance of rain and snow showers between 7am and 9am, then showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny. High near 49, with temperatures falling to around 47 in the afternoon. West wind 7 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Sunday Night
Showers and thunderstorms likely before 10pm, then a slight chance of thunderstorms and rain and snow showers likely between 10pm and midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 34. West southwest wind 6 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Monday
A slight chance of thunderstorms and a chance of rain and snow showers before 9am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 9am and noon, then showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 48. Southwest wind 12 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Monday Night
Showers and thunderstorms before 9pm, then a slight chance of thunderstorms and rain and snow showers between 9pm and midnight, then a slight chance of thunderstorms and a slight chance of rain and snow showers between midnight and 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Tuesday
A slight chance of thunderstorms and a chance of rain and snow showers before 9am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 9am and noon, then showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 45. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Additional Pictures

Views Passing Nymph Pond Heading Towards Dream Lake

Views Passing Nymph Pond Heading Towards Dream Lake

Dream Lake Views