Emerald lake is a perfect short hike for those of all levels. The views are outstanding, and the entire out and back trail is only 3.6 miles with 650 feet of elevation gain.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 3.5 Miles Round Trip (5.63 Km)

Elevation: 10,110 Feet (3,081.5 M)

Duration: 2-3 Hours

Elevation Gain: 650 Feet (198 M)

Trail Map

Emerald Lake Colorado Trail Map

Trails

There is one trail to Emerald lake which is located at the end of Bear Lake road. This 1.8 mile journey will take you past 3 lakes, Bear Lake (a couple hundred foot detour at the trailhead), Nymph Lake, and Dream Lake before hikers reach Emerald 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.

This is also the same location that hikers start at for summiting Flattop Mountain.

Fishing Along The Trails

Dream lake is a very common catch and release fishing destination. Bear lake and Emerald lake are also common. It is important to know that these are artificial lures and fly fishing only areas. They are also catch and release waters.

Directions & Parking

During peak season, hikers should use the park shuttle. Information on the shuttle can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/shuttle_bus_route.htm

To Bear Lake Parking Area (At the end of Bear Lake Road)

Current Weather Conditions

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

Emerald Lake ColoradoDream Lake Colorado