Lake Haiyaha is a gorgeous lake located in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). It features scenic views, extremely well maintained trails, fish, and the ability to turn this hike into an awesome loop to see some of the best destination in RMNP. Here, we will give you everything you need to know.
Distance – 3.9 miles round trip (6.28 km)
Height – 10,221 feet (3115.36 m)
Elevation gain – 865 feet (263.65 meters)
Duration – 2.5-3.5 hours (book time)
Difficulty – Intermediate
Trailhead Location – Bear Lake Trailhead (9,477 feet) – Secondary option: Glacier Gorge Trailhead
Need To Know Information
- During a large portion of the year, Rocky Mountain National Park requires permits. Permits can be purchased here along with all other relevant info: https://www.recreation.gov/timed-entry/10086910
- Other permit info (You should read this information): https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/timed-entry-permit-system.htm
- Dogs are not allowed in Rocky Mountain National Park
- Hikers can park at either Glacier Gorge, or Bear Lake as both are great starting options for doing a loop hike.
- Parking fills up, so the shuttle system in the park can be used when it does.
Hiking Route Options
There are a few options for hiking to Lake Haiyaha. The most symple is an out and back from the end of Bear Lake road, however, there is a highly recommended loop option that enables hikers to add in other alpine lakes if they choose. We will discuss all options below.
Bear Lake Trailhead (Out And Back) | 3.9 Miles Round Trip (6.28 km) – 865 Feet Elevation Gain (263.65 meters)
Hikers begin at the Bear Lake Parking Lot and follow signs towards Dream Lake and Nymph Lake. Hikers begin by ascending a gradual trail that is very well traveled, and is even paved until just before Nymph Lake. Hikers continue around Nymph Lake along the trail and follow signs towards Dream Lake. 1 Mile in hikers will reach the junction just before dream lake to bear left towards Lake Haiyaha.
Hikers should enjoy Dream Lake for a few and walk around a bit given the stunning views before heading up towards Haiyaha. From here, hikers climb via some switchbacks above the south side of dream lake. The trail gains elevation, but is very well maintained. .7 miles from the junction at Dream Lake, hikers will reach the next junction. Straight heads towards Lake Haiyaha, and left heads towards Loch Vale and Mills Lake.
Heading towards Lake Haiyaha hikers will reach the lake .3 miles later. The last small portion of the lake requires some navigating around large boulders. Caution should be taken here, but it is not extremely difficult. Views at the lake are stunning.
Bear Lake Trailhead (Loop Hike) | 5.2 Miles (8.37 km) | With Add On Mileage Available | 1,066 Feet Elevation Gain
If you want to add some mileage to your hike, we highly recommend turning this hike into a loop. This loop offers more terrain to see, like Alberta Falls, but also quick side trips you can take to other Alpine lakes if even more mileage is wanted.
This loops can be done clockwise, or counter clockwise, there really isn’t an option that is better or worse, it simply depends on your primary destination. This loop allows hikers to add on additional lakes via out and back trails.
Add On Loch Vale (Highly Recommended): 1.6 Miles Round Trip With 416 Feet Of Elevation Gain
Add On Mills Lake: 1.2 Miles Round Trip With 178 Feet Of Elevation Gain
Add On Emerald Lake: 1.2 Miles Round Trip With 211 Feet Of Elevation Gain
Any of these add ons are highly recommended as they feature incredible beautiful views. In addition to these add ons, hikers can go significantly further to other lakes. To plan these routes, simply consult a Rocky Mountain National Park map.
It is also worth noting that the hikers can leave from the Glacier Gorge Parking lot as the trails connect via small connectors. Bear Lake is the easiest starting point for Haiyaha, however starting at Glacier Gorge is no issue.
Camping For Lake Haiyaha
There are no backcountry sites at Lake Haiyaha. All individuals must obtain a backcountry camping permit for camping in Rocky Mountain National Park. Hikers may find available sites to reserve around Fern Lake, Odessa Lake, Andrews Creek (passed Loch Vale) and other nearby areas.
Fishing Lake Haiyaha
There are plenty of fish in Lake Haiyaha and it is an artificial lure only body of water. Fish can be kept, however any cutthroat caught must be released. This is the primary fish in this lake.
Current Weather Conditions:
Here is the detailed weather forecast for the next few days. We highly recommend you check out the mountain forecast for this area the morning of your hike.
Estes Park, CO
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)
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and sharing experiences with others. Max is a published author for various outdoor websites and digital marketing websites. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about