Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes

Estes Park, Colorado 80511

Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes

Nymph, Dream, & Emerald Lakes Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"It is easy to understand why these Bear Lake trails are among the most popular. They are relatively short and easy to navigate, and they feature some of the most beautiful scenery in the park. Touring around Nymph Lake is a short family outing and can be combined with a circuit of Bear Lake.

Another 0.6 mile and 200 feet get you to the sleepy shoreline of Dream Lake. The hike from Nymph to Dream Lake is also a real treat (eye candy, if you will). From the other side of Nymph Lake, the trail continues uphill to the left; you soon see a striking view of Longs Peak."

Nymph, Dream, & Emerald Lakes Trip Reports

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8/26/2018
The trail itself was a but boring to look at but the lakes were worth it
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7/9/2018
It's amazing to see these three awesome, picturesque mountain lakes (Nymph, Dream, & Emerald) in such a short amount of time. It is a 3 and a half mile round trip hike with only 600 feet of elevation gain, which is pretty moderate in these mountains. Try to start the trail before 7 am if you want some peace and quiet, because it gets very crowded!
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7/7/2018
Our First Trail In Colorado. We had rain showers throughout our hike. Lots of people but everyone kept at their own pace. If you reach Dream Lake don’t stop your journey there!! Continue to Emerald Lake it’s a beauty and not too far from Dream Lake you won’t regret it. Of course if you feel up to it.
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8/2/2009
The journey starts at Bear Lake trailhead and it continues uphill to Nymph Lake and then on to Dream Lake, and ends at Emerald Lake. It is not an impossible climb, albeit my wife and my 6yr old had to make a few stops along the way to catch a breather before marching on uphill. The hike up is definitely very rewarding when you arrive at each lake to take in the scenery and serenity.

You'll run into a lot of people along this trail especially on the weekends. That was our experience at least for the Sunday that we hiked this trail.

I suggest you take a few snacks, or even pack a light lunch. That way, you can fill your tummy with some grub while you take in the view at each lake. Oh yeah don't forget water, water, water.

We spent about 5 hours on this trail, due to the many photo op stops and grub time, (not forgetting the "pit stops" for breathers).

We enjoyed Dream Lake the most, because that's where we had our packed lunch and dipped our feets into the icy cool lake.

By the way, this trail is a lot easier on the return trip, simply because its downhill! Less stops and arrived at Bear Lake trailhead in about 30~40 minutes from Emerald Lake (we made a stop at Nymph Lake, and of course a few photo op stops as well).
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9/30/2003
Good place for a family, especially when different people in your group want different things. Those who want a strenuous hike can go all the way, others can stop at Nymph Lake and hang out. Very popular, which is the only downer. Great way to introduce kids to different landscapes like tundra.
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7/25/2002
Dave's review is right on. It is a must trail but go early and during the week to avoid the crowds.
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Nymph, Dream, & Emerald Lakes Photos

Trail Information

Estes Park
Nearby City
3.6
Distance
605 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
9,475 feet
Trailhead Elevation
feet
Top Elevation
Skiing
Additional Use
Rocky Mountain National Park
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated Rocky Mountain National Park
Local Maps

Trail Log