Emmaline Lake Trail

Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado
Elevation Gain2,332ft
Trailhead Elevation9,462ft
Elevation Min/Max9063/11018ft
Elevation Start/End9462/9468ft

Emmaline Lake Trail

Emmaline Lake Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Larimer County, Colorado. It is within Comanche Peak Wilderness Area and Roosevelt National Forest. It is 5.2 miles long and begins at 9,462 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 10.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,332 feet. The Site 1, Site 3, 2 (Spruce), 6 (Juniper), 3 (Pine), Site 4, Travel Zone 2, Travel Zone 1, 7 (Willow), and Site 2 camp sites can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Old Morrill Trail, Mummy Pass Trail, Fdr 200, Sky Ranch Trail and Surprise Pond Trail.

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Emmaline Lake Trail Trip Reports

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Loveland, CO
Explorer | 31 pts
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Fort Collins, CO
Adventurer | 245 pts
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We found the descriptions of this trail to be inaccurate regarding distance as it comes out to nearly 12 miles round trip from a point short of the absolute farthest one can drive. A mile or more further from the common parking area near the turn off from the road to Sky Ranch and the Beaver Creek Trail. We hiked on a perfect fall day, with starting temps in the upper 30's and midday temps in the low to mid 70's, no wind and the aspens were in finest autumn form.

Both Cirque Lake and Emmaline were glassy, with barely a ripple except for a few fish responding to a hatch. A great day to hike.
Milliken, CO
Adventurer | 247 pts
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A beautiful hike. We got approximately 1/2 a mile from the lake when we encountered a moose on the trail. Needless to say we turned around. We heard other meese on the way up as well. One needs to hike with care in this area, but it is worth it though.
Fort Collins, CO
Pathfinder | 100 pts
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It takes about 1 and a half hours from Fort Collins to get to Pingree Park. We parked at the Pingree Park Colorado State University campus and started our hike from there instead of the actual trailhead. The hike was easy to moderate up to the Fall Creek drainage area. From there the trail became more difficult due to the snow on the trail and the increase in pitch. Snowshoes are required from the drainage area up this early in the season. The view up to and at Emmaline lake is spectacular with mountain peaks surrounding the valley the lake rests in. The trip early in the season is well worth it for the spectcular snow-covered views. Unless you have snowshoes and are prepared for a 4-5 hour hike, I would wait until June to do this trail.

Emmaline Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"Think pristine high mountain lake and dramatic glacier-carved cirque and your mind’s eye will have the vision you are trekking toward. This is a trail that offers nice views of the Stormy Peaks and then the dramatic backdrop of Fall Mountain and the Comanche Peak massif framing the high mountain lake surrounded by the rocky, craggy cirque. After an open, sunny, and warm beginning, the cool shade of the thickly forested trail will protect you from sun and wind until just before you emerge onto the tundra and rock for the final steep ascent to enjoy the beauty of the lake." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Scott S. Warren
"Stretching across the northern border of Rocky Mountain National Park, the Mummy Range holds both rugged granite faces and gently rolling alpine terrain. This dichotomy of landscapes resulted from both the geologic makeup of the range and the persuasive carving action of past glaciers. A good place to enjoy this picturesque topography is at Emmaline Lake, located at the eastern foot of Comanche Peak." Read more
David Day
"Emmaline Lake is one of those scenic alpine jewels that make hiking in Colorado so enjoyable. It is set in a deep mountain cirque on the northern side of the Mummy Range. The lake lies 1,700 feet below the summit of Comanche Peak, the highest point in the Comanche Peak Wilderness Area, and is fed by three permanent snowfields on the slopes below. At 11,000 feet, the shores of the lake are just above timberline, and the views of the rugged alpine country that surrounds Emmaline are unimpeded." Read more

Trail Information

Roosevelt National Forest
Nearby City
Roosevelt National Forest
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Additional Use
Roosevelt National Forest; Comanche Wilderness Area
Local Contacts
USGS Comanche Peak, Pingree Peak
Local Maps

Trail Log