Friday, August 21, 2015

Rocky Mountain National Park- Bear Lake and Beyond

Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, Emerald Lake, Lake Haiyaha

Rocky Mountain National Park


This is the most popular hike in Rocky Mountain National Park (Emerald Lake). It's easy to see why- good trailhead access, stunning scenery, mild grades, easy trail. In 6 miles you can see 5 different lakes, forest, streams and waterfalls. This Friday morning was quite busy, and a Saturday or Sunday would be even more crowded. This is quite a nice hike, and would be excellent for snowshoeing as well. 

 I took my sister and nephew from Wisconsin, and my 3 year old son. I was proud of him, he made it 5 miles out of the 6 before I had to carry him. It was his longest hike to date. Altitude doesn't much seem to bother him, but boredom certainly does.

Nymph lake, filled with lillypads

Nymph Lake

Longs Peak

Dream Lake

Emerald Lake

Longs Peak from the Lake Haiyaha spur

Nice forest trail

Panoramic composite shot of Lake Haiyaha

Lake Haiyaha
GPS Says:
6.0 miles
1309' of elevation gain
GPS tracks loaded into Google Earth. We did Emerald first and then Haiyaha.
If one were to repeat this hike, there is a shortcut at the switchback above Dream Lake so you don't have to circle all the way around the bottom. I didn't investigate to see how viable it is. As this is a high-volume trail, it is important to stay on the trail as much as possible.

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