Emerald Lake

#3 of 132 trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

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Emerald Lake is a 3.6 mile out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a river. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until November.

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Brian Lundin (288)

7 Completed7 Reviews

Really fun trail, family friendly with three great lakes along the way. In the busy season it can be really crowded, almost too crowded for my taste. When you have to circle a park and ride lot for 15 minutes, ride a shuttle for 20 and fight crowds to the first lake it starts to feel like an amusement park.

Still, the trail itself is great. Just try to avoid peak times.

Ashley Petry (47)

2 Completed2 Reviews

Very congested during the day, especially on the weekends... But we did a sunset hike this year and it was amazing!!!

Joey Angstman (41)

1 Completed1 Reviews

Great hike. Takes you past several lakes with a great view of the glacier-carved U-shaped valley.

Beata Mckee (147)

7 Completed7 Reviews

This is a great hike, summer or winter. It's usually congested so an early start is best. The views of Hallett at Emerald lake are stunning. I've done this hike so many times and it will never get old.

Kevin Fawcett (78)

2 Completed1 Reviews

Laura Delahunty (269)

4 Completed4 Reviews

It was a beautiful day and we were lucky enough to grab a parking spot in the bus parking lot. The trail was packed, but once you got in a little ways it thinned out. A nice little steady climb at the beginning, but this trail was pretty easy for us, really easy actually. It was about 4 miles with all the stops and walking around that we did. Although easy, it was BEAUTIFUL!! The views, all of the lakes. IT just kept getting better and better. Tons of wildlife!! We came across an Elk snacking right on the trail about 6 ft away from us. Great hike! Definitely recommend

Bryan S. (341)

Excellent. Very crowded though.

Donna Atwal (164)

4 Completed1 Reviews

It's a great hike and all of the three lakes are beautiful. However, when we hiked there was little bit of rain so probably dress accordingly.

Erin Bouch (50)

5 Completed2 Reviews

Well I had an entire review written for this and when I hit the backspace button on the calendar, it completely backed me out of the screen so I'll make my review short and sweet!

1. This trail is VERY, rewarding. There are stunning views and the trail itself isn't too bad. It's pretty much smooth and only rocky in some spots. It does get narrow at times and crowded on the weekends in the summer.
2. Very well marked.
3. Places to stop and snack. People were even swimming!
4. Stay motivated! Don't get discouraged if it's proving difficult or you're feeling the effects of the altitude. We did this hike after moving here 2 months prior and found ourselves out of breath and red faced easily but still pressed on. Physically it's not very hard it's just the elevation (we moved from sea level). If you're here from out of state, take your time and don't feel bad about taking small breaks to catch your breath.
5. It gets crowded on the weekends. You will probably have to park pretty far away if you arrive later than 10 or 11.
6. We cannot wait to go back and do this again! :) :) :)

Jeremy B. (147)