RMNP: Bear Lake Trail Lakes

The Bear Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park is an incredibly popular spot, so we were a bit hesitant to go. Luckily, the crowd levels were pretty low on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Plus, the views were truly stunning and well worth the trip up! It is easy to see why this trail is so popular given the amazing views you can get with minimal hiking effort. Bear Lake is only a few hundred feet from the parking lot, Nymph Lake is another half mile, and then you arrive at Dream Lake and Emerald Lake a short time after that! There is also a loop option to tack on Lake Haiyaha as well, but we ran out of time and wanted lunch!

The conditions were great and it was a beautiful day. Hard packed snow was occasionally icy, but Microspikes generally weren’t needed. We stubbornly left them off, but it would’ve been a lot easier with them. Lots of traffic since the last snow, so no real snow depth on trail.

Since this is such a popular hike, I will mostly just provide these pictures to explain. What a great day!

Longs Peak from just above Nymph Lake…a lot of pictures shot directly into the sun.

Nymph Lake

Longs Peak (14,259′) on the left and Thatchtop Mountain (12,668′) on the right
Longs Peak (14,259′)
Hallett Peak (12,713′)
Longs Peak
Hallett Peak (12,713′)
Sun down, jackets on
Hallett Peak with dude walking across ice

Dream Lake

From our snack break
On the way back down
Hallett Peak
Elizabeth and I standing on Dream Lake. People walked all the way across, but we were cautious and didn’t venture all the way out.
Elizabeth and I
Hallett Peak

Emerald Lake

Bear Lake

Lighting not the greatest, but a nice view of Hallett Peak behind us.
Hallett Peak reflection

Longs Peak

Longs Peak (14,259′) and Pagoda Mountain (13,497′)
Longs Peak- Pagoda Mountain -Thatchtop Mountain
Longs Peak- Pagoda Mountain -Thatchtop Mountain
Elizabeth and I with Longs Peak
Elizabeth with Longs Peak
From a perch just off the main trail…a little icy but well worth the view.
From our perch just above Nymph Lake

Bonus Photos

Estes Park natives
A vertical rainbow appeared on our way down
I spent several minutes trying to grab a picture of this guy…this is the best one I got :(.
Just before Emerald Lake
On the way to Emerald Lake
On the way to Emerald Lake