Hike Profiles for Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is in the valley between Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain. Because this
hike is a short distance and begins at Bear Lake, it is popular in all seasons.


Distance: 1.8 miles one-way

Lake elevation: 10,080 feet

Trailhead elevation: 9,475 feet

Net elevation gain: 605 feet

Bear Lake Trailhead


Rocky Mountain National Park
Sunrise on Hallett Peak
The red star in the map above shows the relative location of Emerald Lake to RMNP boundaries (in green) and major roads (in gold)
Major Trail Landmarks
Bear Lake (just west of Bear Lake parking lot)
Nymph Lake (0.5 miles one-way from trailhead)
Junction of trail to Lake Haiyaha (1.1 miles one-way from trailhead - just east of Dream Lake)
Dream Lake (1.1 miles one-way from trailhead)
Principal Destinations Near Emerald Lake
Lake Haiyaha (2.1 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Lake Haiyaha Trail
Backcountry Campsites near Emerald Lake
No campsites exist on or near the trail to Emerald Lake
The Bear Lake Trailhead is on the east side of the Continental Divide. From the Beaver Meadows
Entrance Station on U.S. Highway 36, head west about 0.2 miles and turn south on Bear Lake Road
(toward Moraine Park). Follow Bear Lake Road a little over 9 miles to the large parking area where Bear
Lake Road ends. Bear Lake is just west of the parking lot. The Emerald Lake trail begins just southeast
of the lake; the Flattop Mountain trail begins on the east side of the lake.

From Bear Lake, follow the Emerald Lake Trail south from the lake, then west to Nymph Lake.
Continue around Nymph Lake to Dream Lake. At Dream, bypass the trail to Lake Haiyaha, and
continue along the north shore of Dream Lake to Emerald Lake. Emerald is about 0.7 mile
beyond the east end of Dream.
Sample photographs of the hike to Emerald Lake
Nymph Lake
Cascade near Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake
Hallett Peak, Flattop Mountain at sunrise
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