Hike to Lake Haiyaha

Colorado Lake Haiyaha

Added by Eric Schuette

Lake Haiyaha is a beautiful alpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, but lacks the crowds of nearby Dream and Emerald lakes. In winter, Lake Haiyaha has some of the most unique ice formations in the park. Lake Haiyaha has some good fishing and just above the lake are some great bouldering opportunities.

Begin the hike at the Bear Lake trailhead, this will be the same for any season you chose to hike to the lake. From the Bear Lake trailhead follow the Dream Lake trail for ~1.05 miles to just before Dream Lake itself. The trail is very easy to follow up to this point in all seasons. In winter the trail stays very packed down expect for right after a large storm. If you are not hiking early, expect lots of company and oftentimes a crowded parking lot.

In the summer the trail is easy to follow from the Dream Lake-Lake Haiyaha split. There is a sign just before Dream Lake that points to the trail as it enters the forest and switchbacks up the mountainside for several tenths of a mile before it levels off. As it levels off there are great views from overlooks to the east and of glacier gorge.

In the winter the trail is much more difficult to find and a map/gps can be very important. The winter trail enters the forest before the summer trail and often the only clue to its existence is a few footprints/ski tracks enetering the forest. Once in the forest it traverses across te mountainside until gaining the summer trail just before it levels off. In the winter, caution must also be used as it traverses several steep slopes that may be narrow and a fall could result in a pretty bad day....

Once you reach the overlooks area, the trail will descend into the forest and towards the lake. In the summer the trail crosses the creek on several well-made bridges and you will access the lake from the south end. In the summer the trail is always easy to follow and allows for a little rock scrambling at the end. In the winter the trail stays to the north of the creek (it never crosses it but does go down to its bank) and you arrive on the east shore of the lake.

At the lake there are many large boulders that make a great location to take it all in. The shoreline can be a bit rough but with care it is possible to walk around the entire lake.

Pack List

Normal day-hiking gear is all one needs to hike to Lake Haiyaha.

In summer that would include:
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Fishing gear (if you enjoy fishing).
In winter this would include:
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Traction devices/snowshoes
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
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Activities:

Fishing, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

800 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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How to Get There

3 months ago

Beautiful Lake

Added this lake to the more popular Emerald Lake trail and definitely appreciated the lack of crowds on the way up to/at Haiyaha. Its definitely worth adding a detour to this lake if you're planning on going up to Emerald Lake anyways!

3 months ago

9 months ago

Awesome Ice

Off trail travel winter travel here can be challenging after a fresh snow but it's worth it. The ice formations are very unique and with the right sunrise light this place can produce epic photos. Be careful around the frozen edge of the lake as it is possible to fall through in some spots where the water has receded and left empty pockets.

9 months ago

Added by Eric Schuette

I love adventure and exploring. Currently a school psychologist who tries to spend my free-time hiking, climbing, fishing, and celebrating with a good beer in Colorado. On Instagram @ericschuettephotography Cheers!!!

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