Krista Coulter

Awesome For Snowshoeing

The furthest lake in the stretch of small lakes and also the highest, Emerald was absolutely with the hike. It was further apart from the other lakes and obviously less traveled. You can make it without snow shoes but I wouldn't recommend it as it gets nearly thigh deep in some areas without. When you get to the lake, you can sit along the shore and gaze off at the deep basin of snow ahead. This lake is also thick enough to walk across and while we were there, skiers were climbing up the far hills and skiing down. I probably wouldn't recommend it, however, as one of the couples we were sitting with said that they had witnessed an avalanche at that location before.

Amazing Winter Scenery

Nymph lake is not far from Bear Lake and definitely worth the extra fifteen minutes in the winter. The lake when we went around Christmas was completely frozen over, a tiny pond that you can carefully walk across and marvel at the mountains ahead. If you make it to Nymph Lake, Dream Lake is not much further, maybe a half mile and then Emerald Lake beyond it. We made it to Nymph Lake easily without snow shoes but going any further without is fairly difficult (although not impossible). You can rent shoes from shops in Estes Park for $5 a day and it's definitely worth it.

Beautiful In Winter

This is a wonderful lake to visit during the Winter months if you're wanting to see the snow-covered mountains but don't want to hike to see them. The roads are generally well-maintained even after the snowstorms. After parking in the lot, it's just a few hundred feet to the lake and it's breathtaking after a snowstorm. Great for families with small children or elderly adventurers. If you are more interested in getting a bit of a workout, continue on to Nymph Lake about a half mile up, Dream Lake just a bit further from that and finally Emerald Lake at the top. Hiking boots are fine for Bear Lake but anything further you may want to consider snow shoes to make your trek easier. We rented ours from Estes Park Mountain Shop for $5 a day and it was well worth it.

Short Hike But Worth It

Was a pretty short hike, but after climbing around on the rocks below the falls it's the perfect distance. We went early when there was hardly anyone in the park but that changed by the afternoon. The Falls themselves are amazing and if you can, bring a lunch or something to eat below them. But be prepared to jump rocks to get there and wear waterproof or water shoes if you have them!