Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park - Day Hikes Near Denver

April 11, 2016 Comments (0) 1-2 Miles, Creek or Brooks, Easy, hikes near estes park, Lake Hikes, Lakes, Mountain Range Views, Rocky Mountain National Park

Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

In Summer, Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park blooms with the yellow blossoms of the lily pads that cover its surface. It’s a short easy hike from the Bear Lake Trailhead to Nymph lake. Most hikers will want to make the journey beyond Nymph to Dream and Emerald Lakes. Explore the full trail profile below for all the destinations and details: trail map, tips, and driving directions to the trailhead.

Trail Snapshot: Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Hike Distance: 1 mile Round Trip
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: Approx 40 min Round Trip
  • Trail Type: Out and Back
  • Starting Elevation: 9475′ at Trailhead
  • Elevation Gain: +225′
  • Seasons: Spring through Fall, Winter Snowshoeing
  • Dogs: Prohibited in RMNP
  • Hike Trail Map: Click for a Map of Nymph Lake RMNP
  • Denver Drive Time: 2 hr
  • Driving Directions to Bear Lake Trailhead: Click for Google Map
  • Town Nearest Hike: Estes Park, Colorado
  • Beauty: Sub-alpine lakes, mountain views, wildlife: Abert’s squirrel, ducks, bear
  • Activities: Picnicking, hiking trails, snowshoeing
  • Conditions at Bear Lake Trailhead: Click Here
  • Fee: Park Pass Required

Parking & Trailhead Information

The trail up to Nymph Lake begins at the Bear Lake Trailhead (driving directions).In the event that parking lot at Bear Lake is full, you’ll then need to park at the Park & Ride near the Bierstadt Trailhead and take the bus into the trailhead. This service runs 7am to 7PM and more information on the RMNP shuttle bus routes can be found at this link. The trail to Nymph Lake is located on your way to Bear Lake, off to the left, just before reaching the shore viewing area of Bear Lake.

nymph lake rocky mountain national park

The hike up to Nymph Lake is one of the least demanding–but still rewarding–destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park. Most hikers make Nymph Lake a stopping point on their journey on the longer, 3.6 mile round-trip hike to Emerald Lake. However, Nymph Lake is not without its attractions. In the summer, after the snow and ice have melted, the yellow pond lily fills the lake and bursts with yellow blooms. In the Winter, Nymph Lake, being a smaller body of water (less than 1/5th the size of Dream Lake), freezes over, and Park Rangers will lead snowshoers across it’s frozen waters.

The half-mile trail from Bear Lake to Nymph has been improved with asphalt. However it’s not exactly wheelchair accessible. The trail was paved in order to absorb the impact of the numerous visitors who hike from Bear Lake to Nymph lake every day. The asphalt ends at Nymph and returns to a dirt trail, meandering through the woods to Dream and Emerald Lakes. At Nymph Lake, hikers can take in some of the iconic scenery of Rocky Mountain National Park. Hallet Peak and Flattop Mountain loom in the distance. Go early in the morning for the most best photography opportunities, and be sure to explore the trail profiles below for the beautiful destinations beyond Nymph Lake.

List and Links of Destinations From Bear Lake to Emerald Lake

1. Bear Lake
2. Nymph Lake – @ .5 miles
3. Dream Lake – @ 1.1 miles
4. Emerald Lake -@ 1.8 miles

Tips & Resources for Hiking to Nymph Lake :


Estes Park, CO
partly cloudy
64% humidity
wind: 22mph W
H 53 • L 25

Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

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