evergreen lake trail header

Evergreen Lake Trail

This Colorado hike (more of a stroll) is a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. You can rent canoes and sailboats from the nature center and warming house. In the winter, the Evergreen Lake transforms into an ice skating wonderland. Explore this hike profile for all the details.

Trail Snapshot: Evergreen Lake Trail

The Hike: Evergreen Lake Trail:

Evergreen Lake Trail is a 1.3 mile loop in the quaint mountain town of Evergreen, Colorado. If you have a young family like us, and are looking for an easy hike near Denver, this is a great choice.

From the Evergreen Lake house, the trail winds along a boardwalk, through a wetlands area, then towards town. If you are going this way (clockwise) around the lake, be sure to take the high path when you come to where the trail splits. The lower path is more of a fishing trail that soon becomes difficult to navigate. You can take the high path into town or over the dam and to the backside of the lake.

Along the back side of Evergreen Lake stands the old Warming House and Nature Center, operated by the Evergreen Audubon Society. Be sure to check their site for their seasonal hours. At the boathouse, the Evergreen Park & Recreation District operates boat rental and concessions. Their hours are seasonal as well. You can visit Evergreen Parks & Rec. boating page for rental info and hours. In the Winter, the lake transforms into an ice skating wonderland that rivals New York's Rockefeller Square. Skate rental and admission fees can be found on the Hockey and Skating page on the Evergreen Parks District Site.

Tips & Resources for Hiking Evergreen Lake Trail :

  • TIP: Like we mentioned above, take the high path along the road when walking clockwise around the lake.
  • TIP: Make it a day. There are several hikes near Evergreen to enjoy. As well, the lake is very accessible from town, so you can walk in, enjoy lunch or coffee, then hike back out.
  • TIP: Listen for Elk in the Fall: On our most recent trip to Evergreen Lake, a bull elk was bugling. So, if you just don't have time to make it up to Estes Park, this is a great backup.
  • Trail Map for Evergreen Lake Trail: Trail Map Link
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Beau Jo’s Pizza


Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

baby mountain goat on mount evans colorado more easy hikes

emerald green lake surrounded by mountains in rocky mountain national park emerald lake hike

Emerald Lake Hike Rocky Mountain National Park

Emerald Lake is one of the most accessible hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. If you are visiting RMNP, and have limited time to visit, the trail to Emerald Lake is an excellent option. You'll pass both Dream Lake and Nymph lake before you end your hike at Emerald Lake and it's stunning views of Hallet Peak. For more information on this hike, explore the trail profile which includes trail map, driving directions, and helpful tips and resources to enjoy this Colorado hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Trail Snapshot:Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

trail leading through grey crags on emerald lake hike in rocky mountain national park

A Colorado Hike with a lot of bang for the buck. What we mean is that there is a lot to see on this 1.8 miles stretch of trail. Starting at Bear Lake, you'll take in a total of four Colorado lakes, and pass a small waterfall near the top of the trail. If you are looking for a handicap accessible hike, the trail around Bear Lake Loop hike may be the most beautiful, handicap accessible trail in Colorado. In the winter, the hike up to Emerald makes for a perfect snowshoe hike.

At Nymph Lake on the way up to Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake Trail Directions & Trailhead Information

The trail to Emerald Lake begins at the Bear Lake Trailhead (driving directions). In the event that parking 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 Emerald Lake is located on your way to Bear Lake, off to the left, just before reaching the shore viewing area of Bear Lake.

For conditions at Emerald Lake, see the Rocky Mountain National Park Trail Conditions page.

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

Emerald Lake Hike in winter snows at Rocky Mountain National Park

Tips & Resources for Hiking to Emerald Lake :

  • Get to the Bear Lake trailhead early: We say this for almost every hike near Denver, but the Bear Lake Parking area is probably the busiest in the park. If you can't get there early, just take the shuttle from the lower parking area.
  • The Wildlife: We have seen a beautiful black bear in this area on one occasion. It just saw us and ambled away. As with any hike where there are a lot of wildlife, keep small children within sight at all times. On your way out, be sure to stop around Moraine Park and watch the Elk.
  • Snowshoeing to Emerald Lake In the winter, this is a Colorado wonderland and a very accessible trail to snowshoe. You can rent snowshoes for a great price at The Colorado Mountain Shop in Estes Park.
  • PhotoS: We would like to express our gratitude to Tim Lumley and Daniel for sharing their photos of Emerald Lake in RMNP.
  • Trail Map for Bear Lake Corridor: Trail Map Link
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Kind Coffee


Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions
baby mountain goat on mount evans colorado more easy hikes

young hiker standing on trail with red rock formations and foothills in background in south valley park hike near littleton colorado

South Valley Park Trails

The trails of South Valley Park are perfect for an after work hike or run in South Denver. The expansive valley near the neighborhood of Ken Caryl is enclosed on its eastern side by the exposed red rock formations of the hogback and the green foothills to the west. Views to the south are incredible, making South Valley Park especially enchanting during the early morning hours and at twilight.. Explore the full hiking profile below for full trail details, driving directions and more.

Trail Snapshot: South Valley Park Trails

Red Rock towers along the eastern wall of South Valley Park and the foothills begin to the west. Almost 1000 acres of meadow and rock offer a near perfect escape from the sounds of the city. The time lapse below shows a great example of a South Valley Park sunrise.

south valley park trails coyote song trailhead

6 Trails wind through the park. The best place to start is with the South Valley Park Coyote Song Trail. It's a an out an back trail that takes you right through the main meadow. It also connects with the Swallow Trail to form a loop, making your hike about 1.8 miles. The Lyons Back Trail takes you from the Coyote Song Trail and up over the red rock where you can hike trails developed by the Ken-Caryl Ranch foundation.

Tips & Resources for Hiking South Valley Park Trails :

  • Don't miss the Coyote Song Trail: The sunsets are wonderful and the park tends to be quiet in the evenings. The Coyote Song Trail is a great way to begin or wind down the day.
  • TIP: The Parking area on our map link is the larger of the two. However, you can also begin at the south lot off of Deer Creek Canyon Road. Click here for directions. This gives you a closer connection to the Elk Grazing Trail (seasonal) area and Deer Creek Canyon Park.
  • TIP: The red rock calls to be climbed, but climbing is prohibited in this park.
  • South Valley Park Trail Map: Trail Map Link
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Atlas Coffee in Littleton


Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

girl on trail with black dog in colorado mountains spruce tree in foreground and snow and evergreen trees in background