Lake Haiyaha, in Rocky Mountain National Park, is tucked away in the recesses of a large valley, and its shoreline is surrounded by stacks of massive granite boulders. This relatively easy, 4.2 mile round-trip hike can be a quieter retreat on the busy east side of RMNP, especially if hikers arrive during the early morning hours. Explore the full Lake Haiyaha hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and all the details you need to enjoy this adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Trail Snapshot: Lake Haiyaha in Rocky Mountain National Park

Lake Haiyaha has become one of my new favorite destinations on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Why, it’s got character. The shoreline is more rugged, and the trees surrounding its waters look like ancient sentinels stationed to protect something secret hidden in its depths.

ancient pine lake haiyaha
An Ancient Pine at the Boulder-Strewn Gateway to Lake Haiyaha

Parking & Trailhead Information for Lake Haiyaha, Colorado

The trail up to Lake Haiyaha begins at the Bear Lake Trailhead (driving directions). In the event the 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 Lake Haiyaha is located on your way to Bear Lake, off to the left, just before reaching the shore viewing area of Bear Lake. It follows the same main trail that leads hikers up to both Nymph and Dream Lakes.

lake haiyaha trailhead

From the Bear Lake Trailhead, hikers will reach Nymph Lake at .5 mile in. After continuing on the trail for approximately another .5 mile, hikers will reach a trail split. Be sure to first hike the additional .1 mile (right-hand trail) up to Dream Lake first, then return to this trail split to take the trail leading another 1.2 mile to Lake Haiyaha. Dream Lake is aptly named and should not be missed. This adds just .2 mile to your total hike.

Here, the trail climbs, zig zagging with switch backs through spruce and fir forest. Out-of-state hikers, who are not acclimated to the altitude, may find this stretch both demanding and tiring. But pushing on to Haiyaha is worth it. Near the lake, the trail makes its way through a maze of boulders, which may require hikers to scramble over them to gain views of the lake. Be gentle with the ancient pines that surround the lake. These have been standing, some for centuries, and are exposed to a lot of human contact. On the way back down the trail, you’ll encounter new views. Nymph and Bear Lakes can now be seen from above, giving you a birds eye view of your journey.

elk bedded down in tall grasses of moraine park in rocky mountain national park hike with text overlay explore more hikes in rocky mountain national park

Tips & Resources for Hiking to Lake Haiyaha, Colorado

  • Explore More: Make this a loop hike and see 4 lakes and one of the RMNP’s best Waterfalls – Four Lakes and a Waterfall Loop
  • Trail Map for Bear Lake Corridor: Trail Map Link
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Poppy’s Pizza
  • Photo: We would like to express our gratitude to Miguel Vieira for sharing such an amazing photograph of this hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.


Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

ouzel falls waterfall in rocky mountain national park wild basin hike with text overlay explore more hikes in rocky mountain national park