This hike was a spur-of-the-moment, Sunday morning, sort of thing — the fact that we can say we hiked Rocky Mountain National Park on the spur of the moment is incredible — and the day couldn't have been better. This trail is super popular and was jam-packed the whole way, but the sprint to the top and the views made it a perfect exercise hike and escape from the daily grind.
The mileage isn't far, but you gain elevation quickly and finish above 10,000 feet. Heading back down was a breeze.
Here's a view of Longs Peak from just above Nymph Lake (which is really more of a pond).
We crossed a bridge over a quaint mountain stream with Hallett Peak in view.
The view of Hallett Peak (and some bad fly fisherman) from Dream Lake's shores.
After passing Dream Lake, you sprint the last leg of the trail to Emerald Lake, right at the base of Hallett Peak — and what a beauty it is. Sure would have been nice to take a lunch and eat right there by the green waters, soaking up the icy breeze on a day that was warmer than average for the park.
It's seriously that green.
Not a bad seat, eh? Sea level is for sissies.