Staunton SP

Staunton SP

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nymph > Dream > Haiyaha Lakes, Rocky Mountain National Park

Haiyaha Lake via Nymph Lake and Dream Lake
Rocky Mountain National Park

Date Hiked:  June 29, 2013
  • Distance: 4 miles (RT)
  • Elevation Gain: 800ft
  • Elevation Min/Max: 9,491 to 10,232ft
Rocky Mountain National Park Website (NPS)
Nymph > Dream > Haiyaha Lakes Trail Map (Google Maps)

Directions:  This hike starts at Bear Lake.  Enter the park through the Beaver Meadows entrance ($20 fee).  Make a left on Bear Lake Road and take it all the way to the end.  Parking is a hot commodity in the summer so better to park at the shuttle parking lot and take the free shuttle to Bear Lake.

I generally try to avoid Rocky during the summer and I especially try to avoid Bear Lake.  Bear Lake is the most popular spot in the park.  If you want to hike in Rocky during the summer (which is a wonderful time of year to be in the park), then explore the west side from Grand Lake or the Northern portion from the State Forest area.  For this hike, my Dad was in town, and this is just the kind of sacrifice one makes for family.

These lakes are pretty.  They are very pretty. They are very very very pretty...and lake Hiayaha is awesome.  Push your way through the crowds at Bear Lake and follow the signs towards Nymph Lake.  Here's a little trick about summer in Rocky, once you get 1/4 miles down the trail, 80 percent of the crowds disappear, make it that far and you've got it made.  On this hike, each lake has fewer and fewer people (and if you do it during the winter you'll have them all to yourself).  That being said, take some time at each lake, they are all incredible.  When you get to Dream Lake you have two choices, go on to Emerald Lake, our make a left turn and ascend to Haiyaha Lake.  Either choice is the right choice, but for purposes of this description, make a left.

You'll gain some altitude but when you level off, look for some ponds off to the right, they have amazing views and could be a destination all in themselves.  Push on to the rocky shores of Haiyaha and take it all in.  This is a classic Rocky Mt. alpine lake with an up close and personal view of Hallett Peak.  On this particular day, it started raining and thundering as soon as we got to the lake.  Thunderstorms in Rocky Mt. are not to be taken lightly, but it was incredible.  As we rushed back down the trail, the thunder reverberated off of all the granite peaks.  It was an incredible show of nature and it added just a little touch of summer adventure to this hike.

Summer in Rocky Mountain National Park...I guess it's worth the crowds after all...


  1. Can you bike this section? I have been up there 6 years back, and I remember it being some of the most beautiful trail I have ever been on, but can't remember if bikes are allowed up this section. Do you know?

    1. Thanks Justin, according to the National Park Service website mountain bikes are not allowed on the trails, looks like you can bike on the park roads though.

  2. This will not only ensure that your brakes and the rest of the parts on your bike last as long as they possibly can, but more importantly that you can feel safe riding on a bike that you know is safe and secure and which will be able to properly handle those rugged and steep mountain bikes

  3. This mountain park looks perfect for biking especially mountain biking race. I would love to visit this place.