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    Emmaline Lake Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    20.9 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    651 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Emmaline Lake Trail has it all. A forested path, babbling streams, waterfalls, a lake, lush meadows, wildlife and mountain views. What more could you ask for? This stunning trail is lengthy, but do not worry, there are seven designated backcountry campsites for you to set up shop and spend the night. This unforgettable trail is a must-add to your Colorado adventure list.

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    Route Description for Emmaline Lake Trail

    The Emmaline Lake Hike is a picturesque nature trail. This path is stunning, especially in the fall when the aspens turn bright yellow. This adventure is one of our favorites, but it does require a bit of planning. This excursion is lengthy, so if you are going to walk it as a day-hike, we suggest heading out early. Hiking in the summer requires no special equipment, but if you are to hike the Emmaline Lake Trail in the autumn or winter, consider wearing microspikes and bringing trekking poles to help navigate snowy or icy conditions. This trail is an awesome adventure, but it might not be suitable for kids. Older children should be able to manage the terrain, but bear in mind it exceeds 20.0 km there and back. Pack plenty of snacks to refuel and lots of water!

    Embark on your adventure to Emmaline Lake from the trailhead. Track southwest on the Emmaline Lake Trail. Shortly after your departure there will be two intersecting paths, maintain on Emmaline Lake Trail. Notice Colorado State University’s Mountain Campus in the east. Continue hiking along the forested route as it follows the Cache La Poudre River. You will eventually diverge away from the river and intersect with Fall Creek before encountering a junction. Here, stay straight on the Emmaline Lake Trail. At this point, you will intersect with the creek again and meet several of the backcountry campsites at Cirque Meadow.

    Hike up the trail, gradually gaining elevation as you reenter the woodlands and meet a waterfall. Nearing the lake, there are also more campsites around the small waterfall. Hike up the final segment of the trail to Emmaline Lake. Climb up the increasingly rocky terrain as you crest Emmaline Lake. Revel in the beauty of the crystalline alpine lake hemmed by the craggy Comanche Peak, this sight is truly unforgettable. Take your time and admire the stunning scenery before commencing your return. To get back to the car, simply retrace your steps back along the route to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Emmaline Lake Trail Trailhead

    The Emmaline Lake Trailhead is located off Forest Development Road 145 at the end of FDR200, an old dirt road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Yes, at designated campsites along the trail

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Emmaline Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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    Emmaline Lake Trail Reviews

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