Panorama on Lake Haiyaha hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Panorama on Lake Haiyaha hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Lake Haiyaha

Rocky Mountain National Park
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Lake Haiyaha

Distance: 3.7mi
Elevation: 797ft
Time: 1.5-2.5h

Difficulty Rating:

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9.7 Overall Rating
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The hike to Lake Haiyaha is a classic trail which offers you breathtaking rewards in exchange for your hard effort. Lake Haiyaha is quite a steep trail but well worth the amazing alpine lake nestled into a panoramic mountain cirque!

Lake Haiyaha Map

Getting there

From Estes Park, take highway 36 west and enter RMNP at the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. Just after the pay station, turn left on Bear Lake Road. Follow the road for about 10.0mi until it ends at the Bear Lake Trailhead.

I’ve done this 77 people have done this
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About

When to do

April to November

Backcountry Campsites

Camping is allowed in the backcountry, permits are required and can be obtained at the NP Visitors Center.

Toilets

Yes, primitive pit toilet

Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly

Older Children only

Route Signage

Good

Crowd Levels

Low

Route Type

Out and back


Lake Haiyaha
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Lake Haiyaha

Lake Haiyaha, Colorado is an epic hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. From the Bear Lake trailhead, hang a left, following the well-marked signs towards Nymph Lake. Once you arrive at Nymph Lake, about a half-mile from the trailhead, you’ll be able to see the top of Hallett Peak which is also the direction towards Dream Lake and Emerald Lake. The trail to lake Haiyaha hugs the right shore of the lake before climbing up in elevation as the trail traverses along the steep mountainside.

After hiking for about a 1.0mi, the trail will split. Follow the sign with directions to Lake Haiyaha at the foot of Dream Lake. The trail climbs steeply up the north aspect of the mountain slope. This section of steep trail is not well defined and is more of a ‘social’ trail finding the path of least resistance.

Eventually, the ‘social’ trails will reconvene into a single well-defined trail that traverses around the slope above a small cliff band. As you wrap around the mountain, Longs Peak will become visible off in the distance.

Once on the south-facing side of the mountain, you have been wrapping around, you will encounter a snowfield with a steep drop off. You can either follow the tracks through the snowfield or you can follow an alternative track that heads straight up the mountainside, avoiding the snowfield all together. Both paths reconnect and continue towards Lake Haiyaha. You will know you are getting close when the trail opens up to a boulder field where you will navigate to the beginning of Lake Haiyaha. The mountains that create the backdrop are the beginnings of Chaos Creek.

As you reach Haiyaha Lake, you will notice that the shoreline is quite rugged. There are huge boulders circling the whole lake – with an obvious reward in the middle of Chaos Canyon. The view of Lake Haiyaha and the surrounding mountain peaks is simply breathtaking. The two peaks that stand out from all the other ones are the Otis Peak (12486ft)  on your left and the Hallet Peak (12713ft) on your right. In between the two magnificent mountains is the Chaos Canyon. It’s truly an amazing sight.

For those who would like to make the trail longer, you can return for (0ft) to a junction with the Glacier Gorge trail and hike an extra (1.0mi) to the Glacier Knobs and from there you can follow a trail to The Loch, which is a beautiful mountain tarn situated in a peaceful corner of the Rocky Mountain National Park. A perfect place to enjoy the wilderness on your own.

To get back to the Bear Lake trailhead, return the way you came by retracing your steps.

Want to find more amazing hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park? Check out Chasm Lake hike or the Sky Pond and Lake of Glass hike.

Insider Hints

  • The Lake Haiyaha hike can be connected into a larger loop connecting Dream Lake with the Glacier Gorge Trail towards The Loch.

Comments

Tom Pack. 2 years ago

Beautiful lake. Worth the effort. Less trafficked than emerald lake

9.0 Overall Rating
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Sammy L. 2 years ago

I visited it a year ago. Beautiful hike and many lakes with generous views

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Jellybean 2 years ago

This has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth! This lake was one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen and the setting is idyllic.

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3h 30m Time Taken
Stewart Graham 2 years ago

Perfect view of the lake with the beautiful mountains on the back. I couldn't ask for more.

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footfall 2 years ago

There are some rocks on the path and some really awesome overlooks along the way.

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Jane Lewitt 2 years ago

This trail is breath taking and worth every mile.

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TwoBoots 2 years ago

This has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth! The hike is hard but worth it!

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BoulderBound 2 years ago

The glacier filled lake I think is the most immaculate lake.

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onoyuki 2 years ago

It's breathtaking. The snow made everything looked so fluffy.

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9 Comments

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