Lake Haiyaha

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
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.
2-4h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.0 km
Elevation
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.
245 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.9
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama of Lake Haiyaha snowshoe trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The snowshoe to Lake Haiyaha takes you to another awe-inspiring alpine lake with crystal blue waves carved out by an ancient glacier. The winter snowshoe to Lake Haiyaha is unbelievably beautiful, and the sight of the beautiful crystal blue Lake Haiyaha frozen in place is truly one to behold.

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Route Description for Lake Haiyaha

Anyone on a snowshoe trip should have Avalanche training, we recommend AIARE 2 for all backcountry travellers, and AIARE 1 is the minimum. It is important to note that when travelling through avalanche terrain it is extremely valuable to always have a companion.

The snowshoe to Lake Haiyaha is a wonderful trip. Be aware that depending on the amount of recent snowfall, you may not require snowshoes and be able to hike to Lake Haiyaha.

From the Bear Lake trailhead, turn towards the left and follow the well-marked signs towards Nymph Lake. Once you arrive at Nymph Lake, about a 0.8 km from the trailhead, you will be able to see the top of Hallett Peak. This is also the direction towards Dream Lake and Emerald Lake. The trail hugs to the right of Nymph Lake before climbing up in elevation as the trail traverses along the steep mountainside.

After hiking for about a 1.6 km, the trail will split. At the foot of Dream Lake, follow the sign for Lake Haiyaha. The trail steeply climbs up the north aspect of the mountainside. This section of steep trail is not well defined and is more of a ‘social’ trail.

You have to find the path of least resistance yourself. Eventually, the ‘social’ trails will reconvene into a single well-defined trail that traverses around the mountainside 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 altogether. Both paths reconnect and continue towards Lake Haiyaha. You will know you are getting close when the trail opens up to a boulder field. Here, you will navigate to the beginning of Lake Haiyaha. The mountains that create the backdrop are the beginning of Chaos Creek.

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

Insider Hints for Lake Haiyaha

  • Snowshoes are pretty much always required for sections of this trail, mainly the ‘social’ trail section between Dream Lake and Lake Haiyaha, as there is typically less traffic to compact it down here.
  • Backcountry ski-touring is allowed in RMNP, consider checking out these lakes on the skinny sticks if that is your thing!
  • If you’re finished for the day and want an enjoyable evening, you could go check out Snowy Peaks Winery.
  • Snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park takes you into remote terrain. Make sure you are prepared for an emergency with warm clothes, extra food, matches and potentially a satellite transceiver, like a Garmin InReach. Cell phones may not work on all trails.
  • Always check the avalanche forecast for the Front Ranges before heading out.

Getting to the Lake Haiyaha Trailhead

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 16.1 km until it ends at the Bear Lake Trailhead.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Late November to Early April

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Yes- get permits at RMNP Visitors Center

  • Toilets

    Yes, primitive pit toilet

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Lake Haiyaha Elevation Graph

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