- Physical DifficultyThis 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.
- Technical DifficultyThis 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.
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.
Lake Haiyaha Elevation Graph
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Lake Haiyaha Reviews
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