Nymph Lake

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Easy
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.
1h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
1.8 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.
88 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.
9.3
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 Nymph Lake snowshoe trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

If you are new to snowshoeing or winter hiking, the trail to Nymph Lake is a great introduction. Nymph Lake is a beautiful alpine lake located not too far from the trailhead. If you get here and are feeling comfortable in the snow, keep on going to Dream or Emerald Lake!

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Route Description for Nymph Lake

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.

Nymph Lake is a great introduction to RMNP and winter hiking and snowshoeing. Depending on the current conditions, you may be able to hike to Nymph Lake without snowshoes.

We recommend the Nymph Lake trail if this is your first time trying out snowshoes and are looking for an easy trail without compromising on the views.

From the Bear Lake Trailhead, follow the signs for Nymph Lake as it branches off to the left. Of course, if you have time, it is worth having a quick pit stop at Bear Lake to check out the views for its eastern shore before continuing onwards.

The trail for Nymph Lake will steadily climb uphill through a dense pine forest. Fortunately, to help keep you motivated, you can catch a glimpse of Longs Peak through gaps in the trees. Further, owing to the popularity of this route, much of it has been paved to help preserve the area.

After only a short distance, you will arrive at the frozen Nymph Lake where you will be greeted with superb views of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain in the distance.

To get back to the Bear Lake trailhead, return the way you came by retracing your steps. Alternatively, if you have the right equipment and stamina, you can continue on towards Dream Lake (check out #1 for more information on this trail).

Insider Hints for Nymph Lake

  • Did you get to Nymph Lake and want more? Check out #1 Dream Lake which continues on from Nymph Lake.
  • If you fancy a nice lunch, you should stop at Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brew in Estes Park for a bite to eat.
  • 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 ideally a satellite transceiver, like a Garmin InReach. Cell phones may not work on trail.
  • Always check the avalanche forecast for the Front Ranges before heading out.

Getting to the Nymph Lake 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

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Nymph Lake Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Nymph Lake Reviews

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