All the information you need for the Lake Haiyaha Hike at Rocky Mountain National Park
By the end of this article, you will be able to feel confident in hiking around the Lake Haiyaha Hike near Estes Park, Colorado.
Start your adventure that will include four lakes and a waterfall! Bring a fishing pole, and you can do some Lake Haiyaha fishing with the proper permits!
INCLUDED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THE FOLLOWING:
Highlights and Information on the Bear Lake Hike
Driving Directions to the starting point at Bear Lake Trailhead from Estes Park
TO THE POINT Clear and Concise Summary Directions
2D Map showing directions to the Bear Lake Trailhead map (start of hike)
STEP-BY-STEP DETAILED Bear Lake Trailhead Directions for the “Map-ically Challenged!”
3D Map showing topographical detail of the Bear Lake Trail
Highlights and Information Before You Start
The Bear Lake Trailhead is the parking lot you need to park at, and this parking lot fills fast, especially in summer. You may choose to ride the shuttle bus service to the Bear Lake Trailhead available at Rocky Mountain National Park during the operating months May through October. Please check the National Park Service Website Here in order to see dates, times, and a map of the shuttle bus service within RMNP!
Updated Trail Conditions
The Lake Haiyaha winter weather (or for that matter any Lake Haiyaha weather) can be fickle! Updated Trail Conditions can be found by clicking here.
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Colorado Road Conditions
The weather for your Lake Haiyaha Hike in Colorado can be different from surrounding areas, which affects driving and road conditions. Road Conditions in Colorado can be found by clicking here.
Depending on where you are going, and when, and who is going with you, you will need to pack certain gear. Take time before to find, purchase, and pack the gear you need. Consider our 17 things you need to pack, but didn’t think of, as well as our list of essentials for a day hike. You can even check out our guide to gifts for hikers and adventurers to give you ideas regarding items that you may need (or want!) to make your vacation even better!
Gear is really important, and give yourself the time to think, research, and plan for the things that you will most need and want during your vacation. Frankly, I even make lists for food and clothing. (But like I said, I’m a planner, people.)
Highlights and Quick Reference Guide
- The Lake Haiyaha Hike is considered Moderately Easy to Moderate
- This hike can be a 5.2 mile loop – or an out and back hike, from Bear Lake Trailhead and back (about 4 miles).
- The Lake Haiyaha Hike Loop should take about 4 hours total.
- The Lake Haiyaha elevation is 9,75 to 10,240 feet (bring water!)
- No fees, except the park entrance fees
- Beautiful, stunning views. Rumor has it this is the prettiest lake in the whole Park!
- Moderate hike – kids could do it – but they will be exhausted at the end!
- Doggies are not allowed (but you may see Equestrians as far as 2 miles in from the trailhead)
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To the Point Summary Directions
These directions to hike the Lake Haiyaha Trail are clear and concise, without extra commentary! Use these directions, and if you ever feel confused, always refer to the map and directions below that are more detailed and include even more specific directions.
Miles and Directions
0.0 Bear Lake Trailhead – Hike Towards Dream Lake Trail
0.5 Nymph Lake
1.0 Detour for 0.1 mile straight to view Dream Lake, return to junction.
1.9 Junction. Take right branch to Lake Haiyaha
2.1 Lake Haiyaha.
2.3 Return to 4 way junction, go towards Glacier Gorge
3.3 Junction. Keep left towards Bear Lake (not towards The Loch or Mills Lake)
3.7 North Longs Peak Trail is on the right, do NOT take this, keep straight to Bear Lake
4.1 Alberta Falls
4.8 Junction. Left to Bear Lake
5.0 Junction. Both ways lead to Bear Lake.
Step by Step DETAILED Directions
Your days of feeling “Map-ically Challenged” are over! (Trademark on that pending!) These maps (both simple and detailed), along with exceptionally clear instructions, are all provided for you in this post!
Super Clear Directions!
Please note: The 3D maps in this post, and below are NOT FACING NORTH (on purpose!). These maps are shown specifically for those of us who are “map-ically challenged” and need to visually see which way we are hiking. Please refer to the compass at the bottom right of the map below to show where NORTH actually is!
CLICK ON THE MAP BELOW, OR CLICK HERE, AND YOU WILL LINK TO THIS EXACT GOOGLE MAP. You can zoom in on it and take as many screenshots as you would like! If you bring up the map in Google, if you use your mouse and hit CONTROL, then you can MOVE the map to the direction in which you are ACTUALLY HEADED!!!! (Amazing!)
When you click on this, and open the map, you can then click on the link below the blue box on the left and have these directions sent DIRECTLY TO YOUR PHONE! You can then screenshot those images, so that you can see these directions, and maps, even if you do not have wi-fi as you are hiking!
Finally – look look LOOK! AT THE BOTTOM RIGHT of the map. See that little yellow guy? Click on him when you open up the map on your phone. You can see ACTUAL PICTURES on the blue dots that people have taken. This is a GREAT resource to have. If you look at your map before you go, you can screenshot what the intersections in the trail look like to help you navigate your way, and not get lost!
- Start early, grab your coffee at Kind Coffee in Estes Park, and head out!
- Travel on US 36 highway to Bear Lake Road.
- The Bear Lake Trailhead is about 9 miles from when you turn on twisty, turn-y Bear Lake Road from US 36. This trailhead has a large parking lot. Again, park in the parking lot and use that restroom if you need to! Go to the beginning of the trailhead by Bear Lake.
- At this first fork in the road, go LEFT towards Nymph Lake.
- At your first half mile marker (if you are doing GPS) you will pass Nymph Lake on your left and the trail heads on the right side of the lake.
- Do not go onto the Dream Emerald Lakes Trail and keep heading on straight.
- Keep walking and you will see a slight detour for 0.1 mile on the trail straight ahead to view Hallett Peak above Dream Lake. Definitely take this tiny detour for the views and then hop back on the trail.
- At about 1.9 miles into your hike, you will see a fork in the road. The trail to Glacier Gorge and Loch Vale branches left. Don’t take it.
- Take the right branch to Lake Haiyaha. Arrive and explore!
- You now have a choice. You can either go back the way you came, or do the entire loop. The rest of the directions will be regarding the loop!
- Go back to the four-way junction that you were at earlier that led to the Glacier Gorge and Loch Vale. Head in a southeast direction toward Glacier Gorge and the Loch for another mile.
- This part can be tricky, just make sure to read the signs carefully. Take a left toward Glacier Gorge Trail. You will be heading now in an easterly direction if you want to do this loop. (If you head southwest or southeast you will be going to either The Loch or Mills Lake)
THIS PART IS IMPORTANT. There will be a trail called North Longs Peak Trail. Do not take it. Stay on the Glacier Gorge Trail all the way back to Bear Lake. If you don’t you could get very easily lost.
- You will arrive at Alberta Falls – one of the most popular places in the park.
- Make sure to keep to the left on this trail. You will eventually see Prospect Canyon Trail, do not take it, keep heading to Bear Lake.
- You will end up at Bear Lake to your car, with some wonderful new memories!
More Information and Resources
Final Thoughts on Lake Haiyaha Hike
This hike is labeled as moderately easy, but there are a lot of rocks! In fact, Haiyaha is the word for “boulder” in one of the Native American languages. Therefore, it is very important that you watch your step, and be careful, as even little rocks can sometimes cause twisted ankles and falls! This is an incredible hike, but give yourself plenty of time as some of the terrain is not smooth.
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When you are ready to finally have your National Park Family Vacation!
Hopefully, you already have all of your reservations, your tickets, and gear planned out! A last minute checklist is so important to make sure that nothing gets left behind. Here are a few extra hacks and tips for your road trip and family vacation! Want even MORE free options? Simple! Just subscribe at the bottom of this post to be part of the Van Adieu Crew and get access to the FREE Van Adieu Vault filled with itineraries, checklists, roadmaps and more!
- Confirm all reservations, tickets, and any events you may be attending (Best suggestion: Print copies of everything and have it with you.)
- Confirm the route you are going. (Best suggestion: Purchase an atlas, as in, an actual real map – on honest to goodness old fashioned paper.)
- Check all gear. (Best suggestion: Discuss this gear with everyone. Is there something that someone would like to have? For example, is someone interested in doing geocaching on the trip? Maybe a waterproof notebook and waterproof pen would be fun for them!)
- Make sure to look at our Road Trip Checklist!
- Make a shopping list, and purchase all possible groceries ahead of time. (Best suggestion: Figure out not only each meal, but also prepare snacks in individually wrapped packages to make the trip more fun and super easy!) Or try to find the best Farmer’s Market where you are going – its easy!
- Consider what you will be doing during the road trip. We have some great road trip activities for kids, and also some fantastic productive and unique activities for adults!
Beautiful Hike with a lot to see!
With this one hike, you will be able to see FOUR lakes and ONE waterfall. Not too shabby for one hike! Enjoy the majestic views! If you are interested in other hikes, consider Nymph Lake and Dream Lake!
Tell me about your Lake Haiyaha Hike experiences! Did you do the entire loop? What lake did you find to be the most beautiful? Did you think the hike was easy or difficult? I’d love to hear your opinions and your experiences! I’d love to see your pictures as well! And remember to like us on FACEBOOK! (Its cool, and all the kids are doing it!)