Dream Lake
Vacation Travel Guide

Dramatic peaks rise like wallpaper around this scenic lake, which is among the highlights from a flurry of water features along Bear Lake Trail.

Dream Lake is a stunning alpine lake. Its shimmering surface reflects the surrounding steep mountainous forest, creating beautiful opportunities for photos or memories. Leading to the water basin are myriad nature trails that provide spectacular views of Rocky Mountain National Park. Stand on the eastern shore and gaze up at the imposing Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain that rise high above the water.

Start walking along Bear Lake Trail and listen to the birdcalls coming from the surrounding forest. Sneak views of pond lilies gracing the surface of enchanting Nymph Lake. Wildflowers beautify the shores of this serene spot.

Continue along the path and pass picturesque Lake Haiyaha, which is surrounded by a large jumble of boulders. Look for The Sharkstooth peak rising up behind the lake.

After Lake Haiyaha, Dream Lake is not much farther along Bear Lake Trail. Arrive and enjoy a picnic with your family on a large, flat boulder. Admire the views of the Tyndall Gorge between the mountains. Watch fishers hard at work in the clear waters. If you look closely, you may see trout swimming over the pebbled bottom. Wander through the adjacent forest and spot chipmunks and other wildlife.

Arrive early in the morning, when this popular lake is least busy. If you have time, consider visiting nearby Emerald Lake, a little farther along the same trail. Note that the path is considered fairly easy to walk, making it accessible for everyone in the family.

Dream Lake is located at the end of Bear Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. It is at the foot of Hallett Peak. From Estes Park, drive southwest for 13 miles (21 kilometers) to reach the lake in about half an hour. You can also ride the free shuttle bus to the trailhead.

Explore the surroundings for other gems such as East Glacier Knob, Saint Catherine’s Chapel on the Rock and McHenrys Peak.

Top things to do in Dream Lake

Top Hotels Close to Dream Lake

Mountain Cabin Neighbors Rocky Mountain National Park/ymca of the Rockies
Mountain Cabin Neighbors Rocky Mountain National Park/ymca of the Rockies
Estes Park, CO
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Located in the heart of Estes Park, this historic cabin is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Sprague Lake Trailhead and 2.8 mi (4.6 km) from Moraine Park Museum. Estes Park ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (59 reviews)
Wildlife

"We seen elk, moose, mule deer and turkey."…"

Reviewed on Jun 13, 2019

Mountain Cabin Neighbors Rocky Mountain National Park/ymca of the Rockies
Neighbors Rocky Mountain Np/ymca of the Rockies/wifi/satellite/baby Friendly
Neighbors Rocky Mountain Np/ymca of the Rockies/wifi/satellite/baby Friendly
Estes Park, CO
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This family-friendly Estes Park vacation home is located on a lake, within 3 mi (5 km) of Moraine Park Museum and Sprague Lake Trailhead. Estes Park Aerial Tramway ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (64 reviews)
Much needed family time

"Our family had an amazing experience staying at the "Recovery Room" We were there for Thanksgiving and to visit an aunt. The location and cleanliness were fantastic. The cabin worked well for our size of group which was 6. We never turned on a television except for Thanksgiving day for football. ..."…"

Reviewed on Dec 2, 2020

Neighbors Rocky Mountain Np/ymca of the Rockies/wifi/satellite/baby Friendly
Swiftcurrent Lodge Cottages by the River
Swiftcurrent Lodge Cottages by the River
3.5 out of 5
2512 State Highway 66, Estes Park, CO
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Situated in Estes Park, this cottage is within 2 mi (3 km) of Moraine Park Museum, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. Tiny Town ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (21 reviews)

"Super accommodating and friendly. Right next to RMNP and lots of hiking"…"

Reviewed on Feb 16, 2021

Swiftcurrent Lodge Cottages by the River
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Dream Lake Flight + Hotel Deals

Residence Inn By Marriott Denver Park Meadows
Basecamp Boulder
Residence Inn by Marriott Breckenridge
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Dream Lake

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Best Lodging Options Near Dream Lake

Mountain Cabin Neighbors Rocky Mountain National Park/ymca of the Rockies
Mountain Cabin Neighbors Rocky Mountain National Park/ymca of the Rockies
Estes Park, CO
Mountain Cabin Neighbors Rocky Mountain National Park/ymca of the Rockies
Neighbors Rocky Mountain Np/ymca of the Rockies/wifi/satellite/baby Friendly
Neighbors Rocky Mountain Np/ymca of the Rockies/wifi/satellite/baby Friendly
Estes Park, CO
Neighbors Rocky Mountain Np/ymca of the Rockies/wifi/satellite/baby Friendly
Swiftcurrent Lodge Cottages by the River
Swiftcurrent Lodge Cottages by the River
3.5 out of 5
2512 State Highway 66, Estes Park, CO
Swiftcurrent Lodge Cottages by the River
2170 Estes Park - 4 Br Home
2170 Estes Park - 4 Br Home
4 out of 5
2170 Windcliff Drive, Estes Park, CO
2170 Estes Park - 4 Br Home
Herondale Luxury - 3 Br Home
Herondale Luxury - 3 Br Home
4 out of 5
2130 Windcliff Drive, Estes Park, CO
Herondale Luxury - 3 Br Home
Peaceful Views - Quiet Cabin - Great Contential Divide Views - Free Wifi
Peaceful Views - Quiet Cabin - Great Contential Divide Views - Free Wifi
Estes Park, CO
Peaceful Views - Quiet Cabin - Great Contential Divide Views - Free Wifi
Destiny Family Vacation Home at Windcliff
Destiny Family Vacation Home at Windcliff
Estes Park, CO
Destiny Family Vacation Home at Windcliff
Perfect 5 Bed House on the Big Thompson River - Hot Tub - Free Wifi
Perfect 5 Bed House on the Big Thompson River - Hot Tub - Free Wifi
Estes Park, CO
Perfect 5 Bed House on the Big Thompson River - Hot Tub - Free Wifi
3br Cabin Near National Park, Fishing, River
3br Cabin Near National Park, Fishing, River
Estes Park, CO
The price is $199 per night from Apr 6 to Apr 7
3br Cabin Near National Park, Fishing, River
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.