Sometimes enjoying the beauty of nature requires a little perseverance, determination, and maybe some rock climbing skills, but it's so much fun.

Hike to Emerald Lake

Lots of people make the hike to Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, the third in a series of lakes on a 3.6-mile roundtrip hike. You'll start out at Bear Lake and along the way, you'll enjoy other lakes and some views of Longs Peak and Hallett Peak. The trail ends at Emerald Lake, but the beauty is only beginning for the few willing to go the extra mile. I was one of the few.

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On To the Waterfall

Once you reach Emerald Lake, you can hear the waterfall,  from the Tyndall Glacier on the opposite side of the lake. The falls can barely be seen, partially hidden by rocks and obscured by the distance. There is no trail leading to the falls. You're on your own, and you better be ready to scramble over a lot of rocks along the way.

Once you arrive at the base of the falls, it becomes a matter of how far up you want to climb over wet and slippery moss-covered rocks. For those willing to meet the challenge, it's a breathtaking and awesome sight. You may encounter flowers like the Colorado Columbine.

The photos in the gallery below hardly do justice to the beauty of this hike and the waterfall itself, but, maybe it will make you curious enough to want to try this hike the next time you visit Rocky Mountain National Park.

Colorado's Emerald Lake Waterfall

You'll find Emerald Lake inside Rocky Mountain National park. A beautiful 3.2-mile moderate hike will take you up to the lake. For most people, that's the end of the hike and it's back down they go. But, if you can find the secret waterfall across the lake you are in for a special treat. It's a beautiful place and these photos don't really do it justice, but they will give you some idea of what to expect. If you plan to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, I highly recommend doing the Emerald Lake hike.

Gallery Credit: Zane Mathews

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