Hiking Tyndall Gorge – Sunset at Nymph, Dream, & Emerald Lakes
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
For years now, I had wanted to shoot Dream Lake so I was determined to get there for sunset last month. After how I had felt all and day after gimping my way out of Sky Pond that same morning, I was in disbelief that I was actually hiking out of Bear Lake with only a minor limp and minimal pain in my knee. Ice, a bunch of Aleve, and lying in a hammock sipping on some whiskey had worked miracles…
In the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, the glacial Tyndall Gorge is home to three incredibly beautiful alpine lakes, each surrounded by increasingly impressive views of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain rising dramatically in the distance. The hike up Tyndall is Colorado classic and possibly one of the more popular hikes in the entire national park system. Nymph Lake is only a half mile in and the more-famous Dream Lake is only a mellow 1.1 miles from the trailhead at Bear Lake. The short distance combined with the minimal elevation gain (437′), you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful spot in Colorado, where such minimal effort reaps such grand rewards. The trail then skirts the shores of Dream Lake and continues up the gorge another 0.7 miles to Emerald Lake, which is not as recognizable as Dream Lake, but in my opinion, it’s the more impressive lake with the imposing cliffs of Hallett Peak really towering overhead.