I’m not sure if it was the emerald green glacier lakes or the ethereal elk mating calls that echoed through the valleys at night, but Rocky Mountain National Park set the bar extremely high on my National Park tour this year.

Some friends of friends had recommended Emerald Lake Trail to us and described it as this magical trail that took you to several increasingly beautiful lakes. Every time they’d get to a lake, they’d stop and soak in the beauty… only to discover moments later that the next lake was even more stunning. It almost sounded like one of those avant-garde Japanese nature-themed video games.

Turns out, they weren’t lying. Bear Lake -> Nymph Lake -> Dream Lake -> Emerald Lake. Yes, that’s four beautiful lakes on one trail, with the added bonus of magical Harry Potter elk sightings. The bargain-hunting Asian mom in me was very pleased for this great value hike.

Thank you for sharing your beauty, Emerald City –I mean, Emerald Lake Trail.

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