Do you know what's better than a trip to the Caribbean? An alpine hike that's dotted with the most beautiful emerald-colored water you've ever seen. Lake Haiyaha in the Rocky Mountains is filled with giant boulders and jade waters, and it's a sight for sore eyes.

Would you believe us if we said the hike to get there is easy? Nestled in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Lake Haiyaha, aka "Big Rocks" is an alpine lake that can be reached using the Bear Lake Trail. 

At only 4.2-miles roundtrip, this trek is short and sweet, perfect for some outdoor fun in the sun.

Before entering the park, you'll have to purchase a permit. One-day passes are $25 per vehicle, so if you bring along some friends, you can split the cost.

The best part about this trail is that it can lead you to nine lakes in total! If you're up for a day filled with hiking, forest views, and beautiful lakes, this is the one for you. 

During on-peak months, it's recommended that you take the shuttle to the trailhead instead of parking there. The Bear Lake Shuttle runs from May 26 through October 8. 

Once you reach the jade-colored lake, you'll notice that the shoreline is filled with huge boulders. It's a great place to sit on a rock and enjoy the views.

If you're brave enough, you can even take a dip in the cold water; however, the Rocky Mountain National Park warns that "swimming is allowed in Rocky," but it's important to note that most of the alpine lakes are filled with leeches. 

So, are up to brave the cold and the critters that call this lake home?

Even if you don't take a dip, the glorious waters make for some great memories, especially if you bring your favorite person along. 

Lake Haiyaha

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Length: 4.2-miles roundtrip

Address: Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Why you need to go: You can visit this enchanting emerald-colored lake for the trip of a lifetime. 


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a site, respect the environment.

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