The hike to Dream Lake begins from the Bear Lake Trailhead, located at the end of Bear Lake Road, 9 miles from the turn-off at Highway 36. I left the hotel at around 04:30. The distance from the hotel to the bear lake parking was about half an hour's drive. I wanted to view the first light on the peak so I had to be prompt.
From Bear Lake the trail makes a steady climb up to Nymph Lake. Every now and then you will catch a glimpse of Longs Peak through the trees. Due to the heavy amount of foot traffic this area receives, much of this section of trail has been paved.
At just over a half-mile from the trailhead I reached the south end of Nymph Lake, a pleasant lake ringed by pond lilies. I continued up the trail for a short distance and there was when I saw a lovely view of Hallett Peak standing sentinel over the lake.
As I continued around the lake I encountered a fairly steep climb for a short section that includes an outstanding view of Longs Peak off to the left. This section of trail, between Nymph Lake and Dream Lake, also offers an abundance of wildflowers during the summer.
At roughly 1.1 miles from the trailhead I arrived at the junction for the trail that leads to Lake Haiyaha. I turned right and walk the short distance to the foot of the Dream Lake.
The views of 12,713-foot Hallett Peak and 12,324-foot Flattop Mountain from the east shore of this beautiful subalpine lake are simply outstanding. In between the two mountains is the Tyndall Gorge, with the Tyndall Glacier just barely visible from this angle. I arrived just in time to see the rising sun bathing the peaks with a gorgeous warm light.
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