For two Texans visiting Colorado, it was my duty to show them the beauty of Dream Lake in the winter. Christine and Justin’s anniversary is New Years, so to celebrate they made a little trip out to the Colorado mountains. Christine grew up visiting Colorado, and they both love this gorgeous state. They did a camping trip in the summer, but Colorado in the winter is something else.
They were staying up near Estes Park, right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado weather can be so unpredictable year round, so we were either going to be covered in snow, or have a lovely sunny day, (even in late December!). When they told me they were down for whatever for their photo session, I had one spot in mind.
Dream Lake in the Winter
The first time I had ever visited Dream Lake myself, was last march. I snowshoed the one mile hike up to the lake from the Bear Lake parking lot, and was able to walk across Dream Lake since it had completely frozen over. There were some sketchy areas to hike that day due to the ice, so ice spikes are HIGHLY recommended.
The higher you get on the climb, the more breathtaking it is. Literally. The lake sits at 9,905 feet elevation!! Poor Christine and Justin! There was nothing like this near them in Texas! But, it was 100% worth it. The snow dusted Rockies in the distance made all of our jaws drop.
Once we made it to Dream Lake, we were so happy! There were a bunch of other cross-country skiiers and hikers continuing on across the lake, but all we wanted to do was find a good view point and take it all in. While summer time is hot and filled with lush greens and lilypads, Dream Lake in the winter looks like a scene from Game of Thrones. Rigid ice and barren trees, all beneath rocky mountain scapes and gloomy skies. It is it’s own beauty. Then the wind came. It was horrible. After some snowball fights, we decided to head back down to the parking lot to warm up and continue on.
Bonus; Sprague Lake in the winter
We got back to our cars, turned up the heat, and warmed up. After that we had another quick pit stop to Sprague Lake. This lake is great because it doesn’t require an uphill mile hike to get to! We walked across the lake to the dock to take a look back at the mountains we were just at. Rocky Mountain National park in the winter is a whole different experience than in the summer, and I’m so happy I could share it with these two while they were in town!
Photography: Shelly Anderson Photography