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USA Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

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There's no shortage of great views and alpine lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park, but Dream Lake is particularly appealing for sunrises for a few reasons. First, it's a relatively quick hike, so you don't have to start hiking at ~1am like you do for some of the longer hikes in the park (e.g., Sky Pond, Chasm Lake). The other main advantage of Dream Lake is that the rising sun will glint off Hallet Peak (shown in the image above on the left side of the lake) and Flattop Mountain (which is totally obscured by the snow in the image, but it frames the right edge of the lake) and create some beautiful reflections. Provided you're hiking on a clear day, as opposed to the snowstorm that I was in when I took the above image...

Photography Tips

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Travel Information

Google will get you to the Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is where the hike to Bear Lake begins. The trail is only 2.2 miles roundtrip and only has about 500 feet in elevation gain, so the hike itself is pretty easy. If you're going to be hiking early morning to try to get a sunrise shot, you'll want to keep a close eye on the junctions to make sure you're staying on the right path, though. The usual advice about hiking in the dark applies (bring a headlamp, etc.).
Crowd Factor Just a few people
Best Timing Sunrise
Sunrise & Sunset 07:06 - 16:38 | current local time: 09:16
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Thank you kyle wurtz for creating this photo spot.
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