Stunning views waiting to be found at Dream Lake. Photo Credit: SeanXu (iStock).

Stunning views waiting to be found at Dream Lake. Photo Credit: SeanXu (iStock).

There's no doubt about it – Rocky Mountain National Park is a stunning winter destination. Apparently, it's also one of Colorado Governor Jared Polis' favorite spots based on a recent social media post.

Polis noted that while the Centennial State is home to plenty of great slopesport resorts, it's also home to some of the best hiking trails in the country. And when it comes to winter hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, his top pick is Dream Lake Trail.

That's not too surprising – Dream Lake Trail is one of the highest-rated trails in the park and it's one that's very accessible.

According to AllTrails, Dream Lake Trail is rated as 4.7 stars with more than 3,000 reviews. An out-and-back trail, Dream Lake Trail, is two miles long. While it's rated as easy, it's worth noting that it means hiking up about 400 feet of vertical gain.

Hiking the trail in winter also adds a layer of difficulty, as it's typically covered in ice or snow. However, given the shorter length of the trail, this does make it a great cold weather option. The dangers of winter – frigid temperatures and less predictable conditions – can be minimized to a degree when recreators are closer to the safety of a trailhead. That being said, be highly cautious of ice and snow covering the lake at the end of the route. Do not attempt to cross the icy lake unless you are fully aware of how to safely do so, including having the knowledge of how to judge ice depth.

If you're looking for a great winter hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, Dream Lake Trail is a good one. Make sure you've got plenty of layers, warm gloves, and shoes that will help keep snow out of your boots. Traction and hiking poles may also be good tools for this route, or snowshoes if conditions warrant.

Read more about this trail here.

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Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.

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