Now I get to share them with you! Heading north (towards the trail) you’ll see the Petit Grepon, the Saber, and other famous spires. I can tell just from your pictures that this hike is scenic! To get to the trailhead, drive west on Hwy 34 out of Loveland for 30 … While Powell Peak is to the south. Together we embrace the nomad lifestyle for it has allowed us to live our life the way we want by traveling and hiking the places we’ve dreamed of! The lake has an elevation gain of 1,765 feet and its total distance is 8.1 miles. Here’s everything you need to know to hike the Sky Pond trail. Sky Pond and Lake of Glass hike Map This packing list includes separate checklists for camping, hiking, backpacking, winter travel, and trip details. Start early (before 6am) for the most solitude. The round-trip hike to Sky Pond is 10 miles and it begins at the Glacier Gorge trailhead. Turn around and retrace your steps back to the trailhead and parking lot or set up camp at one of the three lakes. Colorado weather can really change any second, especially in … We immediately noticed how windy it was. Mosquitoes seem to be fairly active at Sky Pond. 😍. Nestled amongst towering granite spires, Sky Pond, Colorado is an amazing hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Overview This is a difficult out and back trail to Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park. This hike did that for me. My first visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. Keep in mind, this also coincides with the best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, so expect crowds on this trail. When we went it was cold and windy! I’m so grateful that he did! Therefore, the best time to do the Sky Pond hike is between mid-June through mid-October. If you’re lucky you’ll have it to yourself for a while like we did. Hiked with my brother and friend to Sky Pond from the Bear Lake Trailhead on September 2, 2017. Dare I say more?! Sky Pond Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park is one of Brad’s favorites and he wanted to share that special spot with me. Explore the outdoors in Colorado like a local, not a tourist. Make your way along the Glacier Gorge Trail for several miles, passing a few marked junctions. The good news is that all trails in Rocky Mountain National Park are well maintained and marked. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. The parking lot for the trailhead is on Bear Lake Road but is small and can fill up fast. It might be the most beautiful place on Earth. It is a somewhat famous, classic, technical rock climb. Sky Pond is about 4.5 miles from the trailhead and sits surrounded by cliffs at about 10,900 feet. Travel like a local, not a tourist! The remaining trail to Sky Pond was quite tricky, as in we lost the trail and climbed over a bunch of rocks until we found it again. Of the seemingly infinite hikes to do in Colorado, Sky Pond stands out as one of the best. However, before you go, understand what you’re getting into. Pro Tip: If you plan on visiting a National Park within the U.S. more than 2x a year it would be worth your money to purchase the annual pass. You’re not quite there yet! Sky Pond is known for its shark tooth appearing rocks that surround one side of it. Check your inbox for instructions on your FREE hiking checklist. But before you go, keep these quick Colorado hiking tips in mind: There are plenty of awesome things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park. It is up to you to decide what you want to put up with. If you manage to get above Timberline Falls, you’ll soon hike upon Lake of Glass which as a matter of fact was named accordingly. Then there isn’t really a set trail to Sky Pond, but just head past Lake of Glass along the right side and you’ll start to see somewhat of a trail. The avid hikers will continue on to Sky Pond so you’re likely to lose a lot of the crowd after this point. The rocks are extraordinarily slick from water and hikers so take your time. Cathedral Peaks from Sky Pond The Trail Guide to The Loch, Glass Lake, and Sky Pond includes trail descriptions, photographs of the trails, comments from our hikes, mileage data, custom topo map, and the routes tracklog on a geo-pdf map. I visit Rocky Mountain National Park several times a year and know quite a bit about hiking to Sky Pond. I will pin this just in case I ever decide to tear myself away from beach destinations to do a hike! The water flow at the waterfalls wasn’t as strong, though. Check out the following details about the Sky Pond trail that you’ll need to know: Local Tip: For the 2020 year, you need to make advanced reservations to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. I dream of going back to Rocky Mountain National Park. This hike is also a great choice because you don’t have to do the entire trail to get jaw dropping views. This is a definite must on my list for the next time we plan to travel. 2 waterfalls and 3 lakes. To the north the spires of Sharkstooth, Petit Grepon, and the Saber dominate the sky. September offered cooler temperatures, a slight breeze at the lower elevations, and sunny skies. This is worth stopping for and exploring around! I highly recommend exploring out onto the little peninsula for a closer, unobstructed view of the lake. The trailhead is at Glacier Gorge near Bear Lake, one of the most popular so arrive early or use the shuttle. The guide will familiarize you with The Loch, Glass Lake, and Sky Pond Trails. As always, please be considerate of the environment so we can keep enjoying it and remember to leave no trace. We hope the guide helps you on your hikes and adventures. This uber-iconic challenging hike isn’t just one of the best hikes near Estes Park, but it’s one of the top national park hikes too. We think it's one of the best hikes in the USA. Most people hike to just see the falls then turn around. Our advice is to arrive early so that you can snatch a coveted parking spot at this lot because it does tend to fill up quickly. Expect to use your hands in a few spots where the rocks are slick. It has a little bit of everything- scrambling up the side of a waterfall, epic Colorado glacial lakes, and fresh mountain air. The hike to Sky Pond is one of the most famous and best rated hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll love it ☺️. I’m adding this to my bucket list! Sky Pond takes you to many different sights in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Alberta Falls, Loch Lake, Timberland Falls, Glass Lake and finally Sky Pond. Lake of Glass was the most impressive lake in my opinion. Fall here is stunning. Thank you, Kym! There is a lot of uphill climbing and an elevation gain of over 1,800 feet. A lot of hikers stop here because you can’t see beyond, but don’t! Far up into the alpine lies a lake so beautiful, it’ll take your breath away. The Sky Pond Trail is a difficult out-and-back trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. As a resident expert, I’m giving you all the details about the Sky Pond hike. The hike goes over mostly gentle terrain with a few steeper sections, but this part of the Sky Pond trail is generally considered easy. Scramble to the top, the steepness and wetness making it a challenge. There are a few things to know about visiting Sky Pond Colorado. I can see why this hike is so popular, it was amazing every step of the way. As an absolute outdoor PRO (seriously, I get paid to write about the outdoors) and Colorado local of over 12 years, you've found the best outdoor blog on the internet. Fill out your email below to get exclusive access to the ultimate Colorado packing list! The best trail to hike between June to September is Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail that offers many activities. The hike to Sky Pond begins at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead within Rocky Mountain National Park. During this time there is a lot of ice and travel over avalanche territory is required, making it a serious endevour that is often very unsafe. You can take one of two trailheads to reach Sky Pond. Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail is a 8.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. As one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in Colorado, it’s well worth a visit. best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, advanced reservations to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park, The Complete Guide to Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park Like a Local, 21 Incredible Road Trip Stops in Colorado You Can’t Miss, 10 of the Most Scenic Backpacking Loops in Colorado, Practical information about the Sky Pond Trail, Additional Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning resources, Drive Trail Ridge Road or the Peak-to-Peak Highway, one of the, Spend time shopping and dining in Estes Park, Smokin’ Daves BBQ and Brew (BBQ and beer), Notchtop Bakery and Cafe (brunch, breakfast, coffee). Get a beautiful glimpse of Rocky Mountain National Park on this fun, yet challenging hike that takes you by stunning lakes and to a waterfall and two beautiful hidden lakes! Trail Description: The hike to Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park begins from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, located on Bear Lake Road almost 8 miles from the turn-off at Highway 36. At about .8 miles you’ll hike upon Alberta Falls, a 30 foot waterfall that pours into Glacier Creek below. From here, the trail gets steep and travels through Timberline Falls. Get the FREE Colorado trip planning checklist and get the inside scoop on hiking, camping, climbing, and more in the great Centennial State. Once you reach the Glacier Gorge and the Loch junction, head towards the Loch (away from Glacier Falls). Well, the side of it any ways. Sky Pond was my favorite hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Denver, CO ItineraryLookout Mountain at Windy Saddle ParkTouring Cities on a Budget- 10 Ways to Save. If the lot is full, there are other nearby lots where you can park and start your hike from or snag a shuttle from. Local tip: Hiking is popular this year, expect to see a full parking lot on weekends by 5:30 am. If you’re looking for a high-altitude challenge offering everything from lakes, waterfalls, and jaw-dropping peaks, then Sky Pond belongs on your bucket list. As a local Coloradan and full-time freelance writer, I know quite a bit about hiking throughout Colorado. The hike to Sky Pond begins from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, which is located on Bear Lake Road. The turquoise blue water and close proximity to high mountains made you feel more enclosed. Notice how clear the water is in the picture below. Then a little stone path a few steps lead right to it. Luckily Sky Pond can be reached during all seasons! Be sure to take it all in- it is a peaceful start! So pretty! The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and snowshoeing and is best used from June until October. I work from my laptop and travel all across the U.S. with my German Shepard, Monty. The best approach is to head for a relatively dry chute of the waterfall, on the right of the main flow. Sky Pond is a 9.5-mile hike that gains 1,837 feet in elevation. At 4.6 miles into the trail, THIS is Sky Pond. Hiking to Sky Pond. Note that most trails are not named, but there are signs at intersections - keep heading to Sky Pond. The trail - rugged and indistinguishable at times - continues up the west side of Glass Lake through krummholz and talus to Sky Pond (4.5 miles : 10,887'). Her mission is to get you out on your greatest adventure. Length 8.7 miElevation gain 1883 ftRoute type Out & back Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to explore virtually every hiking area in the State. Fill out your email below for your exclusive hiking freebie, access to bonus hiking tips, and insider knowledge on the best hiking destination around the world. Sky Pond is 4.9 mi/7.9 km from the Glacier Gorge trailhead with an elevation gain of 1650 ft/503 m. The trail passes by Alberta Falls and the Loch before climbing up Timberline Line to reach the Lake... Read all 98reviews Have I convinced you yet? I’ve got you covered with these local resources. Charlie’s Bunion- Smoky Mountain National Park, When to Hike Rocky Mountain National Park, Utah Canyoneering Tour Near Zion National Park, Hike to Kendrick Peak Lookout in Flagstaff, AZ, Know the Shuttle times and route beforehand. The National Park is absolutely gorgeous and worth visiting. I was glad to have brought layers but do wish I had remembered gloves. The end of the trail leading up to Sky Pond is often impassible from November through early June. Hi there! Climbers are often seen (or heard) on Petit. Once you make it to the lake it is truly an accomplished feeling rewarded with beautiful, glacial blue water. Nick Sangetta and Barb Sangetta hike Sky Pond in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado on September 12, 2018. The large tooth-like formation towards the north west corner of the pond is called Sharkstooth. You know those adventures that go spectacularly, end up being better than you could have ever expected, and leave you on an adventure high afterwards? I visited Denver in September for a long weekend and this was my hike of choice! With lush, green grass and large rocks surrounding you, this is the perfect spot to kick back & relax a while before hiking back down. Keep in mind, this also coincides with the best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, so expect crowds on this trail. You’ll want to stick to the far right of Timberline Falls and scramble up the rocks. Sky Pond sits in a cirque of mountains. The hike to Sky Pond starts near Bear Lake. Note: This website participates in affiliate marketing. Start early (before 6am) for the most solitude. No matter the season, Rocky Mountain National Park never fails when it comes to epic vista views. Hiking all the way to Sky Pond is definitely a difficult hike for most people because of the length and the climb up Timberline Falls. It’s not uncommon to see climbers using this trail (I used it when I climbed the Petit Grepon). Why, you may ask? It has a little bit of everything- scrambling up the side of a waterfall, epic Colorado glacial lakes, and fresh mountain air. Headlamp hiking for the first hour of the trail; This hike can be started from two different trail heads in the park, Bear Lake Trailhead or Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead. The Rocky Mountains and this hike will definitely be on my bucket list now – I’m from the UK and love the US so love finding new places to visit over there 🙂, Thank you, Cathers! Included are The Loch and Glass Lake. Stay organized with this easy-to-use hiking planner and checklist for your next hike. I’ve listed them in order below! Sky Pond is rated as a difficult hike. Hiking Sky Pond in Winter This is a fantastic winter hiking option. Sky Pond Colorado is certainly a noteworthy destination. It’s less than a half mile to Sky Pond and it’s pretty incredible too. Make your way back the way you came to complete this bucket list Colorado hike. You’ll be able to see Loch Vale far off in the distance and the views here are stunning. This hike is absolutely beautiful! Good, let’s begin. That means if you click on some of the links and purchase something, I get a small kickback at no added cost to you. You can continue to enjoy the park after your hike. First, the only way in and out is via the Glacier Gorge Trail. Like all National Parks, there is an entry fee. Simply fill it out and send it along to a trusted friend. Get organized with local advice on what to pack for your awesome Colorado adventure. Sky Pond is … I'm Kara and I travel the U.S. solo with my fury companion, Monty. You’ll literally be hiking up a gentle waterfall. Here are a few notable options: There’s nothing quite like a post-hike meal. : Distance: 4.9 miles one-way Meg aka Fox is a 30-something who's born to explore. The trail is 9.5 miles long and is an out-and-back type trail, meaning you will hike back out the same way you hike in. I sure hope you get to make it to the US and explore this park! This is one of the best day hikes in the park, but remember, if you aren’t able to hike the entire trail, there are several destinations along the way that will satisfy you before you turn around. It all comes down to what you prefer! Keep going for Sky Pond is not much further and is the final destination. This hike is also a great choice because you don’t have to do the entire trail to get jaw dropping views. Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park Situated above Timberline Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park are two spectacular lakes. Come early or expect to wait. Here are a few tips from the hike I want to share that will make your day more enjoyable! The Sky Pond and Lake of Glass hike is a favorite hike for locals. If you are afraid of heights this will be where you either turn around or conquer your fears. (Psst, perfect if you've just moved to CO too!). Head toward the Bear Lake Trailhead and pull out at the Glacier Gorge Parking Lot. Let's strap on our boots and hit the trail! To reach the alpine lakes, Sky Pond and Lake of Glass, you must climb up the side of the falls, which lies at the 4 mile mark. I’m just another 26 year old solo traveler here living life on her own terms. Bear Lake to Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail is a 8.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. She'd rather be dirty than done up. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from May until September. Check your inbox for instructions on your FREE Colorado packing list. The hike to Sky Pond will satisfy your wanderlust for the mountains all in one day. For more, see the Fox in the Forest Privacy Policy. Traction is highly recommended (microspikes or snowshoes). Depending on what time of year it is you will be scrambling in some water. When we started the trail was quite crowded but really thinned out towards the top. This demanding hike begins at the Glacier Gorge trailhead and takes you past at least three waterfalls and a beautiful set of cascades. I hope you get to! Either way, don’t forget to turn around and look behind you. Working remotely has changed my life and allowed me to experience the places I've been dreaming of. In this guide we’ll cover: Before you hit the trail, it’s important to be prepared. Sit down for a while and enjoy the view. “The Loch” is the perfect place to post up for a break and hangout while having some snacks. You’ll work up an apeptite on your Sky Pond hike, so be sure to check out one of these local eateries in Estes Park: Have the perfect day along the Sky Pond trail, complete with beautiful mountain vistas and an excellent physical challenge. Of course to hike other trails, but when I visit again I’ll be sure to hike to Sky Pond a second time. Continue another 0.7 miles until you reach Sky Pond, a beautiful, tranquil lake nestled amongst jagged granite spires. The crowds dwindle quite a bit in winter (though this is still highly trafficked), and the experience is entirely different during winter months. We knew the parking lot was small from our last trip so we arrived early (at around 9:30am) and were able to snag one of the last remaining spots. Next you’ll find yourself standing below another waterfall- this one roughly 100 feet high (pictured above on the right). The kicker- you have to climb it! I’d say fall and spring are the best times to visit, however winter would be way less crowded and provide a different experience. Length 8.5 miElevation gain 1761 ftRoute type Out & back Hike Profiles for Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas: Sky Pond The hike to Sky Pond passes several lakes and waterfalls as it leads through Loch Vale to a shelf below Taylor Glacier and Taylor Peak. There are several distinct destinations along the way that would be good turn around points if you’re short on time, making it the perfect day hike. While you're waiting why not follow me on socials? Complete with planning info, hiking packing list, emergency contact and more! The Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead is the ideal place to start this hike, since the distance will be the shortest. Hiking Guide To The Sky Pond Lake Trail In The Rocky Mountain National Park- How to get to the best lake hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a long slow uphill hike so be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and of course layers. ;). The hike to Sky Pond isn’t easy, isn’t incredibly hard either. Distance: 9.5 milesType: Out and BackDifficulty: Difficult (Strenuous)Elevation Gain: 1708 ft.Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, COTrailhead: Glacier Gorge Trailhead. In September my friends and I didn’t experience as much flowing water as ice- so be careful! The highest of the two is Sky Pond, and the lower is called The Lake of Glass. I love hearing from my community about all the badass adventures. The outstanding scenery and varied environments along this trail make it a very popular trail for day hikers. As one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll want to enjoy this gem early in the morning to beat the crowds. These are amazing pictures! To get to the trailhead, you will drive Bear Lake Road almost to the very end. Yep, it definitely might be the prettiest place on the … Make sure to get a reservation for RMNP and try to go as early as possible to avoid large lines, crowds, and the heat Roughly 2 miles later you’ll find yourself hiking around Loch Vale (photo above on the left), the first lake of three on this hike. This looks like an awesome trip and a wonderful hike. These spires (mostly on the right) are home to some of Colorado’s most famous rock climbing. A little ways past The Loch (about a mile or so) you’ll start trending uphill. The varied views, including of several alpine lakes, and the vistas you see on this trail showcase some of the best that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer. Planning a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park? Now you're ready to travel like a local, not a tourist. Is located on Bear Lake, one of two sky pond hike to reach Sky Pond is a difficult out back! An Amazon Associate i earn from qualifying purchases i know quite a bit hiking! 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