Explore 2016 RCMP - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2016 RCMP Map
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Beautiful hike! I’d say moderate. “Hardest” part was climbing the waterfall. Get there early!

Excellent weather. Path clear, visible and moderate.. One tough rock wall section before glass lake that may limit some people. Windy at top but warm and snow melted. 10 miles not 8.

Did this from Bear Lake to the Fern Lake Bus stop last Saturday 8/11. I am in Rock Mtn. NP most weekend either hiking or on snowshoes. This is my very favorite longer hike since Sky Pond has become so mobbed. I think the section around the side of Joe Mill Mtn is really fun - love the views down to Odessa Lake. You won't be by yourself but no where near as crowed as the Glacier Gorge trail system.

Great hike. Should be considered 'Medium' difficulty instead of hard. Lake Loch, Lake of glass, and Sky Pond all three are absolutely amazing.

The hike up was more than I anticipated but definitely worth it. I hung out at the lake and made friends with a duck. It was a beautiful midweek day and passed less than ten other adults. Didn’t see anyone younger than a teenager. I wouldn’t bring kids on this hike if you’re doing it from the main trailhead. Too steep and narrow for kids in my opinion!

hiking
3 days ago

The trail was nice until the day's weather decided to turn on us and we were hailed off of the mountain. Fantastic thunderstorm. Will have to try to complete this trail again sometime. The kids enjoyed it before the thunder started rolling!

Even though the heavy weather was rolling in as we were headed back to the trailhead, people were still climbing the ridge! I am guessing that most of these folks were from out of town....people die every year in Rocky from lightening strikes. The weather, hiking etiquette and the 10 essentials need to be taken seriously.

One of my favorite hikes in RMNP! The views are incredible! If you are going to hike Flattop you might as well go to Hallet Peak. Maybe another half hour push from Flattop but well worth it for the unobstructed 360 views of RMNP.

absolutely amazing hike! the trail is pretty packed for maybe a mile or two but thins out. the trail for the most part is pretty moderate untill the last mile and a half. I will say if you are not comfortable with a scramble or not wearing proper boots don't finish the hike. I saw three people almost slip and fall down the waterfall and personally had to catch someone who was wearing Nike running shoes.

Not an easy hike but a mid-40's couple from Denver took their time and got to the top in about 3 hrs. Some of the most amazing views the park has to offer. Surprised how many other people were on this trail, most younger than us and blazing by. Oh well! We were beat afterwords but loved this hike. May take it all the way into Grand Lake next time.

hiking
4 days ago

This trail was even better than we expected! I would actually consider the destination to be not just Flattop Mountain summit, but also Tyndall Glacier, which is incredible! The views were amazing and we saw lots of pika and marmots as well. The Emerald and Dream Lake overlooks are a nice bonus! We didn’t try hiking up adjacent Hallett Peak this time but will try it on a future trip. We hiked this trail on August 11, 2018.

This is a fantastic hike. Probably one of the most beautiful I’ve done in Rocky Mountain NP. Closer to 9.8 miles, but worth every step. Saw lots of elk along the trail and some brave marmots. Please DO NOT feed the wildlife! They are too comfortable around people, trying to steal food. The views at the top are incredible, but don’t get fooled and stop at the first lake. Sky pond is beyond that one. Bonus getting to see Alberta Falls on the way up, and the crowd thins once you pass this point. Took a nice dip in the lake on the way down. Cold, but worth it!

Never been hiking in my life.. decided to hit the hardest most beautiful trail right out of the gates. GREAT DECISION. One of the most gratifying afternoons of my life. We managed to snag a parking spot up at Bear Lake lot around 10:30am. Took the shuttle down to Glacier Gorge and were off. IMPORTANT: Take your time going up, don't be afraid to go off trail 50-100 yards.... because that is where the most stunning views are! The Loch will make you cry, and so will the satisfaction from making it all the way to Sky Pond. DO THIS HIKE! Took us about 3.5 hours up, 1.5 hours down with a few breaks here and there. Sights and feels that I won't soon forget!

If I were you, I'd do one of two things and neither is just summitting flat top. If youre up for a slightly longer hike, continue past flattop to hallett where the view is 10x better. It only took us about 45 minutes round trip to do this extra bit and we were very glad we did. If you're less up for it, just go up flat top past the two lake overlooks and after you get above the tree line. The views there are very cool and the other reviews are right - the summit views of flattop itself are a little anticlimactic. Still a beautiful hike if you're up for a pretty uphill hike in the sun! Loved it

Want to include some clarification...

- The picture listed for this trail is actually Glass Lake, not Sky Pond. Sky Pond is another 0.5 miles further in once you've made it up the scramble.
- This hike, all the way to Sky Pond, is about 4.9 miles from the Glacier Gorge trail head to the end.

Overall, an absolutely beautiful hike and not too strenuous. I would rate this a more moderate / hard hike. My friend and I stayed at the Glacier Basin campsite and drove across the street to the shuttle stop and took the shuttle up. They run about every 5-10 minutes. Parking will be full if you get to the trailhead after 6:30am.

The waterfall scramble at the end of the hike is the most challenging part, and there are a fair amount of steps to get to that point (for those who may struggle with steps). There's a decent amount of shade but you will want to go as early as you can to avoid most of the sun. Make sure to bring a lot of water as well!

My friend and I took our time and stopped at a lot of the viewpoints and we finished the hike in 6.5 hours (in and out). One of my favorite hikes I've done - make sure to add this one to your trip if you're heading to Rocky Mountain National Park!

Perfect hike, perfect day!

Overall, a great hike. Scaling the waterfall, while not too physically demanding, can prove treacherous if you have big feet and/or aren’t adept at climbing. Worth the trip to the top though!

Great hike. Decently steep towards the top before the lake but gem lake is beautiful. Went further to balanced rock which was an 8 mile round trip and had some good views along the way. Would hike again!!

Beautiful views the entire way. Definitely go to glass lake, too. I thought the trail was moderate. The waterfall scramble was interesting but not too difficult.

Not easy for worth it.

Alberta falls to start, cool but keep moving to further away from people.

Lock is pretty, easily find a good spot for a meal. Then you get to walk along the lake for awhile.

Made it the scramble, waterfall while my wife and I carried our 2 and 5 yr old. But not able to get them up the climb. So we took turns going up solo to glass lake, gave the kids a chance to play in the water at the bottom of the fall.

Missed out on sky, bummer. My 5 yr old hiked around 6 miles, which was a huge help.

Part of the RMNP but start outside of park. Started at donut shop on the way to trail. Great donuts but made hiking a little tougher.

This hike is different than being in the RMNP, the rocks-boulder different shapes and sizes. Made for numerous little caves, which the 2 and 5 year old loved.

On the way up, get some good views of Estes park.

There is a actual toilet near the top. My 5 yr old loved this!!

Lake is very ok. Also leaches in the lake, so don't get all the way in. But plenty of exploring and climbing near the lake for the kids.

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5). 5 yr old hiked off and on.

According to the trail maps on sight, it is close to 10 miles to Sky Pond if you start at Bear Lake.

Requires lots of effort to get to the good views but it is worth it. Starting at Fern and going to Bear lake is tough with a lot of uphill hiking

Wonderful hike! Was our first hike of our week long trip, and was perfect. So many great stops along the trail.

We arrived at the trailhead at 6:30am and snagged one of the last parking spots.

Toughest part was climbing up and down timberline falls, but it was also the coolest part!

Very very busy on our way back.

Almost no shade once it got to be noon- wear sunscreen!

Many places to use water filter to fill your water bottles!

Did this last summer. Favorite hike of all time. Definitely recommended.

The lake is just okay. The best part is the nice views going up and down the trail. Went during a huge thunderstorm with lots of hail so we couldn’t spend much time at the lake.

Was a pretty good workout for this Nebraska boy, but enjoyed the views and the little rain shower. Recommend the hike overall!

This hike was lovely - truly the stereotypical mountain lake ideal view. It's as gorgeous as you'd imagine. :) Yes, if you hike it in the summer, it'll be well populated, but that's the case for most trails at any national park.
As I approached Mills Lake, I watched the water that would become Alberta Falls rush by, flowing heavily from MIlls Lake. After that, I crested a hill with large boulders around, that opened up to the spans of Mills Lake, flanked by idyllic rocky mountains.
As an Arizona hiker who visited in August, I layered my clothing: yoga tank under a long sleeved t, under a sweatshirt, under a waterproof windbreaker. I'm SOOOO glad I took all layers (I almost left the sweatshirt in the car), because in the 30ish minutes I sat by the lake, the weather went from full sun, dy, then thunder, rain and hail...and then sun again. ....and then rain. Mother Nature was verrry moody the day I hiked this trail, and judging from what the Park Rangers, guides and locals told me, this is common. So, be sure you're prepared!
This trail felt like a true hike, whereas Bear Lake was not at all. The hike to Mills Lake is rated moderate, but I believe it's somewhere between Easy and Moderate.
There aren't any steep grades, despite you ascending almost all the way. The grade is subtle.
Because you are walking on a trail with loose rock and stepping around larger rocks, I also recommend you wear grippy shoes/boots.
You'll love it.

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