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

Before Leaving Colorado Map

Beautiful lake.

The trail is still somewhat icy at the moment. But if you have your spikes, this is a fun, fairly quick hike that will get your heart rate up and reward you with a gorgeous view from the arch at the top.

Hiked this yesterday with my daughter. It was awesome! Some tough climbs at the end with ice and snow pack but well worth it. Micro spikes are a must. A frozen Glass lake and ice fall made for some great pictures.

Very relaxed and beautiful trail!

Wow! The description of this trail is on point, as well as everyone's reviews. We had hiked Emerald Lake the day before and wanted something more challenging... we got it! We wore microspikes and used trekking poles the whole way up. We were hit by a snow storm about halfway to Sky Pond and pushed through. The most difficult part is right before you hit the pond. The trail is barely hiked and therefore you sink pretty deep at such a steep incline. The part where the strap is is extremely icy and therefore I "Spidermaned" my way up the left side of the boulder instead of the right (not using the strap). The pond was gorgeous and frozen solid. *caution** heard a bear as we began our decent down the steep incline. You should bring : snow shoes, microspiked, snow pants, and trekking poles at the very least. *** Also, I dropped our little fox somewhere around Glass Lake, when the snow melts and if he is seen please feel free to contact me via Facebook, he's a precious part of our lives ;(***

Beautiful view! A decent climb. DEFINITELY need to have your spikes with you for some parts. Very icy near the beginning of the Arch trail and just before you get to the Royal Arch. If you have walking sticks or gloves for holding onto rocks etc then I recommend that also. I was very scared of going down but I have never walked on an icy trail/never ice-skated or been skiing so it was a whole new experience for me. Other people were running up and down there - making sure to step on the rocks and dry parts. I’m so glad I did it though.

Almost completely packed down snow right, as all the trails in this area will be for awhile. Slight elevation gain to Alberta Falls, but nothing crazy. We have a 4 and 7 year old and the only one that used spikes was my wife. On the way back it would be helpful though. Right now you can see the water at the top of the waterfall running down through the ice... very cool. This one if good for kids. We do it once during winter and once during summer every year.

Spikes needed once you hit the spur to the arch.

Definitely recommend spikes. Snowy towards the end. Falls were frozen over which made the hike anticlimactic. Would recommend saving this for when it gets warmer.

Hiked 3/12. Only used microspikes for the entire hike. Someone has bolted a strap by the only sketchy part of the hike. Slid most of the way down on my coat. Definitely recommend if you are in shape for it. If you’re questioning it at the lock its best to not go up. It only gets steeper from there. If you take snowshoes make sure to also bring spikes for the sheet of ice you have to climb before glass lake

4 days ago

Steady climb but easy pace and well trafficked. Nice reward at the top.

Icy, but beautiful & worth the effort.

4 days ago

Awesome views! Be prepared for ice at this time and a steep climb. Very rewarding hike!!

4 days ago

Royal arches was absolutely stunning. Highly recommend to anyone although be warned it is icy in some spots as of (3/11). Definitely work the trek!

Don’t let the trailhead fool you! The path gets extremely(!!) steep and slick. Even with crampons it was tough! Saw lots of people attempting it with Converse/Nikes/Keds and slipping or having to just slide down. Many people turning back halfway too. Ice spikes are a must!

Great hike did it yesterday 03-10 about 3 Miles round trip.. beautiful lake the water was just as pristine as u can imagine and waterfall .. the trail is somewhat doable without micro spikes but highly recommend them because a few places were pretty slippery

Nice easy hike

6 days ago

3/10/2018 Saturday: The weather has been in the mid-60s this week, and the high was 53 today, so it was a beautiful day for this hike. Despite that, there was a decent amount of ice on this trail and I would HIGHLY recommend microspikes. I only used them on certain portions of the trail, but they were crucial, particularly in the area right below the arch. Everyone who I encountered that day fell and slipped on the ice.

This hike is in Chatauqua Park and there is a large parking lot. There is a map of the area at the trailhead and a ranger station. Even in the off season, I passed about 15 people on this hike and I started at 5pm, so I imagine it is much more heavily used in the spring and summer.

6 days ago

An amazing hike but very slippery ice patches

Hiked on 3/3 and it was spectacular! Minimal wind and plentiful sunshine. Not much need for snowshoes until you continue up in elevation. The ice on the falls made it difficult, so ditch your snowshoes and go with microspikes at that point. Make sure you download the map and have adequate GPS as the snow can often lead you astray from the main trail. I also misplaced my cell phone at the bottom of Glass Lake (Lake of Glass?) if anyone finds it in the snowmelt. :)

My husband and I took 3 babies and our 5 year old today. It was beautiful but much harder of a climb than we expected carrying one baby in a pack and pushing the other 2 babies in a double bob stroller while the 5yo walked. Water still 99% frozen but beautiful still!

Make sure to wear ice spikes! Can be pretty slippery. Great views and a great hiking workout - uphill madness!

Fun hike, needed my microspikes. Trail was snow packed and ice after the first 600 or so feet. People without traction devices were having lots of problems. Beautiful ice on the falls. Crystal clear water. I will definitely be back in the spring.

One of my favorite trails. There's a good climb, then a nice stroll through aspen trees. It's definitely a repeater trail.

Gorgeous winter hike. Tough with the extra mileage due to the road closure. Definitely bring snow shoes.

Hiked this a few months ago and was just as amazing as everyone says. Definitely a difficult hike and not for everyone. Getting above Timberline Falls was very sketchy and difficult with the ice and wind but is necessary to make it all the way. I can't wait to come back up here in Summer

Took a pack of flatlanders up for a morning hike and had an amazing time. Wind was brutal so make sure to bring a face mask and lots of layers. No snowshoes are needed but I would advise using boots this time of year at the bare minimum. Download the map to use offline as the trail splits in a few places that can be confusing. Amazing views, and a challenging but rewarding hike.

11 days ago

A hike right around boulder admits the flatirons. Pretty neat trail. Majority of trail is incline up. We started on Chautauqua and went left til we made it to royal arch trail. Lots of step type, fairly steep. Definitely very icy and would recommend spikes. People were sliding in certain parts. The rock is your friend for foot grip. Did it in boots but those with spikes seemed like ice wasn’t as much of a challenge. View is spectacular.

Started early in the morning to make sure I got a parking spot. Wore spikes and carried snowshoes. The trail was well traveled with hard pack/ice at times. No need for the snowshoes. The weather was absolutely perfect! Sun, blue skies and not much wind (relatively) at all. The Loch, Glass Lake and Sky Pond all ice with no/little snow cover. The climb up Timberline Falls not bad at all and someone placed a strap at the point where it there is ice. At the lakes, a lot of exposed rock, ground so easy to get around. On the way back, the snow was softer after the sun on it all day long. Hiked it in the summer and first in winter and both beautiful in their own ways.

11 days ago

Did the hike with the family last weekend. Lovely views and good workout. End of February is icy towards the top, so I recommend crampons.

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