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I got so lucky and had the most spectacular day for this hike! This hike was awesome! There were two very steep parts, one right before the Loch and the other right before Lake of Glass/Sky Pond. The second one is incredibly steep and you need some sort of traction and/or poles to get up when there's snow as it's along a waterfall/stream so there's ice too. The rest of the trail has incline but I didn't find it terribly taxing overall! The trail was packed pretty well early this morning but with the warm weather turned slushy as more people hiked up so not sure how it will be the rest of the week. The views were incredible, I'd love to see the trail in summer as well! I wasn't able to find the trails around the lakes so I ended up just walking on them which worked since I started early enough but the ice started to melt as the day went on and people (me included) post-holed down to the water. The parking lot holds maybe like 30-ish cars but there is a shuttle service in summer which I'd recommend so you don't have to worry about parking and apparently a larger lot at the Bear Lake trailhead which does connect to this trail system! The trails are well marked but make sure you check the map since Sky Pond isn't marked until you're about 2 miles in. Bathrooms at the trailhead is a plus!

hiking
1 day ago

It was beautiful!!! Amazing views, it was steep and snowing when we went, but the view at the end was worth it. Can’t wait to do it again during the summer

My husband and I have been on soooo many hikes. Not only inside the RMNP but all over Colorado. This one is by far my favorite one! Make sure you go during the summer time, last year we tried going up there several times,as early as April and we lost the trail under about 6 feet of stiff snow! We thought we were on the trail until we checked in AllTrailsApp... we were way off. The trail itself is pretty moderate. A little rough at times, so not so many people once you get up there. Which we actually love, we take our lunch up there and enjoy the quietness. It’s definitely not crowded like the surrounding lakes (Bear, Emerald)... the water is so clear you can see the bottom of the lake no matter where you stand! It’s so beautiful. Can’t wait to be back this year!

Had a beautiful hike today! I made it to black lake and it was great. Started at the trailhead at 8:45 and got back about 1:15. I would’ve liked to take more breaks but I was racing a storm so I had to hustle. The trails were completely covered with snow but packed well enough that you weren’t falling through every other step. I had crampons which were a huge help. After Mills Lake the trail levels out for a bit but the final push to Black Lake is pretty steep. I was very lucky that I had the whole trail all by myself.

Love this hike! Beautiful mountain and creek views. Challenging, but awesome if you are looking for a long hike. Well maintained and not crowded.

mountain biking
3 days ago

Awesome trail. Great for when other trails are wet. This one seems to stay dry when others are not. Quick 7 ish mile ride. Takes under 1.5 hours on a mountain bike. Some challenging spots when climbing. Amazing downhills. Beautiful scenery.

I did this trail on 4/22/18 with no spikes and a walking stick. Parts of this trail got really sketchy without spikes. I got through it but would definitely not recommend going with just hiking boots, it got real dangerous but the view at the top is really amazing. Took me 4hrs to go there and back

One of the most beautiful trails I’ve been on yet. 7.5 miles is very doable even for the most reluctant rookie hiker. Trials are in good shape and there are very few muddy spots. Active trial for hikers and bikers alike.

4/21/18 Drop dead gorgeous views at every step! It has moderate steepness but the rewarding views are worth it! Definitely need microspikes! Some spots were a bit slippery/on edge!

backpacking
4 days ago

A few friends and I hiked this trail about 2 weeks ago right after it snowed about 3 feet. It was the most beautiful and breathtaking hike I’ve ever done.

Attempted this hike 2 times before in January and February but failed due to not having snowshoes and hiking through extremely dangerous winds, but finally finished the entire hike to Sky Pond on 4/15 with the proper equipment. The trail from Glacier Gorge should be 9.8 miles RT (rather than 8.1 miles according to this site) since it’s 2.2 miles to the split point between Loch Vale and Mills Lake, and then another 2.7 miles to Sky Pond from the split point.

By far my favorite hike I’ve done so far! Views throughout the entire hike were very scenic, rather than just one nice view at the end of the trail. The canyon and basin views were amazing throughout the hike and the frozen lakes (Loch Vale, Lake of Glass, and Sky Pond) were all extremely breathtaking. The first 2.2 miles of the trail were moderate with some slippery snow so I used my yaktrax. Once you pass Loch Vale you will definitely need snowshoes as the snow can get knee deep. The hike up to Lake of Glass from the basin area above the tree line was extremely steep and slippery, definitely the most difficult part of the trail, so take your time with this part (snowshoes not recommended for this part.) It took me 6.25 hours to finish the trip because of the snow and ice, it probably would have only taken me about 4 hours to complete if the trail was clear. Will definitely come back in the summer to hike it!

Hiking in the snow! Great scenery along the way! Many folks had skis or snow shoes, but I was just fine with crampons and poles. I had a really hard time with the lungs of flatlander, but you feel awesome when you come off that last ridge.

4/20/18 Steeper than I expected. There’s a period of elevation in the beginning where I got worn out, then it evens out for a bit and you get excited/ relieved and the last portion steepens with large rocks.
There is a restroom about 2/3 of the way up.
There wasn’t a parking fee when I went.
The lake wasn’t frozen. This trail would be better during summer when the trees come back to life!

This was my first hiking experience in Colorado and I’ll never forget it. There are several scenic places along the trail that would each be worthy destinations. The last of the lakes on the trail, Emerald Lake, is a generous reward for a moderate half-day hike.

hiking
6 days ago

Great trail with spectacular views of Estes Park and the Rockies! Worth every step!

A little difficult for an easy trail but well worth it.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful hike today on 4/19. Packed snow and ice almost completely covering entire trail up to the end of the trail. Definitely helped to use my yak tracks. I didn’t slip at all or have any difficulty while using them (besides the altitude and the entirely uphill trail-lol). Not too much of an elevation gain but the altitude definitely makes it more challenging. I was truly surprised by how many other people were on the trail and the fact that 95% of those people were very ill prepared for hiking. I’m here were people in shorts and almost everyone else was wearing either tennis shoes or casual shoes. No wonder I saw so many people falling. Please be prepared for the ice/snow and weather

hiking
6 days ago

What an amazing view at the top! This is a great hike to take visitors to. It's not too long, not too hard, and such an amazing payoff at the end!

As always, start early!

Only made it to Mills Lake, but it was beautiful. The weather can still be incredibly cold in the morning, but warms up significantly during the day. The trail conditions were a little sketchy at parts if you're not wearing crampons or snowshoes, but it's doable. Just prepare to sink into some soft spots. Especially once you get to the higher elevations.

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

Extremely popular trail. We started at 6:30 in the morning and didn't have to share Emerald Lake with too many people, so going early will earn you a little more serenity. It's gorgeous all the way there.

Only went as far as Mills Lake, but we hope to go farther next time. This hike is amazing. We saw bighorn sheep on the mountaintops above us, so don't forget to look up while you're there.

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked on 4/17/2018. Left Long's Peak Ranger station at 9:15am and reached Chasm Lake at 12:00pm. Did the whole trail with micro-spikes only. Trail is well traveled and well packed. Micro spikes a must. Weather was perfect on the way up, clear and a little windy. On the way back around 1:30pm it got really windy and started snowing. I made a hustle to get back to the treeline as fast as possible. Made it back to the Ranger station at 2:15pm.

Love it. Amazing views!

Hiked this on a Monday, 4/16 ~0930. Only shared the trail with 1 other couple but the lot was filled by the time we left. Microspikes absolutely needed, gorgeous hike! Can be difficult to find the trail at first, just take a left at the huge boulder after Nymph

hiking
8 days ago

We hiked this with 4 kids aged 5 through 9. We made many stops along the way but was delightfully enjoyed by all. We were there in July, the trail was crowded but less so as we passed the first two lakes. We swam in the lake, it was wicked cold, and then basked in sun on the large rocks to dry off. Great times by all.

hiking
8 days ago

Kind of a crazy day today- winds reached up to 90 mph in the Denver area, and even in Estes the winds were blowing pretty bad (although not quite THAT bad). When we started off the hike, it was sunny and blue skies, with only a few clouds. By the time we got to the lake there were snow pellets slapping against our faces and we had to cover our faces as much as we could on the way down so we could see where we were going. We got pretty cold and wet, but the hike was worth it. Can’t wait to do this again in the summer!

Hiked this on a very icy December day... without micro spikes! Probably not the best idea haha. Very dreamy ! Continue to lake hayaiaya

Only a few muddy spots on the trail today (4/16/18)
I hiked the loop counterclockwise.
I found this one through...
https://dayhikesneardenver.com/eldorado-falls-walker-ranch-boulder/
The “Eldorado Falls” are not well marked. :(
I will definitely do this hike again and spend more time by South Boulder Creek.

hiked this morning 4/16/18, some snow and ice accumulated on the upper half of the trail, microspikes would have been helpful but was doable without. beautiful as always!

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