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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!

hiking
2 days ago

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

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!

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
4 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!

Did it yesterday, MicroSpikes are a must, however some people did it without them.

hiking
5 days ago

The trail was, for me, steep in a lot of places. I just took it slow (I'm not accustomed to the altitude), and was rewarded with fabulous views on the way up, and a nice little lake at the top.

Hiked 4/14. Trail was mostly snow pack all the way to the Loch, after that snowshoes are a must unless you like postholing every step all the way to timberline falls. We had only poles and crampons but made the extra work easier. Otherwise trail was clear for the most part and views were awesome, with all the lakes well frozen.

Just did this today, took 2 hours to get up at a steady pace not rushing with a couple small breaks maybe 5 min each. Micro spikes are fine as well a must. I saw people with out them and didn’t look fun for them. Took 90 mins to come down as well a steady slower pace. Great views!

hiking
10 days ago

This trail was great!! The views were amazing. The only downside was the wind at the top of the mountain. My husband and I were able to set up our hammocks at the top and eat lunch though - it was wonderful! I highly recommend!

hiked this morning 4/10, microspikes were sufficient up until the Mills/Loch junction but from there up to the lake snow shoes were definitely necessary (snow was well over knee-deep) super windy but beautiful as always!

My cousin and I started our trek around 7 am and arrived back at the parking lot around 11:30 am. When we first began it was lightly snowing and visibility was poor. But around 8:30 am the skies began to clear and the sun made it's way through the clouds to warm us up.

The mist surrounding Long's Peak from across the valley made for an incredibly picturesque viewing of the peak. The trail was in relatively good condition, only covered lightly with snow most of the way up, and we pretty much followed the footprints of a prior trekker the entire ascent. We did lose the trail about a mile from the summit and had to scramble up some boulders before we found it again.

Microspikes/crampons were abundantly helpful on the way down, as there were some areas on the switchbacks that were exceptionally icy, and the traction enabled us to descend safely. We only saw two other hikers on our descent, which made the peaceful tranquility of this trail one of my favorite spring hikes thus far.

This is an amazingly beautiful hike that I would love to revisit later in the summer when the snow has melted and the trail's a bit easier to follow. The views along the way and from the summit are incredibly rewarding and the long, steady hike to the top is absolutely worth it. I would highly recommend!

16 days ago

Hiked today 4/5/18. Great weather and well maintained trials. The lake was half froze over and lots of people enjoying the views along the way. Only have been to Estes Park / RMNP 3 times and next to dream lake hike this is my 2nd favorite so far!

I hiked this on Easter. It was snowy but packed enough for spikes and not snow shoes. Several times there was no one in sight, so I wonder how many people make it to the top. The wind was whipping! Had to stop at loch Lake but a beautiful and somewhat challenging hike!

We hiked this today and it was absolutely beautiful! We found it challenging since the snowpack was icy as well. Highly recommend using microspikes and trekking poles.

My first hike in the Rockies 45 years ago, and still one of my favorites in the world. I prefer the early fall, after the crowds but before the snow.

hiking
21 days ago

Great vistas and a well maintained trail. I would caution anyone with bad knees... definitely a stair master hike!

hiking
21 days ago

Trailhead @ 7:30 to get a jump on the weather. Trail up to Mills Pond with hardpack and spikes highly recommended. Trail from Mills Pond to Black Lake was easy to find but not packed. Snowshoes needed on the way up. Made it to the Black Lake then up the wash to Blue Lake. Was turned back when the weather changed with wind, snow and sleet. On the way back, the trail was well packed due to high traffic. Wear spikes, bring snowshoes just in case. Great hike and looking forward to doing it in the summer.

It is better to have snowshoes after Loch lake. The trail was clear most of the way but not close to the Timberline Falls.

hiking
21 days ago

The trail is 90% snow packed, very doable with just hiking boots but strongly recommend wearing spikes if you have them. I didn't realize the last part of the trail follows the river bed into the Loch instead of the regular way through the switchbacks. Its kind of steep so that's where having the spikes comes in the most handy. The Loch is gorgeous but I it was extremely windy so I didn't stick around too long

Hiked 3/24 with spikes and poles. Beautiful hike, well worth the effort !

hiking
22 days ago

This trail was so beautiful, it was snowing on and off the entire way. I would love to go back when the lake isn’t frozen over. Lots of climbing with this one so prepare to be sore the next day if you’re a novice like myself.

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful hike. We took the family out today. We hiked in boots and it was very do-able. There are some slick spots as the snow was coming down fairly heavily on the way back. Lots of traffic for a snowy Thursday. Beautiful scenery. Highly recommend.

Family hiked to Sky Pond today in snowy conditions. It was challenging, but gorgeous. Well worth the effort. Looks easier after Loch on topo maps than it is. The scramble alongside Timberline Falls is challenging in the middle due to ice, and that is where the black strap is located and very helpful. Use winter path to Loch. Spikes were fine to Loch today, but snow shoes highly recommended from there today and after today's snow until path gets worn again.

Total stairmaster of a hike! Short-ish and beautiful views of Estes.

walking
27 days ago

Well, it definitely provided the best views that I have seen through my many hikes in RNMP. The trail was steep & a bit arduous than I planned for. However I was expecting a bit more than we got when we finally reached the lake. I think summer would be best with the lake not frozen!

(Hiked 3/24 in the AM) Not sure what everyone is talking about with the strap around the waterfall. Must have missed it. The trail was not broken after The Loch so I had to break it myself without snowshoes. Brought only micro spikes based on these trail reports. Forgot that it snowed in the park this past week so wish I had brought snowshoes. Broke trail (post holing the whole way) up to Sky Pond. Used my ice ax for some stability going up the frozen waterfall. Exhausting breaking the trail but absolutely beautiful at Lake of Glass and Sky Pond. Bring snowshoes if snow was in the forecast just to be safe, otherwise microspikes are fine.

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