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

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Beautiful hike. Get there early, it gets crowded quickly.

hiking
18 hours ago

Amazing hike with 11 and 13 year old kids. Crowded at Alberta Falls; but the crowds really drop off after that. The Loch is GORGEOUS, but don’t stop the the edge. Walk all the way around to get the views. We saw two sets of elk swimming in the lake. Would have loved to go all the way to Timberlake Falls or Sky Pond, but my family wasn’t having it.

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.

Pretty easy hike as far as elevation climb goes.. it is mostly flat with only small inclines and declines. The burned trees don't make for the prettiest sight but the lake full of lily pads is beautiful! Probably not my favorite hike but seemed family friendly as we saw lots of families with very young kids hiking. The creek and boulders are also a neat part of this trail.

We started out early (7:30) and avoided most of the crowds. Headed out from the fern TH to make the finish easier - better to walk 1 mile on a dirt road when it’s cool and empty. We saw wild turkeys, elk, marmots. The lake is nice, but the pool is way better. Coming down along the Big Thompson river was crowded. Loved it. Done with an 11 and 13yo.

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

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.

Finally found parking at Glacier Gorge Trailhead. Hiked out to Alberta Falls and then headed back to the trail junction and headed to Bear Lake. Walked the .5 mile loop around Bear Lake. Took the shuttle back to Glacier Gorge. Absolutely beautiful hike. Took a lot of pictures. Not a pro hiker. Uphill stretches are tiring but well worth it.

camping
2 days ago

We hiked this trail on the way to Andrews Creek campsite and it was awesome. We caught some nice sized rainbow trout that we cooked up for dinner. You need a permit if you are staying overnight and the campsites are by reservation only.

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!

4 days ago

Did this on 7/23. Parked at 3:00 AM and was only headlamp I could see on the trail above tree line. There were several cars in the lot and many Long’s Peak hikers. Very windy and steep then when trail splits to Chasm it gets much easier. Views were breathtaking and this is one of my favorite hikes of all time. Add this one to your list and do it. Sunrise on Long’s was worth it all.

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!

Very easy beginner trail but so beautiful everyone will want to go. I walked Bear lake trail first then took Alberta Falls Route. A lot of people on weekends.

off road driving
5 days ago

I did it with stock new Silverado. it was brutal for this kind of car, though it has 4x4 low and all that crap, this trail is not for stock SUV like KIA sportage or so, because it is really rocky and you dont enjoy the drive.
I would recommend a jeep or something like Expedition for this.

other than that, lake is nice and all, but not breathtaking.

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.

Tough trail for someone who is not used to hiking but worth the view at the end!

Come on...Rocky Mountain we're talking about...every place is beautiful...some more than others....even a short little hike like this for some disabled 55+/- year olds has great rewards...waterfalls....love n peace 2 all...---...

Easy beautiful heavy populated trail

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

hiking
6 days ago

I combined this trail and the Emerald lake trail, for totally about 4 hours. The scenes along the trail are very good. Maybe because the elevation here is too large (~3000m), I was very tired although the trail is not hard.

hiking
7 days ago

Secluded and peaceful. Great views of rockies on the way.

hiking
7 days ago

Second time doing this hike. We got to trailhead at 6 am. Parking lots was full but I parked on the side along the entrance so didn’t have to park down the road. We got to lake at 9am. So took us 3 hrs to get there with minimal breaks. It was sunny and no clouds in the sky. Couldn’t hAve asked for a more perfect weather. There’s definitely an incline and last half mile requires scrambling up rocks but it’s so worth it!! One the best and moderate trails to do!

hiking
8 days ago

Absolutely beautiful - one of the best, if not the best lake hike in Colorado!

We arrived 6am Wed. Parking lot was full. We parked 1/4 mile down the road from the trailhead.

The trail runs 8.4 miles roundtrip per Rocky Mtn Natl park website. It is a moderate hike, IMO (some will find it easy, some hard, depending on conditioning). The final climb to the lake is a steep rock scramble, under 0.2 miles. This portion of the trail is generally intuitive and partially marked by cairns. If you can't ascend, you'll miss the lake but still be treated to the majesty and splendor that lies before you.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE respect the mountain and weather. I saw one person who had no water or backpack, and people hiking in sandals and one in overalls. If the weather holds, you'll be ok. But cotton is the worst thing you can be wearing if you get wet. Rain means windy and temps in the 40s, or lower.

Be prepared, that includes but not limited to, hiking shoes, plenty of water, food, trail mix, energy bars, rain gear, sunscreen, jacket. Enjoy!

Great trail. I would emphasize that if you find yourself on a single track footpath, you’re off the trail, not that I know anything about that. Would be wonderful if the horse people would take a little responsibility for the poop all over the trail.

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!

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