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We went Nov 3, 2018 and the trail was snowy but doable without spikes. We were visiting for the weekend and it was very easy and had no issues with the altitude difference.

Had a bluebird sky today and there were only two other people on the trail. We were almost there and lost the trail and never made it to the falls! Disappointed but the snow/no snow mix made things really unclear as to where to go and there are no markers. This is my third time and only time in the snow. Still a beautiful place to be.

Great hike and view that you won’t regret trekking too

hiking
3 days ago

I've done this trail many times, but most recently hiked yesterday (11/7/18). It was all snow covered but packed down marking a clear path. Many people went without spikes, but it did make it easier having them from Dream to Emerald where it got a little steeper. The road up to Bear Lake is icy/snow covered but doable in a 2 wheel drive if you go slow.

Great trail!

I made it to Sky Pond on 11/12 after about 6 inches of snow the night before. The trail all the way up to the Loch was well traveled and I was able to do it with good winter boots only, no traction devices needed although as the fresh snow goes away and turns into ice I would highly recommend Micro spikes. After the Loch snowshoes were essential and the climb up to Lake of Glass should only be attempted with crampons/ice axe it is almost entirely ice and rock at this point. Put your snowshoes back on for the last half mile to Sky Pond and enjoy, definitely one of the best destinations in the park.

hiking
5 days ago

I went sunday, 11/11/18. The final 0.6 miles of road was closed so the whole hike is about 9 miles round trip. It was absolutely gorgeous, it was snowing when I went, wasn't too bad till you get past Fern Falls, then it was about a foot of unpacked snow. If it's fresh snow, I'd recommend taking snowshoes, tho not completely necessary, I went in trailrunners and the whole thing was about 3 1/2 hours round trip, tho I may hike faster than average, I'd plan for probably 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Highly recommend it, especially in the snow, if possible, get the lodge at Fern Lake, that would be absolutely amazing to wake up to that!

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked 11/10. Trails are well packed, definitely need spikes the whole way up. Poles are helpful at chasm crossing. Trail is hard to find above treeline, but is still well packed. Look for the giant cairns.

Mills Lake is beautiful! Wanted to head as far as Black Lake but it was getting dark and the snow was high af, not really a visible trail once you reach the sign a ways after Mills Lake.

View at the top is flamesssss. Traversed up here because I heard there is a dope view of the continental divide as well as the YMCA. Smoked a fat bowl at the top and chilled with some Blue Jays, amazing time. Wore some spikes for this run but could have done without; they did help getting back down the mountain rapidly in the snow as dusk approached.

Made it to Lake of Glass last week after a scale up glacier and snow. There wasn't really a trail so went off the cuff with my boy, snow was deep af. Was a lil past 3:30pm so didn't want to head full way to Sky Pond just to be stuck in the dark trying to make way back down cliff side. Such a sick ass trail and experience though.

hiking
6 days ago

This trail cranked me.

Not very scenic from the trailhead until 2 miles in. The top of the tree line was covered in snow and it was very windy. By then we were just trucking through knee deep snow. Would do again in summertime.

Such a beautiful hike! I wore microspikes the entire trip up to the waterfall which is around 9 miles round trip. I would definitely recommend wearing snowshoes though. I sunk up to my thighs in certain places by the Loch lake. I saw quite a few people up on the trail today they said that people were using icepicks to get up to sky pond.

hiking
8 days ago

Great there and back walk on a great path - was snowing on the way out, sunny and clear on the way back - great views. Starts at 9000ft above sea level but we were fine

Was an amazing trail with quite a few spectacular sights. Happened to be snow up there in October and made it difficult without proper gear. Crampons needed during winter months for sure. We didn’t make it up the waterfall scramble with just hiking shoes. Was way to slick. But still recommend this trail. Turning around near waterfall ended up being about 13 miles round trip with one wrong turn.

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail. My family and I hiked it in July. Still snow on the ground in places. Beautiful views. Bring a camera and a water bottle.

hiking
12 days ago

Hiked this trail 10/26/18. If you’re looking for a nice, easy and scenic hike this is the place. Every corner you turn is picture worthy. At the time the lakes were partially frozen over. The closer you got to Emerald Lake the more slippery the trail got. I didn’t need crampons but I’m sure now you’ll need them. 10/10 hike it’s a must see.

hiking
12 days ago

Such a beautiful trail. We hiked up on Saturday and couldn’t complete it due to a snow storm and little visibility. Definitely would recommend using yak tracks or micro spikes on a better day. There is snow and ice pretty much the entire trail. There were still quite a few people on the trail.

Did Mills Lake 11/4. Fair amount of snow and the trial is hard packed with some icy spots. My micro spikes were definitely helpful. Super windy but most of the trail is in tree cover so not too bad. Beautiful views!! One of my favorite hikes.

Definitely a hike you should go on when you’re in the rocky! The views are amazing! The hike was not too difficult, but it will get crowded towards the day! Overall amazing place to explore!

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful hike on 11/04/18. I was actually the first on the trail in the morning as it was snowing and got to make the first tracks which was great. It was the perfect distance for me and the summit was gorgeous and so fun to see over Estes and RoMo. Would do this hike again!

A very exciting hike, at least during wintertime. Looking forward to coming back during the summer when the lakes aren’t completely iced over. Hiked it with a friend about 3 weeks back and definitely recommend micro spikes. I couldn’t really imagine doing it now without them. Most of the trail is pretty manageable with some decent inclines but, as most people have said, the trickiest section is the scramble right next to the waterfall before glass lake. It was very icy and very slick, I would not do this one without micro spikes. The views once you get to the top are very nice, and make for a nice experience. We arrived at the trailhead at around 6:50 AM to avoid crowds. On the way up, we bumped into a few people, but on the way back down there was a steady flow of hikers. I would recommend doing this hike nice and early to avoid the most crowds as possible.

My husband and I attempted this hike today, but the back half was too snow-packed. I’ll review what we did do:

The RMNP guard station was closed, but you are still able to drive through into the next parking lot, after that the road is closed, and it’s about a 1 mile walk on ice/packed snow to the trailhead (you pass the first set of trailheads and continue on to the large ranger station at Wild Basin trailhead, where you’ll see the sign for Bluebird Lake Trail, too. Note that you’ll follow the Ouzel trail past Ouzel Falls and Lake before you reach the actual Bluebird Lake Trail.

The walk from the parking lot to the trailhead is pretty miserable without YakTrax/MicroSpikes—we walked about halfway to the trailhead without, and I would consider YakTrax required! Once we started on the trail, it continued with hard-packed snow and ice at a relatively low incline for about 1.5 miles to the Falls, then after that there was an increasing amount of fresh powder accumulating, making it much more slow-going. Right at the halfway/3-mile Mark, the incline increased significantly, and there was about 1.5-2 feet of powder on top of the ice and snowpack. At this point, we continued on about 5 minutes before deciding to turn back. If you have snowshoes, you MIGHT be able to continue past this point, but it was actively snowing, covering our tracks and obscuring the trail. And it was really difficult to make any progress in the deep snow. If you try, make sure you plan for the trip to take twice as long, as it was very slow. Still beautiful and worth the trip to do the half that we were able, but don’t get stranded out there!

Beautiful stroll through meadows while paralleling Cow Creek. This hike is more moderate- than a firm moderate but there are a few moments that will get your heart rate going. I didn’t get to the TH until 9:45am on a Saturday and there was only one other car, which based on other reviews seems rare. Parking is definitely limited though. I only saw 2 others on my way to the falls however, pasted 10-12 on the way back to my car. Most of the trail was wet dirt, then closer to the falls (on this day) you do get some snow (less than 2 inches). No need for micro spikes. The falls are still flowing and makes for a nice reward! RT was about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Hiked 11/2/18. Lots of snow and wind chill, but overall awesome hike. Hiked in my hiking shoes + poles without spikes and was just fine. All the lakes are frozen which makes for gorgeous photos!

Hiked on 11/2, snow on parts of trail but made it to falls without using microspikes. Quiet trail now, doesn’t get steep until very last quarter or third of a mile.

Nice, easy and peaceful trail along the Tompson River. We didn't make it as far in as I would have liked due to time, but I definitely plan on returning

10/28/18

maybe horses hadn't been on the trail in a while and we got lucky, but horse poop was not a problem, lol. we took a 4 year old to complete his rocky mountain junior ranger badge on this and it was perfect. it was a beautiful hike through meadows and woods, and with beautiful views. I highly recommend this hike for small children.

I hiked to emerald lake on 11/1/18 and it was a snowy wonderland! I am glad I had micro spikes because it was slick in spots but with the spikes it was not a problem. I started hiking around 9:30 and only 4 couples were in front of me hiking. As I came down there were many more people. It was nice to have the Trail mostly to myself on the hike up so I could enjoy the views uninterrupted. I am not a hiker and came from sea-level the evening before and I could certainly tell my lungs were adjusting to the altitude. I did the the whole hike and 1x around bear lake in just under 2 hours.

Hiked this on 10/22. Parking is limited, but pretty sure the trail is accessible from another (Bear Lake) lot further down the road. We had a limited amount of time so this was perfect. I would consider this more of an out and back trail, than a loop. The first mile zig zags immediately UP a dirt path. There is zero tree cover, so you might want a hat. You are rewarded with stunning views looking out towards Longs Peak during the entire ascent. It’s not too difficult, but we did see a woman turn back because of her knees. It’s a good quick workout that leads you quite suddenly into a dense forest at the top — for a short trek to the lake. Overall, two different experiences on one trail. We probably missed the best views because we didn’t go around the lake (the loop part of the trail.) So I’d recommend doing that. But as mentioned, exquisite views the whole way up and down! (See photos) I’d definitely do this again, and allow more time to explore the lake and connecting trails! (I might add that a few in our group did this successfully in gym shoes, but there was ice in the woods and lots of snow around the lake.)

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