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

Lakes & Waterfalls Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Beautiful trail with picturesque settings. One of my favorite hikes.

I have hiked many trails in Colorado and this has to be my favorite all time. With beautiful waterfalls along the trail all the way back to the epic views at Crater Lake you just can't go wrong. I was fortunate enough to see a variety of animals including multiple moose, marmots, mountain goats, a weasel (I think) and my buddy saw a black bear about 50 yards away from us that scurried up the mountain when it heard us coming. If you are overnight camping, make sure you have a permit. With the weight of a full backpacking pack, the trail is challenging and it works you with many rocky inclines all the way back to Crater Lake but it is well worth it! Its like camping in a painting. It is simply stunning!.

Hard work! Sore feet to be expected

Absolutely beautiful! Got there at 6:30 and had to park at Bear Lake. There is a friendly marmot at the Lake of Glass and on the way back down a herd of Elk with their babies were crossing the Loch. Truly a remarkable trail. Be prepared for elevation gains and pack bug spray!!

Such a beautiful hike- easily one of my favorites!

hiking
16 hours ago

Fantastic hike! Leave early to avoid heat and crowds. We camped at Longs Peak Campground and the next morning walked to the Chasm/Longs Peak Trailhead. Started at 7:30am and meandered the way up. Traffic was OK. Many of the Longs Peak hikers had begun a few hours earlier than us. Had fun scrambling at the end just before the lake. We stayed at the lake watching climbers, eating lunch, and relaxing then began the trek down around 1pm and it was really, really crowded. Cool weather at the lake. Hot on the way down above the tree line, cooler once in the trees. Beautiful views all along the trail! We stopped so many times to take in the scenery. Really great enjoyable hike! July 2018.

hiking
17 hours ago

Great hike for views over Estes. The lake was a little disappointing. Definitely start early to avoid the crowds.

Amazing hike. My brother and I hiked Bluebird this past June. About 12 people we had passed told us to turn back because it was too snowy. We ended up hitting some snags but we ended up doing some rock climbing and sledding to get there and back but we made it. Hiking turned into Mountaineering but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Well worth the risks!

Awesome hike. Climbing the waterfall was probably my favorite part. I felt like we were discovering a new land as silly as that sounds. My brother and I loved it. Great hike.

Great hike but can get a bit crowded

Honestly one of the best hikes I have ever been on. The elevation takes some getting used to if your like me (from North Carolina) so be sure to take some extra water with you. Went late afternoon, got on the trail around 3:15 because the parking lot was full. Got to sky pond around 6:00 without making any stops.
Trail is pretty rugged toward the end, but if you enjoy climbing, it shouldn’t be an issue for you. Be sure to bring bug spray because they will GET YOU!!! Also a change of shoes/socks (or water shoes if you want to swap). My feet got soaked climbing up the waterfall getting to the end of the trail and soggy feet can be a bit annoying after awhile.
All and all, probably one of the best hikes I have ever been on! Highly recommend!

love this hike! My first hike rated hard! It was challenging, but we did it! Beautiful! So many waterfalls, wildflowers, and 3 lakes! This hike won my heart!

on Gem Lake Trail

hiking
2 days ago

Not too crowded compared to the other popular trails! Not too challenging, and the summit is just beautiful. You can hang out at the lake for an hour or two before heading back. Very satisfying hike, would recommend!

Such an amazing hike! I made the trek out to RMNP on a Tuesday morning, though made the mistake of getting there at 10am. Took a bit of time to find parking since everything was full (get there early!!!) but eventually parked and hit the trailhead at 10:30am. It took me 2 hours to get to lake of glass and then another .5 mile to get to sky pond. Beautiful views, definitely worth the longer hike! I went via bear lake trail so it ended up being a 10 mile hike total. Took me 5 hours total with stops and breaks for lunch. Trails weren’t super packed Tuesday morning but the parking lots definitely were, so just beware if you think you’ll luck out with a weekday hike.

Loved this!! The scenery and rock formations everywhere were spectacular!! Took my 5 kids ages 5-13 . Was a challenge for them in length just because they haven’t done many long ones and it was raining most of the time. Will definitely do again on a dry day! Had a blast and loved the views and rock scrambling you could choose to do. Good elevation gain but plenty of time to get there.

if you stairs you'll love this one

3 days ago

Loved this trail. Switchbacks through the woods and then nice clearing with beautiful views on the way up. Near the lake, there is a bit of a scramble but it was such fun. Go early to avoid heat and the crowds!

hiking
4 days ago

7/11/18
Really nice hike with great views over Estes Park and RMNP. Nice well marked trail, mostly shaded and plenty of rocks to climb. The lake is pretty small, but it’s in a cool canyon which was a good place for us to have lunch. Recommend.

Absolutely incredible backpacking spot! The hike in was relatively flat the first 4 miles before any steeper sections and switchbacks. The trail ended up being 17 miles total for us. Completely worth it to get to Crater Lake! Beautiful along the way with multiple waterfalls and great wildflowers.
Recent reviews mentioned snow-absolutely no snow/ice on the trail. Very hot and lots of bugs, sun protection and insect repellent are musts!
Also a good trail to see moose, saw one about 30 feet off the trail.
Definitely going to plan to come back and spend more than 1 night!
Make sure you get you camping pass early and you can get your car pass at the trail head.

Did this hike Saturday July 7. We got to the trailhead at 530am and the lot was almost full. It took us about 2hr 45 min to get up and exactly 2 hrs to get down with a few breaks. We spent about 30 mins at Sky Pond. When we were hiking down, tons of people were going up. Tons. So glad we started at 530am because it was getting warm, although most of the trail is covered. Beautiful views going up and equally beautiful coming down. A really great hike. I wouldn't rate this hard, maybe moderate. Tracker said the hike is closer to 9.3 miles RT. Def recommend it!

hiking
5 days ago

Fun little hike to get a great view of the lake and the surrounding Rockies.

A RMNP favorite! We love beginning the hike at about 4/4:30 am this time of the year to watch the sunrise at The Loch (and find parking and beat the crowds, haha). Based on RMNP's signs it's almost 10 miles RT, but very beautiful the entire way and not too difficult. The mini waterfall scramble is always fun. Don't mistake Lake of Glass for Sky Pond!

hiking
5 days ago

Fun trail! Really enjoyed the climb and seeing the various rock formations. Not too many wildflowers to be found. heavy trail traffic on the Saturday afternoon but that is to be expected on a gorgeous weekend day in the area. My bro and I climbed up the huge rock formation at the lake to capture the amazing view. Had a solid trail run flying down

I wish I could give this hike more than a five star. AMAZING hike! One of my all time favorite hikes. Great mountain vistas and lush green meadows along the trail. Great wildflowers and saw some wildlife. Must do in RMNP!

Did this hike yesterday and it was easily one of my favorites. Ended up being closer to 16 miles and took us around 9 and a half hours with a bit of stopping and admiring the scenery on the way up. The first 5 miles up to cascade falls is very easy-moderate and after that if got a bit more challenging but definitely worth it. The scenery the whole way is breathtaking. Definitely plan on coming back to camp. Also you need to make sure you get a parking permit.

6 days ago

This is a gorgeous hike. The final 2 mile push to Chasm lake is the most rewarding, as you pass several streams and waterfalls.

We left from Denver at 2am to catch the sunrise over the lake (5:40am). Even at 3:40am the parking lot was full, and we had to park further down the road. This wasn't a bother, but I imagine that coming later, would make this much, much harder. I would highly recommend opting for the sunrise to beat crowds!

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful lake!

7/7/18

great hike! The last little bit before reaching the lake is a little rough. we did this with a 3, 5, 7, and 9 year old. The 3 year old need a little help up the last few steps.

I arrived at the trailhead at 5:45 am, and the parking lot was already full. The trail can be accessed from the Bear Lake trailhead, though, without adding much distance.

My favorite hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail is well maintained up until the waterfall at glass lake, which you have to climb. I can imagine this waterfall climb getting dangerous, and annoying, towards the middle of the day with lots of people trying to climb up and down.

7 days ago

Great trail

Load More