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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Started early about 8am. Trail was very muddy in sections but was frozen on the hike up from cold overnight temps, but was starting to thaw on the hike down. By mid-day will be very messy. Several sections of ice but we did not put on our spikes as the sections were not too long or steep. Freeze-thaw conditions in sections, but dirt and clear trails for most of the hike.

10 days ago

Honestly, really incredible views. Tough elevation climb and there’s a bit of uphill near the end on the way back which was especially challenging. We went in late October on a warm clear day and it was beautiful, challenging, and very fun. Enjoyed doing the labyrinth/maze on the side of the trail too, about half way up :)

I just want to clarify some of the statements on this thread. A lot of people seem to refer to "climbing a waterfall". There is no climbing of a waterfall on this hike. There is however, scrambling on slick ice "on the trail" adjacent to the Timberline falls. As mentioned by many reviewers, this scrambling is no joke and I wouldn't recommend it without microspikes. However, you will not be climbing a waterfall on this trail, or at least you don't have to. Such statements on the reviews made some of my friends very nervous about doing this hike. I thought I'll clarify it for others.

Great hike & gorgeous views along the way as well as at the summit. Not too difficult if you are in good shape. Some ice in the beginning to middle of the trail that turned into slush on the way back down in the early afternoon (boots definitely got muddy on the way down). Doable with just hiking boots, but yaktrax and hiking poles are helpful if you have them. A good amount of snow as well as wind during the middle to end of the way up to the summit. Top of the summit was quite windy and only stayed up there for about 15 minutes due to this. Way back down was much easier if you had a hiking pole to help with the snow & ice, but again, doable without. Would recommend multiple layers, hats & gloves, handwarmers to put inside gloves (those were a huge plus!), as well as a ski mask or something to pull up and over most of your face for the way down, as the wind was almost unbearable at points. Bathrooms are available in the parking lot at the start of the trail. I recommend starting in the morning (8am or earlier) in order to avoid some of the snow & ice melt that turns the trail into mud on the way down.

hiking
14 days ago

Awesome hike and views.. Not as challenging as some other 14ers but there was a good amount of snow and ice from the half way point up. If you want a more enjoyable hike definitely bring micro spikes and some walking poles. Poles aren't necessary but will make your hike easier. There is a false summit that leads to a bit of a scramble to actually summit. On the way down the spikes made descending much faster and easier. I took mine off about half way down as the weren't needed anymore. When you get about half way down all the morning ice and snow pretty much turns to mud.

Absolutely gorgeous trail... scenic the entire hike! We rented micro spikes from an outdoor shop in Estes.. wouldn’t recommend the last half of this hike without them. The waterfall is iced over and caused difficulty getting to Glass Lake but once you’re over that climb, the rest is easy. We had lunch in a Little Rock shelter by Sky Pond that helped block the crazy wind. The trail is clean but there are a ton of people hiking it so there’s not much solitude. We did a hotel in Estes Park and drove into the National Park so we could be there bright and early... VERY cute town! Plus it was nice to take a hot shower and sleep in a nice bed after this hike in the cold windy weather!

15 days ago

Hiked 10/29/18. This is probably one of the most beautiful trails I’ve done. But it is definitely hard! I would say this is probably one of the last good days to do the trail. There was 2+ ft of snow in some areas, winds were 30+ mph at the top, and after the glacier, it isn’t well traveled enough to follow a trail easily especially with snow on the ground.. - if you plan on doing this in the near future, *definitely* pack gaiters, spikes, and a GPS/AllTrails Pro. Oh and $5 cash or check to pay for parking.

Great hike. it may have been 34 at the trail head but half way to the summit the wind had to be 30+ mph. Deeper snow as you head up to the ridge. Definitely need poles or micro spikes.

hiking
17 days ago

Did it today. Beautiful weather. Started at 8:30am, summited at 10:45am. Only stayed up there for 10 minutes and i think it took me about an hour and thirty minutes to get back down.
I put on my spikes about half way up. The snow was nicely packed, only deep in a few spots. It was windy in a few spots but not bad for the most part.
It wasn’t easy due to the wind but not very difficult since it’s a fairly short hike and there is zero exposure.
My first Colorado 14er!

hiking
17 days ago

We did this hike yesterday. Weather was 35 and sunny when we left the parking lot at 9:00. Beautiful hike. Beautiful day for the end of October. Nice and easy with a slight incline the first 2 miles. Packed snow on most of the trail. The last mile to the summit was kind of treacherous. Loose snow, very windy, cold. Yak tracks are a MUST. It was doable if you were set on doing a 14er in late Oct, but I were to do this hike again, I would go in August.

Wonderful hike! Worth the scramble up the the waterfall.

Great hike! Beautiful small waterfall to be seen after climbing the larger fall immediately before Sky Pond. Scaling this is not difficult. You pass several alpine lakes, which can have mosquitoes during the summer. Marmots at the pond can be aggressive in their pursuit of your pack and snacks.

4 stars on account of the parking situation.

Hiked this today, I'd definitely recommend microspikes. I ran into a lot of people having very bad times on the trail with just shoes. Personally, I turned around right after the waterfall - lots of steepness/ice and I was a bit anxious since snow and ice earlier on the trail had started melting. I did run into a few people who either got to Lake of Glass or all the way to Sky Pond, so it's definitely doable if you know what you're doing.

hiking
22 days ago

We left the trailhead at 9:30 am. There trail was covered in packed snow from other hikers. We passed others hikers leaving that couldn't summit because of the wind but by the time we got up there at 1:15pm there was no wind and an eerie silence. Beautiful views all around. Going down was slippery but felt that the packed snow around the rocks cushioned our steps. We made it down in 2 hours.

Hiked this one today, it my was my first 14er but I’ve been living In Colorado and hike rather frequently. Got to the parking lot at 9am and found open parking. The hike is long and mainly flat for the first hour, then starts climbing slowly and ends with a rock scramble up the last few hundred feet to the summit. Lots of packed down snow and icy/ slippery patches going up made it feel like walking in sand, very tiring. Coming down extremely slippery. If you do this one in the snow you absolutely need poles and yak tracks. Took lots of breaks along the way and had a picnic at the top. Took us 7hours round trip. Overall beautiful views and not too Terrible, snow made things slightly more challenging.

Hiked this today. Most of the trail is covered in snow and ice— definitely need microspikes, especially for the last half mile. Past Lake of Glass the trail is hard to find. Snow is deep and the path beat in through the snow is not the actual trail and can be hard to follow. Weather was absolutely perfect!

Need spikes! 12 miles.. unable to make it to frozen lake bc of snow. Although the trail won’t ever close, it’s advisable to not take on frozen lake again until the summer. Tough sections for sure but amazing. Many water crossings and bridges :)

Beautiful !

My wife and I made it all the way up with only our hiking boots. We both agree that going up with crampons would have been better. We had one slip/fall on an icy decline. Plus going up the water fall just below Lake of Glass was a little dicey, but a decent amount of people made it up and back down. We enjoyed trotting our snow pants up and put them on for the decent so we could “sled” down some of the steeper areas. Others were jealous. Overall we loved our trip. Walked over a frozen lake and Sky pond was just beautiful to celebrate our 5th anniversary.

Really beautiful and super fun, but definitely needed our crampons. Poles would have been helpful on occasion as well. I wouldn’t advise doing this one so late in the season unless you have the right gear for snow and ice.

trail running
25 days ago

Full on winter conditions up there now. Micro-spikes or other traction control would be advisable. The trail is well packed snow/ice. I didn't go further than Sky Pond due to the deep snow.

Beautiful trail!! Couldn’t make it up the waterfall (covered in ice) without crampons but the views were still gorgeous.

As Galen noted below, heavy snow drifts up above Lake of Glass. Difficult to distinguish any trail in the snow. Found myself somewhat unprepared for this level of snow. I felt this trail was overrated, but I bet the experience is better in the summer.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this in about a foot of snow yesterday. Was pretty tough but we were able to complete it in a few hours with our dog. View was incredible!

Beautiful. Even with deep snow, the entirety of the hike was wonderful. Moose, Steller’s Jay and lost of views. Scrambled up the frozen waterfall to Lake of Glass, but the trail disappeared into chest-deep snow. Loch Vale was lovely too. Truly, we loved it all.

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