Explore must do - 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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hiking
23 hours ago

There are many routes to the top! be aware when you finish the switch backs that run doing the creek there is a false summit. Go past the trail marker and you'll have to head down for a little bit before a short climb back up to reach the Arch.

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.

Challenging for a recreational hiker & worth it - beautiful views, the arch did not disappoint!

Lovely hike close to Denver. Did it counterclockwise in 3 hours (a moderate pace for the first half and slow for the latter half). Parking was easy at 9a on Saturday and there were a nice number of people— enough to not feel alone if something happened, but not busy. Very peaceful.

hiking
2 days ago

Really beautiful hike with flowers and an amazing view, very well worth it. make sure to bring lots of water!!

Awesome hike. Trail is well traveled and moderately difficult in some areas.

hiking
6 days ago

The arch itself is beautiful. But it is clearly not a trail that deserves a "hard" rating. Most of the hikers on this trail were in casual wear and made it to the top. We saw more than one woman carrying her purse and wearing flats. If you have the gumption and the time, you will make it to the top.

Great hike, but beware, October brings unpredictable weather. We just hiked this in rain, sleet, and snow. Beautiful views, and amazing colors!

One of the best trails I've ever been on in my life. All sorts of different scenic views and the grand finale of Sky Pond (after climbing a waterfall) to reward you for your hard work on the hike.

What an amazing hike! This is the second time I have done this hike, the first being in January where everything was covered in snow. We arrived at the Glacier Gorge trail head around 730am and got one of the last parking spots despite the weather being not ideal. Guess a little snow doesnt stop anyone here. There were a lot of low hanging clouds and fog but it started to snow lightly as we got to the Loch. The little snow fall, no wind, and cloudy skies made for amazing scenery! The waterfall was flowing and as beautiful as it is in the summer. The best part of the hike is the waterfall scramble you have to do to get up to the lake of Glass is not frozen which made it so much easier. The Lake of Glass was incredible but dont stop there! Sky Pond was and is one of the most gorgeous sites in the park and probably the rockies. The Shark Teeth are even better from the top of the lake. There was a little wind but nothing that should stop anyone from hanging out and taking it in.
We went through the trail seeing very few people starting off the day but on our way down, the crowds really picked up. Always start as early as you can to really enjoy the park.

7 days ago

Amazing trail! Why is everyone complaining about the crowd. If I was the only one out there struggling, is it even really worth it?

on Royal Arch Trail

hiking
8 days ago

A great workout, will challenge most hikers. Worth the climb, the views are amazing! Wear proper hiking shoes and take water. Did this hike with my daughter in law and we enjoyed it.

This hike remains one of my favorites in RMNP. There is so much to adore in 8 miles: you traverse aspen groves, walk the shore of The Loch, Pass Timberline Falls, scramble up steep and gorgeous rocky sections of the trail and then are rewarded with Lake of Glass and Sky Pond almost back to back. Sky Pond has a stunning turquoise color in the sunshine. Keep an eye out for elk near the Trailhead - they frequently hang out there. Plan to park in the Glacier Gorge Park and Ride and take the free shuttle to the trailhead. The Trailhead parking lot is small and fills up almost instantly. The hike has strenuous sections that will give you a good workout but isn’t uphill the entire way.

Started at 12pm to Sky Pond by 2:30pm. Stopped to take lots of pictures and eat. Took the loop back thru Lake Haiyaha. Gorgeous views. Fun hike.

Fantastic trail with great views throughout. Variety of stops on this trail provided places to stop and grab snacks with a great view. The hardest section is the scramble, and my wife and I almost turned back just a half mile or so from the end. So glad we decided to go through with it. There were plenty of other hikers around, though I wouldn’t describe it as crowded. Highly recommended!!

This is a stunning hike but make sure you've come properly prepared. It can be 70°- 80° at the trailhead and 40° at the summit. Hypothermia is a serious possibility if you are drenched in sweat and don't have the right clothing at the summit.

This trail is mostly stairs which can be extremely taxing.

There are several waterfalls and overlooks but it might be too cloudy to see anything.

Gorgeous Trail. Took us a bit longer than what some other people described about 3.5 hours, but we stopped a decent amount to enjoy the peace of nature. We went during a weekday and only passed 5-6 other hikers the entire time. I think we did the trail backwards as all the signs are to for doing beaver brook then Chavez but we did Chavez first. I would suggest doing Beaverbrook first as Chavez had a lot of scrambling rocks which would have been more enjoyable going up.

I’m a seasoned hiker and this trail kicked my butt! The arch is beautiful. Would’ve given 5 stars if it weren’t for the crowd (6:30am on a Friday...)

You get a little bit of everything with this hike!!! Did this with our energetic pup and we all loved it! Went counterclockwise like some of the reviews suggested and although the last stretch is uphill, I think it was the right move. Highly recommend!

Great but strenuous hike!

hiking
10 days ago

Boy what a workout. Intense hike with some incredible views towards the top. While the trail can be busy (we saw no less than 30 people on a random Thursday), it is really peaceful and tranquil along the trail. Hard but totally worth it.

Amazing trail! There were beautiful views...and I loved that the stretches of incline were balanced with easier portions of trail where I could catch my breath. The last mile was pretty tough, but we had a lot of fun scrambling up the rock to Lake of Glass. The views from the Lake of Glass were the BEST, but keep going to Sky Pond - the view of Sharks Tooth peaks were worth the extra trek.

Definitely my favorite hike from our RMNP vacation!

Started at 7:00 on a weekday in early Oct. A handful of cars in the parking lot but saw no one above Alberta Falls until the descent from Sky Pond then there was a constant stream of people going up. Parking lot was full upon my return at 10:30.
Nice hike. Personal opinion is this is a tweener hike, mostly moderate but can reasonably be rated hard based on a couple sections.
Enjoyed the picas at Sky Pond and the Stellar’s jay and snowshoe hare along the way. Would like to repeat this hike when there’s snow on the peaks.

This was an amazing hike with incredible views! Hike is definitely more moderate especially from Glacier Gorge trailhead until the second fork. Elevation gain/stairs/switchbacks between the second fork and The Loch. Last mile is challenging with tons of stairs and elevation gain. If you're from somewhere flat and low elevation like me, make sure to save your energy for that last mile! You do have to scramble up Timberline Falls which is wet and icy - so make sure your shoes are right for the job. Lake of Glass is beautiful but the last little bit between Lake of Glass and Sky Pond was some of my favorite of the whole hike! The trail isn't marked super clearly, but you'll be able to find your way if you follow the cairns. Right down the hill from Sky Pond is a great little waterfall with some grass that makes for an awesome/quiet lunch spot away from the wind and crowds.

This was a gorgeous hike! I left at 12:30pm, arrived at Sky Pond at 3pm and was back at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead at 4:50pm, but that was going at a pretty quick pace and taking short breaks at the lakes(was hurrying so I could catch a concert at Red Rocks), so I’d recommend giving yourself at least 5 hours to really enjoy it.

This hike was difficult. Lots of steps and up hill almost the entire way. Although it was hard, it was definitely worth the hike! Go early and avoid some of the crowd.

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful hike!!

Started at noon and only made it to Loch Vale Lake before turning around so that I could catch the last park and ride and still have daylight. Very nice hike and somewhat crowded.

I would consider this hike more moderate. Pretty steady incline throughout the beginning to middle of the hike. Towards the end you have a steep climb to Sky Pond, which is worth the effort. Took me about 5hours to do in totally including lunch at Sky Pond. I recommend getting early to the parking lot as there is limited parking.

Amazing hike woulr highly reccomend. I did it in nikes all the way to sky pond, only thing I would change is hiking shoes due to the wet rocks. It was still manageable, went with my mom who’s is good shape but still old. It was a ton of fun, and I’m really glad we finished it. Bring a lot of water, 5-8 hrs depending on how long you stay at the top. Started at 8a.

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