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I got so lucky and had the most spectacular day for this hike! This hike was awesome! There were two very steep parts, one right before the Loch and the other right before Lake of Glass/Sky Pond. The second one is incredibly steep and you need some sort of traction and/or poles to get up when there's snow as it's along a waterfall/stream so there's ice too. The rest of the trail has incline but I didn't find it terribly taxing overall! The trail was packed pretty well early this morning but with the warm weather turned slushy as more people hiked up so not sure how it will be the rest of the week. The views were incredible, I'd love to see the trail in summer as well! I wasn't able to find the trails around the lakes so I ended up just walking on them which worked since I started early enough but the ice started to melt as the day went on and people (me included) post-holed down to the water. The parking lot holds maybe like 30-ish cars but there is a shuttle service in summer which I'd recommend so you don't have to worry about parking and apparently a larger lot at the Bear Lake trailhead which does connect to this trail system! The trails are well marked but make sure you check the map since Sky Pond isn't marked until you're about 2 miles in. Bathrooms at the trailhead is a plus!

hiking
1 day ago

It was beautiful!!! Amazing views, it was steep and snowing when we went, but the view at the end was worth it. Can’t wait to do it again during the summer

A favorite semi challenging trail.

It was a beautiful trail and was very quiet. There was still lots of snow so it was a little slick in some parts. Overall a great hike though.

Nice views on a hike pretty much anyone could do. Decent climb when you come off the fire road for a bit, eventually turns into a wide smooth path for the descent. Probably about half the hike is on wide, smooth dirt path, some of that is fire road. Good scenery and low traffic. Good amount of the trail is off leash for dogs. Tons of water features which adds a lot to the fire road parts.

Had a beautiful hike today! I made it to black lake and it was great. Started at the trailhead at 8:45 and got back about 1:15. I would’ve liked to take more breaks but I was racing a storm so I had to hustle. The trails were completely covered with snow but packed well enough that you weren’t falling through every other step. I had crampons which were a huge help. After Mills Lake the trail levels out for a bit but the final push to Black Lake is pretty steep. I was very lucky that I had the whole trail all by myself.

Was really good minus people having their dogs off leash in non designated areas

I did this trail on 4/22/18 with no spikes and a walking stick. Parts of this trail got really sketchy without spikes. I got through it but would definitely not recommend going with just hiking boots, it got real dangerous but the view at the top is really amazing. Took me 4hrs to go there and back

Did this today. Perfectly clear, warm morning which was wonderful. The first 2 miles were great with hiking boots and micro spikes, but the last .75 had lots of post-holing and wet socks. Can be done without snowshoes, but I would recommend them if you're looking for a trouble free hike. Super easy (no hard climbs or switchbacks) and lots of fresh mountain air!

Started at 7:00 AM with one other car in the parking lot. About 1" of fresh snow on the ground. Need to walk up the closed road about 1/2 mile to get to trailhead. The trail was easy to follow and packed. Had 1-2" of fresh snow for the most part with hardpack and ice below. As you got close to the scree field near the summit, larger snow drifts. No snow shoes required, spikes highly recommended due. Trail easy to follow up the scree to the radio tower. Gorgeous 360 degree view on top as well as into RMNP, Meeker and Longs Peak. Headed down around 11:00 and met fairly heavy traffic going up.

Attempted this hike 2 times before in January and February but failed due to not having snowshoes and hiking through extremely dangerous winds, but finally finished the entire hike to Sky Pond on 4/15 with the proper equipment. The trail from Glacier Gorge should be 9.8 miles RT (rather than 8.1 miles according to this site) since it’s 2.2 miles to the split point between Loch Vale and Mills Lake, and then another 2.7 miles to Sky Pond from the split point.

By far my favorite hike I’ve done so far! Views throughout the entire hike were very scenic, rather than just one nice view at the end of the trail. The canyon and basin views were amazing throughout the hike and the frozen lakes (Loch Vale, Lake of Glass, and Sky Pond) were all extremely breathtaking. The first 2.2 miles of the trail were moderate with some slippery snow so I used my yaktrax. Once you pass Loch Vale you will definitely need snowshoes as the snow can get knee deep. The hike up to Lake of Glass from the basin area above the tree line was extremely steep and slippery, definitely the most difficult part of the trail, so take your time with this part (snowshoes not recommended for this part.) It took me 6.25 hours to finish the trip because of the snow and ice, it probably would have only taken me about 4 hours to complete if the trail was clear. Will definitely come back in the summer to hike it!

4/20/18 Steeper than I expected. There’s a period of elevation in the beginning where I got worn out, then it evens out for a bit and you get excited/ relieved and the last portion steepens with large rocks.
There is a restroom about 2/3 of the way up.
There wasn’t a parking fee when I went.
The lake wasn’t frozen. This trail would be better during summer when the trees come back to life!

We started at Nymph Lake, intending to go to Alberta Falls and beyond, but we’re clearly unprepared as the trails were so packed they were like ice. So we came to try Cub Lake trail’s lower elevation and were not disappointed! It’s fairly flat in the early going but before too long it climbs and affords some great scenery. The lake itself is gorgeous and we had it all to ourselves, probably due to some light snow/sleet but it was no problem. This is a great first-day hike for people looking to acclimate before taking one of the more challenging hikes at higher elevations.

Lovely!

hiking
6 days ago

The trail up until about half mile to the falls was clear, the falls themselves are still covered with snow. I didn’t wear my spikes on the way up to the lake and didn’t have any problems. I love Fern Lake it’s beautiful. Just be careful, it looks frozen but don’t take your chances on it.. I wanted to go to Odessa Lake but started post holing around the boulder field.

hiking
6 days ago

Great trail with spectacular views of Estes Park and the Rockies! Worth every step!

Only made it to Mills Lake, but it was beautiful. The weather can still be incredibly cold in the morning, but warms up significantly during the day. The trail conditions were a little sketchy at parts if you're not wearing crampons or snowshoes, but it's doable. Just prepare to sink into some soft spots. Especially once you get to the higher elevations.

hiking
6 days ago

Easy, but not just a walk. Great views of surrounding mountains, wildlife, and the falls. Saw elk, mule deer, and wild turkey. The cross trail from Black Canyon Trail to MacGregor Trail is NOT marked. I ended up going past a little, followed map back to spot... there is a signpost at the intersection shown on the map referencing the clearly visible turn to ‘Pear’ climbing area and also possible, very faint evidence of a social trail where the trail is supposed to be. I crossed there... it felt more like crossing a field, but it quickly connected to MacGregor Trail (starts out as dirt road which leads to additional trail to the falls).

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

An easy, pretty trail. I particularly enjoyed the wildflowers around the lake.

Only went as far as Mills Lake, but we hope to go farther next time. This hike is amazing. We saw bighorn sheep on the mountaintops above us, so don't forget to look up while you're there.

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked on 4/17/2018. Left Long's Peak Ranger station at 9:15am and reached Chasm Lake at 12:00pm. Did the whole trail with micro-spikes only. Trail is well traveled and well packed. Micro spikes a must. Weather was perfect on the way up, clear and a little windy. On the way back around 1:30pm it got really windy and started snowing. I made a hustle to get back to the treeline as fast as possible. Made it back to the Ranger station at 2:15pm.

Love it. Amazing views!

hiking
8 days ago

Kind of a crazy day today- winds reached up to 90 mph in the Denver area, and even in Estes the winds were blowing pretty bad (although not quite THAT bad). When we started off the hike, it was sunny and blue skies, with only a few clouds. By the time we got to the lake there were snow pellets slapping against our faces and we had to cover our faces as much as we could on the way down so we could see where we were going. We got pretty cold and wet, but the hike was worth it. Can’t wait to do this again in the summer!

hiked this morning 4/16/18, some snow and ice accumulated on the upper half of the trail, microspikes would have been helpful but was doable without. beautiful as always!

Perfect time to go before the parking lots fill and the crowds roll in. The falls are still partly frozen but it is even more beautiful.

Good view of the distant snow-strewn peaks and a reservoir. Wildflowers are starting to emerge now. Not a lot of scenery to look at unless you're at the very highest point of the trail, but besides that it was an easy trail with decent enough reward at the top. Very few people hiking on a Monday afternoon. Only passed two groups of people.

Once you get to the point on this trail where it turns into a road that heads back to the parking lot (clearly marked with a sign) and there's a building where the reservoir water flows out into a river, I'd also suggest heading up the 'Hummingbird Switchback Trail' that goes up to the Ralph Price Reservoir. It's short and you get a good view of the water, and can even follow a trail all the way around the lake if you want. From there you can take the road that goes around the reservoir a bit and also leads back to the parking lot.

Hiked on 4/16, the trail is well packed with snow, and not super icy. I would still recommend spikes and poles, but snowshoes are not needed. Above tree line, this trail can be brutally windy. Me and some other hikers in front of me were turned back by gale force winds that would knock you over and make it difficult to move forward. I would recommend checking the wind conditions for the trail, but even making it as far as I did the views of Longs Peak were seriously awesome.

Did it yesterday, MicroSpikes are a must, however some people did it without them.

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