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trails near Estes

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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!

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.

hiking
1 day ago

I did this hike 2 years ago and it remains to be one of my favorites. The trail is covered in packed snow the entire way, so I would definitely recommend having micro spikes on hand. It can definitely be done without spikes, but it just might be a little slower/harder/more slippery. Once you get above tree line you might find yourself following footpaths that are definitely not the real trail, but it will get you up to the trail junction between Chasm Lake and Boulderfield one way or another. A breathtaking view of Longs is visible for most of the hike (above tree line) but it’s even more amazing to have it looming above you once you’re finally at the lake.

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.

Not really a hike, but still worth the short walk around the lake for the amazing views. We got some great photos of three moose taking a stroll through the lake during our walk on June 27, 2018.

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.

hiking
2 days ago

Amazing and challenging hike. Chasm lake with a little bit of snow on the ground was quite a sight to see. Once you break through the forest the views are breathtaking.

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
7 days ago

Incredible view of multiple lakes and Mountain View’s, steep climb in the half mile

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.

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.

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!!

hiking
17 days ago

Generally nice hike. There are three ways to get up to Bierstadt lake. This is for the trail that starts at the back of the park & ride lot. The trail climbs fairly steeply at first, yielding some very nice views of the meadow and mountains. The trail then turns around the mountain, heading into thicker woods, ultimately popping out on the loop around Bierstadt lake. This trail was pretty uncrowded when we did it on a weekday morning in October. The lake itself was stunning, and we got to see a moose, so you definitely feel like the elevation was worth it when you get to the lake. We did it as an out and back, and if I had it to do over, I would have gone down to either Bear Lake or the other Bierstadt trail-head and taken the shuttle back to my car. Doing it back downhill was a lot of looking at your feet, because the trail is fairly rough with a lot of loose rock/rubble and I was glad of my hiking poles.

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.

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.

hiking
21 days ago

An amazing hike that gets your blood pumping. From the Ranger Station to Chasm Lake is a 4.2 mile hike that ascends 2,522 vertical feet, so the out and back hike is 8.4 miles as opposed to the 7.7 miles listed here. It’s a tough and steep high altitude trail, so bring plenty of water. It’s strenuous, but the payoff is absolutely surreal. This trail brings you right up to the east face of Longs Peak. Chasm Lake is one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring high altitude lakes that I’ve ever seen. Bring a good camera, because the photo opportunities are terrific throughout.

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.

hiking
21 days ago

Great views and well worth the hike! Should be listed as ~8.4 miles though.

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.

hiking
21 days ago

A fun, but steep trail with wonderful views of the valley. It was incredibly windy above the tree line. I'll post pictures tonight.

It's really pretty

Absolutely spectacular. If you do one hike in RMNP, do this one. So worth it!!!

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