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

trails near Estes

RMNP East Map
VIEW FULL MAP

This is a fantastic hike. Probably one of the most beautiful I’ve done in Rocky Mountain NP. Closer to 9.8 miles, but worth every step. Saw lots of elk along the trail and some brave marmots. Please DO NOT feed the wildlife! They are too comfortable around people, trying to steal food. The views at the top are incredible, but don’t get fooled and stop at the first lake. Sky pond is beyond that one. Bonus getting to see Alberta Falls on the way up, and the crowd thins once you pass this point. Took a nice dip in the lake on the way down. Cold, but worth it!

Never been hiking in my life.. decided to hit the hardest most beautiful trail right out of the gates. GREAT DECISION. One of the most gratifying afternoons of my life. We managed to snag a parking spot up at Bear Lake lot around 10:30am. Took the shuttle down to Glacier Gorge and were off. IMPORTANT: Take your time going up, don't be afraid to go off trail 50-100 yards.... because that is where the most stunning views are! The Loch will make you cry, and so will the satisfaction from making it all the way to Sky Pond. DO THIS HIKE! Took us about 3.5 hours up, 1.5 hours down with a few breaks here and there. Sights and feels that I won't soon forget!

2 days ago

Did this on 7/23. Parked at 3:00 AM and was only headlamp I could see on the trail above tree line. There were several cars in the lot and many Long’s Peak hikers. Very windy and steep then when trail splits to Chasm it gets much easier. Views were breathtaking and this is one of my favorite hikes of all time. Add this one to your list and do it. Sunrise on Long’s was worth it all.

Want to include some clarification...

- The picture listed for this trail is actually Glass Lake, not Sky Pond. Sky Pond is another 0.5 miles further in once you've made it up the scramble.
- This hike, all the way to Sky Pond, is about 4.9 miles from the Glacier Gorge trail head to the end.

Overall, an absolutely beautiful hike and not too strenuous. I would rate this a more moderate / hard hike. My friend and I stayed at the Glacier Basin campsite and drove across the street to the shuttle stop and took the shuttle up. They run about every 5-10 minutes. Parking will be full if you get to the trailhead after 6:30am.

The waterfall scramble at the end of the hike is the most challenging part, and there are a fair amount of steps to get to that point (for those who may struggle with steps). There's a decent amount of shade but you will want to go as early as you can to avoid most of the sun. Make sure to bring a lot of water as well!

My friend and I took our time and stopped at a lot of the viewpoints and we finished the hike in 6.5 hours (in and out). One of my favorite hikes I've done - make sure to add this one to your trip if you're heading to Rocky Mountain National Park!

Perfect hike, perfect day!

Overall, a great hike. Scaling the waterfall, while not too physically demanding, can prove treacherous if you have big feet and/or aren’t adept at climbing. Worth the trip to the top though!

Beautiful views the entire way. Definitely go to glass lake, too. I thought the trail was moderate. The waterfall scramble was interesting but not too difficult.

Not easy for worth it.

Alberta falls to start, cool but keep moving to further away from people.

Lock is pretty, easily find a good spot for a meal. Then you get to walk along the lake for awhile.

Made it the scramble, waterfall while my wife and I carried our 2 and 5 yr old. But not able to get them up the climb. So we took turns going up solo to glass lake, gave the kids a chance to play in the water at the bottom of the fall.

Missed out on sky, bummer. My 5 yr old hiked around 6 miles, which was a huge help.

Easy beautiful heavy populated trail

According to the trail maps on sight, it is close to 10 miles to Sky Pond if you start at Bear Lake.

hiking
5 days ago

Second time doing this hike. We got to trailhead at 6 am. Parking lots was full but I parked on the side along the entrance so didn’t have to park down the road. We got to lake at 9am. So took us 3 hrs to get there with minimal breaks. It was sunny and no clouds in the sky. Couldn’t hAve asked for a more perfect weather. There’s definitely an incline and last half mile requires scrambling up rocks but it’s so worth it!! One the best and moderate trails to do!

hiking
5 days ago

Absolutely beautiful - one of the best, if not the best lake hike in Colorado!

We arrived 6am Wed. Parking lot was full. We parked 1/4 mile down the road from the trailhead.

The trail runs 8.4 miles roundtrip per Rocky Mtn Natl park website. It is a moderate hike, IMO (some will find it easy, some hard, depending on conditioning). The final climb to the lake is a steep rock scramble, under 0.2 miles. This portion of the trail is generally intuitive and partially marked by cairns. If you can't ascend, you'll miss the lake but still be treated to the majesty and splendor that lies before you.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE respect the mountain and weather. I saw one person who had no water or backpack, and people hiking in sandals and one in overalls. If the weather holds, you'll be ok. But cotton is the worst thing you can be wearing if you get wet. Rain means windy and temps in the 40s, or lower.

Be prepared, that includes but not limited to, hiking shoes, plenty of water, food, trail mix, energy bars, rain gear, sunscreen, jacket. Enjoy!

Wonderful hike! Was our first hike of our week long trip, and was perfect. So many great stops along the trail.

We arrived at the trailhead at 6:30am and snagged one of the last parking spots.

Toughest part was climbing up and down timberline falls, but it was also the coolest part!

Very very busy on our way back.

Almost no shade once it got to be noon- wear sunscreen!

Many places to use water filter to fill your water bottles!

Did this last summer. Favorite hike of all time. Definitely recommended.

Simple easy stroll. Saw a moose mom with her twins.

7 days ago

This is definitely not a moderate trail. There's an extended area of narrow trail and you have to do some scrambling that's actually climbing. It's beautiful and challenging!

hiking
7 days ago

This and Mt Ida are my favorite RMNP trails. Really amazing and spectacular. Parking lot was full by 8:15am. We parked about 1/4 mile down the side of the road which isn't too bad. We had perfect weather with clear skies. No dark ominous clouds. Rangers were making trail improvements on a segment of the trail. Turns out they use horses to carry logs up.
Steady incline throughout entire trail with gorgeous view once above tree line. There is excellent view of Long Peaks about 1 mile out where there is also the first privy stop. Great place to take a break. Then the trail flattens a bit along a narrow path by the side of mountain with view of waterfall. The trail crosses on top of that small waterfall. At the base of Chasm lake, there is another privy stop. The last 0.1 mile was a bit of scramble up the rocks to get to Chasm lake. It was steep but that was also quite fun especially knowing that the lake is just above on the other side. Well worth the last bit of scramble.
Took us a little over 3hr to get up (with plenty time to rest and take pictures and absorb the surrounding scenery) and a bit over 2 hrs to get down. We spent a good 40 min by lake to have lunch and soak up the beautiful scenery. Highly recommend.

7 days ago

Amazing hike, started at 4am and got to chasm lake by 7am. Hike is pretty strenuous for someone from the flatland. Overall amazing views and would do this hike over and over again!

Great views at the top and along the way. Plenty of wildlife to see. For most efficient route, start at bear lake and head to pond and finish at glacier gorge. Eliminates unnecessary elevation gain.

One of our favorite hikes in RMNP. We got to the Glacier Gorge trailhead around 6:30 AM on a Thursday (8/2) and snagged one of the last parking spots.

One of the best things about this trail is that there are memorable destinations (Alberta Falls, Loch Vale, etc.) throughout, rather than simply at the end. Lots of people made it all the way to Sky Pond, but the crowds definitely thinned out as we went along. Despite the human presence, we encountered several nonplussed elk browsing very close to the path. The trail itself wasn't particularly hard until right before the Lake of Glass, where there are a few hundred yards of steep steps and a brief climb over wet rocks. Sky Pond is the second lake beyond this point. Both Lake of Glass and Sky Pond were pretty windy, so be sure to bring layers if you want to spend more than a few minutes taking in the views, which are spectacular.

This trail has lots of branch-offs for exploring other interesting destinations (Lake Mills, Lake Haiyaha, etc.). We chose to take the spur to Andrews Glacier, which was a brutal but absolutely worthwhile extension. Would definitely recommend for fit & experienced hikers.

8 days ago

Started this hike at 7:25 this morning and finished around 2. Parking lot was full so be prepared. Used this as our practice for Longs Peak and I would rate this hike as hard, not moderate. First portion isn’t difficult. Once you get past the small boulder field and on the actual trail for Chasm it contains some pretty narrow areas but with great views. Some scrabbling is required to get up to the lake and that part of the trail isn’t marked very well. Very easy to get lost in that area. Have plenty of water and sunscreen because that sun can be very hot above tree line. Highly recommend using hiking polls too, I’m 20 years old and an athlete but the polls saved my legs a ton.

Such a beautiful day! Made it to the Loch by sunrise. There wasn’t a ton of water coming off timberline falls. The scramble was a little tougher than we expected but Lake of Glass was more than worth it. Made it to sky pond and caught some great views of climbers up on the spires.

rock climbing
8 days ago

my pedometer says 10 miles, and 3500ft vertical. Another Thing To Know Is That This Is A climb, not a hike. you are going up, at least 30 degrees, the entire time. A hike is at least half flat.

storms hit this mountain every day, yes, every single day. I don't Care what your weather app says. bring layers, be prepared for rain and hail, thunder if not lightning. there is a shelter hut by a privvy about 75% of the way up, can't get in but can hide in doorway.

Devote 12 hours to this, bring plenty of food, I recommend caring water cantina and filter, as carrying water up a mountain will be incredibly hard. plenty of people take 2 days on this hike, its a serious physical feat.

Long hike, but so many different views and places to stop and take in the sights along the way. Very crowded, but that didn’t take away from my experience.

hiking
10 days ago

Loved this hike. Did this trail with a friend while our husbands were at the summit. We got to the trailhead at about 6:00am. This was perfect timing, as you’re behind the crowd going to the summit and ahead of the crowd going to Chasm Lake. We got to Chasm Lake around 9:00 and only a few other people were there. So peaceful, and the moon was still up and directly above Longs.

It is high altitude, so could be challenging if you’re not used to that. And you want to start early to get back below the tree line by 1:00 or 2:00 in case of storms

Amazing hike! Very crowded and super windy at the top lakes but stunning scenery.

hiking
10 days ago

A little tough in spots but absolutely worth it!

hiking
10 days ago

Well worth the extra effort after you hit Loch Lake. The steps from Loch to Glass are a good challenge. You have major reward in the huge falls and beautiful lakes. Be prepared for strong winds toward the top.

Amazing hike!! It was rainy when we went but the views were still beautiful! Also proposed to my girlfriend so that made the hike that much better!! (She said yes)

Load More