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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.

hiking
8 days ago

My favorite trail on the west side of the Rockies. Vista views the entire way and amazing 360° view at the top including Long's Peak and Grand Lake.

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.

hiking
9 days ago

Loved this trail! Started at the fern lake trailhead, hiked to the pool and made the climb. Very snow covered and a few icy spots. But incredible views at the top prior to getting to the lake. We had the trail to ourselves. So diverse in what you see. It’s a must hike for RMNP!!

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.

hiking
10 days ago

We did this loop last Saturday. It was beautiful and very quiet. Didn’t see many other hikers until the last 1/2 mile. Not too much snow or ice. We didn't need the spikes or poles we had along.

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.

Hiked this on 10/22. Parking is limited, but pretty sure the trail is accessible from another (Bear Lake) lot further down the road. We had a limited amount of time so this was perfect. I would consider this more of an out and back trail, than a loop. The first mile zig zags immediately UP a dirt path. There is zero tree cover, so you might want a hat. You are rewarded with stunning views looking out towards Longs Peak during the entire ascent. It’s not too difficult, but we did see a woman turn back because of her knees. It’s a good quick workout that leads you quite suddenly into a dense forest at the top — for a short trek to the lake. Overall, two different experiences on one trail. We probably missed the best views because we didn’t go around the lake (the loop part of the trail.) So I’d recommend doing that. But as mentioned, exquisite views the whole way up and down! (See photos) I’d definitely do this again, and allow more time to explore the lake and connecting trails! (I might add that a few in our group did this successfully in gym shoes, but there was ice in the woods and lots of snow around the lake.)

trail running
18 days ago

Fun trail. Good grade for trail running, but there can be crowds. Was lucky enough to catch a rainbow on my run.

hiking
19 days ago

Did the out and back versus the loop version of this trail, but ended up at the same lake. Nice hike, not too challenging despite the elevation gain. As many others have said, lots of dead trees along the way.

One of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever been on.

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.

My husband and I (mid 60s) hiked this trail yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. A variety of scenery--meadow, forest, beautiful lake and mountain views. The ascent to Cub Lake took a little effort but was very doable for us. We didn't see moose but lots of Chipmunks were out and about. We found a spot out of the wind to eat lunch while we enjoyed the view of Cub Lake. Would highly recommend this hike. Took us about 5 hours including a lunch stop to complete hike.

trail running
21 days ago

10/28/18 Went out first thing in the morning. Gorgeous views on the climb up to the lake. Couldn’t really run the first portion due to the climb but no biggie since the elevation and incline alone is a great workout.

trail running
21 days ago

10/29/18 Beautiful trail. There were some icy spots but not too bad. Was able to run most of the trail, but ended up stopping several times to take in the waterfalls.

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!

Beautiful fall hike (10/27/18) with great views. Don't worry - there actually is a lake at the end

Great hike (Sat) Oct 26. This was a great choice for a cool Fall day. The hike up would be brutally hot in the summer. The lake is gorgeous. We chilled out and drank some coffee and just enjoyed the gorgeous view. We hiked around the lake and then added on 1-1/2 miles on another trail for fun since this was a relatively short and easy hike. All uphill at the beginning with beautiful views of the mountains. We arrived around 9am and there were three parking spaces at the Bierstadt TH which was awesome because we were an hour later than we planned and there was no parking at Glacier Gorge (as usual) when you show up after 7:30-8am.

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.

Gorgeous

absolutely beautiful!

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
30 days ago

Love

Great hike! 85% of the trail was ice covered. Make sure you pack some crampons!

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.

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
1 month 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.

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