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One of my favorites. I love this trail. Be prepared to dedicate the whole day, Because you will want to stop several times to peep the views.

The road was closed about a mile from the trail head but we expected that. It was such a great hike! Definitely dress warm for this time of year and bring good snow shoes. The water was beautiful through the ice and thick trees! I am so excited to see this place in the spring and summer!

hiking
16 days ago

Quite possibly my favorite hike. The river was so full you could feel the power of the water rushing by. At points the water is overhead. Just amazing.

Late review. We went late summer 2017.

Hiked this trail in mid-September. Probably my most favorite trail ever. Well worth the scramble up the waterfall. Spectacular lakes set in a backdrop of towering mountains. And the colors were amazing. Definitely worth the effort to get there. Make sure to take the time to stop and enjoy the many views.

Good views of falls, which aren't magnificent. Take the trail from Allenspark to avoid park closures.

The park was closed due to government shutdown so it added 5 miles to this hike. Beautiful trail. The hike to the trail was lovely. No part of the entire 10 miles was hard. Didn’t need spikes even and we went on 1/1/19 the day after fresh snow. The waterfall at the top was covered in snow. So not particularly scenic but the trail overall was wonderful. Peaceful winter beauty. Looking forward to spring to see the waterfalls.

Hiked 12/15/18. Went with a friend and we both wore spikes and used poles. It was a gorgeous hike; I've hiked to Ouzel Falls in every season and it is gorgeous every single time. Do you know what an Ouzel is? Google it! And then you'll know what to look for while hiking. Enjoy the waterfalls. Consider extending your hike to Ouzel Lake. It is much quieter once you pass the falls and head to the lake and that's where you'll find your solitude on a sunny summer day so add that to your list, too. #52hikechallenge

One of the best in the park.

Hiked this last year. Great hike, well maintained, moderately trafficked.

Undeniably one of my favorites in Rocky Mountain. Typically pretty busy trail during the summer, and almost always a line around the waterfall climb, but doesn’t distract from the beauty at the top. One of the most fun hikes for the varying terrain and views.

Hiked this trail only wearing my micro spikes. Great hike!!! The waterfall wasn't that bad. Windy in some spots but I did most of the hike wearing a long sleeve T shirt. Got on the trail at 10 and the lot was full so we had to drop some of are party and hitch a ride... Took about 8 seconds to get a lift. Great day.

Beautiful trail! We rented snowshoes and the terrain was perfect for them. Yaktrax were fine, but would’ve been more work over all. The trail was easy to follow and ascends a fair amount but the grade was never too bad. Also, the falls were frozen, but we could see and hear water under the ice. I’d love to come back in other seasons and do more!

hiked early morning 12/9. The hike to mills lake is a nice boot pack, crampons or microspikes reccomended. After mills lake, the trail mostly vanishes and its time to pull out the snowshoes. Great snowshoeing out to black lake. The views from the frozen lakes are astounding. Mild crowding on the way out to mills, very few after that. I would highly reccomend this trail, be ready for some pretty exhaustive snowshoeing the second half.

hiked early morning 12/9. The hike to mills lake is a nice boot pack, crampons or microspikes. After mills lake, the trail mostly vanishes and its time to pull out the snowshoes. Great snowshoing out to black lake, deffinitelty exhausting. the views from the frozen lakes is amazing. I would reccomend this trail, just be ready for some pretty exhaustive snowshoeing the second half.

hiking
1 month ago

First time hiking to Black Lake in winter. Trail from Bear Lake to Mills Lake was perfectly packed down, microspikes made it easy. The lake was frozen solid and it was so cool to walk straight across! Softer snow between Jewel Lake and Black -- changed to snowshoes about 20-30 min before reaching Black Lake after post-holing a few times. Luckily there were clear ski/snowshoe tracks to follow all the way. The distance between Jewel Lake and Black Lake always feels farther than it actually is. We walked around the shore of Black Lake to continue snowshoeing up to Blue Lake (used a GPS watch because we didn't see signs of a trail). SO worth it! The views from above the lake were stunning. Even better, Blue Lake was sheltered from wind making it a perfect spot for a snack break. Will definitely come back in the summer to find Green/Frozen and climb the Spearhead.
12.5 miles in 6.5 hours roundtrip

hiking
1 month ago

Completed this hike (+ a little extra) with my girlfriend in late summer. We did not set out with a definitive plan...got a late start, around 10am. We attempted to reach Green Lake after Black Lake, but turned around halfway (around 11,150ft) due to approaching storm clouds, and wanting to be back before dark.

Hard is an accurate rating, especially the last half-mile to Black Lake, and the extra mile we did after. I'm in moderate shape, and my girlfriend was visiting from sea level (her first hike above 10,000 ft!). We took a fair number of breaks for snacks and pictures...our Fitbits said 12 miles, 36,000 steps, in ~9 hours. The hike itself was not daunting, but we were exhausted by the end, and sore for a few days after.

Top pros were that the views were spectacular, and that the trail was mostly well marked. The exceptions are that we never saw the turn to Shelf Lake and Solitude Lake. We also completely lost the trail in the bolderfield between Black Lake and Green Lake, which contributed to our decision to turn-around.

The biggest con, and reason for not giving it a 5th star, was the heavy traffic up to Mills Lake. We even got stuck behind a lady talking on her cellphone for awhile. We chose to skip a number of attractions (i.e. Alberta Falls) to avoid, and try and surpass, the crowds. Fortunately, most people stopped at, or before, Mills Lake. We saw less than two dozen people between Mills Lake and our turnaround.

Overall an excellent hike that we hope to do again, next time with an earlier start, a better plan, and hopefully in a little better shape!

Did this hike yesterday with my friends. It was a little windy and there was a little ice near the falls but overall it was beautiful and an amazing hike.

Great hike summer or winter will need spikes for sure

It’s so beautiful! We went in August later in the afternoon and it wasn’t terrible crowded. We had the final 2 lakes all to ourselves. The stairs heading up to the waterfall were the worst part. Beautiful hike!

Gorgeous hike in late September. Colors abound, blue sky, no wind. Stopped at the Loch for a snack break and then onward and upward. Icy near the falls right before sky pond...and the falls were quite icy. Did not attempt to climb on up. Views from below the falls back towards Loch just outstanding. Decent days hike but if you take your time (especially if you are a flat lander in your late 50’s...) it can be done. Favorite hike yet in RMNP. May try going up during warmer weather next time.

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
2 months 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

We started late (1300) and did finish about 1915 in the dark, however we were able to hit gem lake at sunset and it was gorgeous. It does feel like a full 13 Miles and for the falls I would try and go after a heavy rain, the falls were gorgeous but small on our trip.

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