Explore Summer 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer 2017 Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Wow this hike was magical! Had to get off the trail a few times to let elk pass by, the views are incredible the entire hike. I would do this hike again!

This was a dream hike for me. I had been wanting to make this trip for a while but thankful I waited until I was in better shape. This trail winds past Alberta Falls ( stunning) and up to Loch Lake. In the distance you can see Timberline Falls where you will need to traverse the falls. This girl does not do heights very well but with a push from my dear friends and hiking partners and the kindness of a stranger lending me hand a up I was able to see Glass Lake and my goal of Sky Pond. This was truly a beautiful hike. It took us 8 hours to complete this trek round trip, we spent time at each lake taking in the beauty, because why would you not? We are in the 40ish category and in decent physical shape. I would put this closer to 10 miles and a decent elevation gain.

hiking
22 hours ago

Great and challenging hike. Good elevation gain. Was able to do in about 3 hours. Quite a few trail runners, decent amount of wildlife too. Awesome views! You do have to pay for parking on the weekends, fyi.

one of the most beautiful and fulfilling hikes i’ve ever done - every step was truly so worth it. definitely get started early to avoid the crowds. it was nice to have the lakes to ourselves for a little while before a lot of people started showing up. if you want a great “rocky mountain experience” this is definitely the hike for you. couldn’t recommend highly enough.

Do you like rolling your ankle? Do you like busy trails? This is the trail for you then. The trail is clearly visible until the scramble to the top on the near peak, I stayed on the northwest side and found a route suitable for me without any issues. The worst part of the trail, other then being really rocky, was a stretch right after the washed out area. Lots of incline there. For me slow and steady wins the race. Great views from the top. I wanted to go to the second peak but I could see storms moving in so I left.

Great trail, rained on us but other than that it was awesome!!!

This was a great hike with breathtaking views... My partner and I started around 7:45 AM and reached the summit just after 9:30. We spent about an hour at the peaks before heading back down, and we reached our car around 12:00. We traveled at a brisk pace with a few stops to hydrate and catch our breaths. The air is thin and dry, so take your time, and (as always) bring more water than you think you’ll need. As many of the previous reviewers have stated, I would rank this hike as more moderately-difficult than hard. The trail has a slight incline most of the way with a few steep portions in between. It is rocky/jagged towards the end, at the summit, and on the way back down, so wear footwear that have protective soles lest you hurt your feet. The majority of the hike is in the forest- very shady and peaceful... Overall, this hike is a great choice for inexperienced hikers. Very doable, and the views will definitely not disappoint!

Hit the trail at about 7am on a Saturday and it was great, not crowded but started to see more people in the way down, still not bad. Definitely strenuous, but I haven’t done many hikes lately so I’m not sure I’m the best judge. Pretty mellow first half until you climb between bear peak and south boulder peak, easy to hit both while you’re up there and each offers a little bit of a different view so definitely check both out (only adds like 20 minutes I’d say to the hike). Very pretty views and diverse vegetation from top to bottom which kept it interesting. My knees were shakin’ on the way down as there’s lots of rocks to go down but that’s only about 1/2 of the trail, as the first half is quite wide and gravelly. Would definitely do it again!

This was the perfect hike for my wife and I’s first time being in Rocky Mountain National Park! Get there between 6:00 and 6:30am. We arrived around 6:45 and there were no more spots to park. However, we found a small parking lot for about 10 cars a 1/2 mile before the trail head so we just walked up to the trial head. Scaling the waterfall is not as hard as some people say it is if you are in good shape. It’s fairly easy, but I see how it could be difficult for those who aren’t in great shape. The view from the top was breathtaking. All Trails says it is 8.1 but it around 9.8 according to the map at the start of the trail. Also, if you are worried about being the only one on the trail with all the wildlife in RMNP then this is the perfect trail for you! I think there were in sight of my wife and I almost the entire hike. It took us about 2.5 hours to go up and 1.5 hours to come down. We highly recommend this hike!

Great trail!

Beautiful hike! I’d say moderate. “Hardest” part was climbing the waterfall. Get there early!

Nice trail. Watch the signs

Once you get past the scramble, finding the path to Sky Pond is very difficult. Walk along the lake & it will bring you to Sky Pond!

Excellent weather. Path clear, visible and moderate.. One tough rock wall section before glass lake that may limit some people. Windy at top but warm and snow melted. 10 miles not 8.

hiking
4 days ago

Very rocky trail, too many people and a drained lake. It should be called a reservoir not a lake. People should be TOLD when getting a permit that the lake has been drained. Huge disappointment. (see pic of Jasper pond)

Great hike. Should be considered 'Medium' difficulty instead of hard. Lake Loch, Lake of glass, and Sky Pond all three are absolutely amazing.

absolutely amazing hike! the trail is pretty packed for maybe a mile or two but thins out. the trail for the most part is pretty moderate untill the last mile and a half. I will say if you are not comfortable with a scramble or not wearing proper boots don't finish the hike. I saw three people almost slip and fall down the waterfall and personally had to catch someone who was wearing Nike running shoes.

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!

A great hike! 4 stars instead of 5 because the first ~2.8 miles of the route got a little boring with all the trees (which were pretty! Just the same view for a while), but the view at the top was gorgeous. If you’re comfortable with it, definitely climb up the rock peaks at the top to get an even better view.

It took us just under 2 hours to get to the top, and about 50 minutes to get back down. However, we normally walk fast, and passed many people both ways. There were some pretty steep parts, especially halfway through, but nothing too difficult or unsafe. If you’re regularly active and in good shape, you’ll find this trail to be moderate and not “hard.”

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!

hiking
7 days ago

this was beautiful at the top but it's definitely HARD

This ended up being one of my favorite hikes of the trip. It was definitely a challenge for me and my friend, two Midwesterners who have never climbed a mountain or generally even faced high altitudes before. The elevation gain and rocky terrain are brutal at times but definitely manageable, I think having hiking poles would definitely have made it easier. It took us 3.5 hours to get to the top, going at a reasonable pace and making frequent stops to let our lungs adjust to the altitude. The views at the top are astounding, especially if you scramble up to one of the peaks to get the full panoramic view, but the first 3 miles of the hike itself isn't terribly exciting. You are surrounded by beautiful huge trees for most of it though, so it was peaceful, and when we began our hike around 8:30 AM we saw several elk right off the trail. All an all I would definitely recommend this hike if you're looking to summit a mountain but are an inexperienced hiker.

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!

Great hike, a few steeper spots but generally easy. We saw almost no people on the trail which is increasingly difficult in the front range.

on Estes Cone Trail

8 days ago

If you’re not parked in the parking lot (which fills up really early), be VERY careful where you park as they tow cars parked on the side of the road on the side of the yellow curvy road sign that is closer to the trail. As per an officer, you’re ok if you’re not parked after that sign (on the way up), not in front of a no parking sign, and have both wheels completely off the road, i.e. to the side of the white line.

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!

hiking
8 days ago

Nice trail. Took me about three hours. Great views all the way throughout.

hiking
8 days ago

This was my first hike at RMNP, and it didn’t disappoint! My husband and I started at the bear lake trailhead, took a portion of the flattop mtn trail then when flattop mtn trail branched off to the left, we continued straight on the fern lake trail. We took the trail for a few miles and turned around right before two rivers lake. The incline was a good, challenging pace, not scrambling but not flat. We are beginner to intermediate hikers so this was perfect for us. The higher you get the rockier it gets on the trail. Some nice streams along the way and while it started off sunny and warm, it cooled at bit on the way up while in the pine forest. There was a portion of the trail that is next to a mountain that is nothing but rocks, so we slowed down a bit on this. This portion was also very sunny, but did not last long. Did not see any wildlife. I would do this again and next time probably go farther! Beautiful views along the way and not too crowded. I noticed the farther we went on the trail, the less foot traffic we came across. We arrived at the trailhead around 8:20am and it was full. Was able to snag a spot though. Might consider arriving a little earlier next time. First time at RMNP and I’m hooked. I never want to leave!

Load More