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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.

First hike on a Cheyenne Mountain trail, heavy snow and white out. Ice under the snow in areas . I needed teeth on my boots, the gear I had was to wimpy. Steep in areas, challenging for a short legged person to do. Nice workout. Even with the weather we ran into four other groups. We opted for this trail because the road was too slick for us to go any further up the mountain. They closed the road as we were leaving.

hiking
5 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.

Super doke lake, one of the most beautiful someone I meet on the trail said. Once I arrived I was in agreement with him on several accounts.

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.

super great trail! Would definitely recommend snow shoes or at least spikes on your boots though. I just had my yaks on and I sunk a couple times but overall gorgeous hike especially with snow and I will be going back.

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.

went in the snow early November and it was so so so cool to see the Loch like it was. super worth the hike but be careful! trail was pretty icy at some parts

This place is over rated. We went to this lake and found dead fish scattered all around the lake. The smell wasn’t nice and it was dirty.

Steady climb on this, not too taxing for a local. Had a friend in from MN who did all right. Trail is a boot pack, snow the whole way up, 0"-10" and slushy on the way down. Would have been prudent to have snowshoes past the NP/SF boundary marker, but we summited in approach shoes and got a little wet. Good views on top with high winds and clouds sailing past. 4.5 hours round trip and only saw 7 other people out today.

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.

Hiked to Loch Lake yesterday. We were on the trail at 7:30am. We like to get up early to beat the crowds and always get a great parking space. The trail was great, only icy in spots. So I definitely recommend bringing your traction devices. You will need them. It was cold and very windy at the lake. It is about 2/3 iced over but still very thin. Dress in layers.

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!

Phenomenal. Parking is the only drawback.

Awesome trail, some sketchy parts but that makes it fun. My husky and German Shepherd loved it

did this in Sept 2016. great hike

hiking
20 days ago

Just what I was looking for! My second day in Colorado and this was a great challenge. Took 2 1/2 hours up, wish I had spikes on my running shoes at the top, but I made due. Windy at the top!! I also want to mention, I am not a hiker.

Wonderful hike! Worth the scramble up the the waterfall.

Mt. Yale was my first 14'er. I am from the midwest, so not use to seeing or hiking this type of terrain (mainly the elevation). It is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure. But I was in OK shape from running and decided to give it a go.

The river is the first thing you notice at the start of the trailhead. It's refreshing to hear the water rushing down as part of the snow melt. The trail is wide and easy to follow for the first several miles. There was a little ice and snow to deal with below the treeline. I was able to move at 2-4 mph for the first several miles before I decided that I should slow down and conserve energy. Later on, I would realize that was a wise decision.

Getting above the treeline was exciting and you really begin to see the beauty of this trail and climb. The initial part above the treeline is steeper but it "flattens out" for a ways (meaning the elevation gain is not too difficult). The most difficult part that day above the treeline was trying to navigate the trail with large swaths of snow. I lost the trail a few times due to the snow (it wasn't deep and I was up early enough that it was still in the shade, so no post holing). Once you get to the last 1/2 mile or so going up, it moves into a switchback that I couldn't find due to the snow. So, I could see where the false summit was, so I just decided that I was going to start heading up vertical...I did that for ~900' of vertical gain! The most challenging part here was the loose terrain and the fear in the back of my head that I wouldn't make it home to my wife and 3 kids :-) However, I took it slow to make sure I stayed safe.

Once I got to the false summit, it was another 200' up (vertical) having to hop and jump around large boulders. It was also VERY windy. The wind made this part very challenging. But the view up at the summit, seeing so many snow capped peaks, was breath taking. I ate my lunch up there, took it in for about 30 mins, and then headed back down.

One thing I will say, you feel so small when you are on top of a mountain. Great perspective on life from up there. I feel so important most days, but it was a very different feeling up there. Humbling and good for the soul.

The trek down was most difficult for me...didn't realized how much that would pound on my thighs. I had hoped to run down, but decided against it to stay safe. My legs were spent by the time I got down. I took a 3 hour nap that felt like 5 mins!

I'd highly recommend this route...the beauty of the trail is worth all the effort. The view from the top is breath taking. Have a blast!

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.

Really fun hike. Hiked on 25th Oct and started around 9am. We didn't have crampons or microspikes and did find the snow and ice a little slippy in patches but still totally doable in hiking shoes. We found hiking poles useful. The view at the top is breathtaking. West peak is easier to get up than east, but my husband did both without too much trouble.

Decent trail but you have to hike 3/4 of a mile up the road to get to the trailhead and the lake at the end is full of people who just got in their car and drove there.

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.

Called RMNP ahead of time, and they suggested yak traks and poles. We had yak traks, and we were definitely happy we had them. Many spots (esp the ones w/ inclines) had packed snow/ice coverage, but some spots exposed to sun were just fine. Didn't need poles. Fantastic hike! Lake is frozen over. On a clear day, the variety of views on this hike always make this a great one!

Parking: we showed up at 8am and there were maybe 20 spots left. By the time we finished the hike at lunch time, people were waiting for spots. The shuttle is NOT running this time of year, so get there early to ensure a spot!!

Hiked this trail with my fiancé on 10/21 around 10 AM. Lots of parking spaces available and hardly anyone on the trail- We were able to get to the top in 3 hours with plenty of breaks thanks to our trekking poles and crampons. More than half the trail is covered in snow and ice. The summit was absolutely beautiful. There is a spot for you to sit and take in the view. You get a great view of Longs Peak and Estes Park. We don’t recommend going to the East twin peak as there is no trail to the top and falling rocks make it super dangerous. It took us 1.5 hours to get down. Best hike in Estes Park!

Everything you need and want in a hike!

Hiked this in the afternoon on the 18th. First time to the park and the trail. Wonderful day. Due to some traffic, I made it to peak with trail running shoes...just a couple slick spots.

Fun hike my only warning is most of the trail is icy so crampons, microspikes,etc would really be beneficial. If you don’t have them it might add to the hike time.. wanted to continue on to Andrews glacier but without proper equipment it left me wondering for another day.

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