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Sept 20th: Beautiful but definitely a crowded spot in RMNP. Lots of people and groups around by the afternoon. Great views as always; the leaves were a mixed bag. Some aspens were still green and some didn't have any leaves left. Seems like it's a odd year. Seeing all the elk by the road on the drive in was a highlight too.

I almost made it to Sky pond but was unprepared for the wind and couldn't quite tell where the trail went along Glass Lake. (it was super windy, maybe 45 degrees; I just had a sweatshirt and shorts on) Next time I will make it all the way to Sky but Loch is a great spot.

One of my favorite hikes in RMNP! This review is from July 2016.

The trail will be very easy and quite packed until Alberta Falls. During the early to mid summer the falls will be flowing strong. Less intense in the fall. The hike will become less packed as you head up to the Loch. We hiked it with our kids (18 and 12) and both loved this hike! The views at the Loch are gorgeous. Such an amazing place to have lunch and relax among the glorious views.

If you plan on hiking to the Loch I recommend wearing trail shoes or hiking boots and bringing ~2L of water per person!

Lovely and manageable hike.

5 days ago

Saw a bull moose on this trail and wonderful views go in the fall !

A bit crowded on a September weekend, but most trails in the park are at this time. We had to do about .8 miles of road-walking from the shuttle stop, where we were lucky to get a parking space (there were tons of people circling the lots and walking the road). Much of the trail goes through the burn area, which detracts from the scenery, and it's also the most horse-poop-covered trail I've seen in the park. Gross. The lake is lovely and we saw a couple of moose (and the crowds thin after each viewpoint - the pond and the falls - so there weren't tons of people who made it all the way to the lake. We didn't have time to do Odessa, which is reportedly great, but just Fern Lake as a destination was only so-so compared to other hikes in RMNP.

Beautiful views and on the way to Sky Pond. A lesiurly hike with some elevation.

Easy hike from Bear Lake. Amazing views along the way.

5 days ago

Beautiful hike. Well worth it!

6 days ago

Beautiful hike! The aspens are starting to change which made for good sight seeing and of course it’s rutting season, so lots of wildlife in the park. Crowded on the weekend but that’s always to be expected.

We hiked this trail in mid-April. Absolutely beautiful hike! The way up was more difficult than we anticipated - we stopped frequently towards the summit, but we are from Ohio we were not acclimated to the altitude. Getting near and above tree line was very snowy, very cold and very very windy!! We stayed on the summit for about 20-30 min before we retreated due to the harsh conditions. But it was a beautiful, sunny day, just a bit early in the season. It was our first summit hike; and we just completed our second in Lake Tahoe.

Got to the trailhead and started around 7:30. I was able to park in the parking lot and walked up the road to the trailhead. There were no other cars in the parking lot which was surprising for a Saturday. Took about 2 hours to make it to the peak and 1:30 to head back down. There was only one other person I saw on the way up. When I started the descent I ran into more people, but it wasn’t overly crowded. I would def recommend this hike for being a great workout and scenic hike with little foot traffic for RMNP!

This review is for The WHOLE Loch Trail that starts at he drop off point for “Glacier Gorge”. First you reach Alberta Falls, then Loch Vale(The Lake in many of these photos which is EASY/light moderate), then Timberlane Falls(My second picture) Then Glass lake (Moderate/light hard) (My first pic) and further up is Sky Pond. Stunning beautiful hike. Two days ago, we made it to Glass lake which has an elevation of near 11K feet. This is definitely a moderate to difficult hike past the vale especially to Glass Lake because it’s basically rock climbing UP the waterfall. Lol although it’s just a small part of the hike it’s tough if you’re not experienced... and honestly, you need hiking boots with grip not gym shoes like I saw a lot of people wearing. The view of Glass Lake is GORGEOUS. And the view down the valley to the entrance of the park is/was spectacular especially since the leaves are changing. One of the best hikes of my life and I’ve done Angel’s Landing in Zion. Lol

Departed at 7:10, made it to the top by 9:15 with a nice little break during the hike. It was a Thursday but only saw four people on the ascent and another six on the descent. Awesome views, and considering the other high volume foot traffic in the park and the fact that you don’t even need a pass to hike this trail, I’d highly recommend it. Trees are poppin’ off, get there quick. Also, currently no horses due to trail maintenance stemming back to the floods of ‘13; lo siento to all you equestrians. Also, don’t park in the lot. Head to the top where you can park on the right side (uphill) and save yourself some futile effort.

10 days ago

We did this hike today from Bear Lake. Lots of pedestrian traffic on the way up. The lake is beautiful. Had to climb over lots of rocks for an older couple, but worth it. Took the trail over to the MillsLake:/Loch trail and down to Alberta Falls. A great loop hike!

11 days ago

We did this hike on the way back from Emerald Lake, and it was a great add on. To do it on it's own would not be as good as Emerald Lake, which is along the shore of Dream Lake all the way and so is scenic for pretty much the entire hike. That said, I really liked Lake Haiyaha. It's different and I think even a little bit prettier than Emerald Lake. And if you do it on the way back from Emerald Lake it gives you a nice little 5 mile hike that is really fun and beautiful.

11 days ago

Just a fabulous hike. A steady climb to the lake, but you pass a number of great waterfalls and open meadows on the way up. I saw 3 moose (bull and cow with older calf), deer, a family of friendly grouse, turkey, and lots of pickpocketing squirrels and chipmunks. The lake was not crowded and the trail was really not busy at all for the park. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see a sub alpine lake without a crowd. Just bring lots of snacks and water and please don't feed the wildlife!

11 days ago


Beautiful, moderately steep assent to a most wonderful Alpine lake. Definitely worth the hike for a 55 yo in decent shape

12 days ago

We saw lots of people along the trail, but as you get closer to the lake, it filters down. The lake is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch!

Tough trail but the views are worth it.

Hiked on 9/8. Started around 7:30AM and there were about 10 other cars in the parking lot. I didn’t see anyone on the way up and got to the top about 2.5 hours later. I climbed the east peak (also heard this was the “official” peak.) The trail is nice and gentle with steady elevation gain the entire hike but it wasn’t hard. Th views are incredible and worth going to the peaks. Will definitely do again but probably with an earlier start.

13 days ago

Easy trail. I'm guessing it's moderate because of the rocky trail (no scrambling) and no water source. The views are great and you're hiking near a river most of the time. Super chilly at the lake if no sun, bring a jacket! Hiked in early September.

13 days ago

Great hike and beautiful lake. We were even able to spot some trout in the water which was fun!

18 days ago

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! Thanks to Heather's review (two down, past the salty dog guy's unfair rating), I decided to round-trip to Bear Lake, making my personal journey 16+ miles. However, as Heather mentioned, there is a shuttle at Bear Lake if you want to ride back :)

The trip to Fern Lake was isolated and wonderful. I was averaging seeing 2 people per mile until the lake. I would recommend going a little further to Odessa if you can, the chasm is so gorgeous and unexpected when you come to it that it took my breath away!

I saw 50+ elk as well as deer, ducks, squirrels, chipmunks, pikas, AND the "resident" bear! He crossed right over the trail about half a mile from the Fern Lake TH, at 7 pm. Not overly afraid of humans but also not eager to make acquaintance! It was breathtaking to see such a beautiful creature in his natural habitat. Stay safe and smart out there hikers!

4.5. Great trail. Moderate traffic. Lots of switchbacks and some rocks to climb if you want to reach the tops of the peaks. Definitely bring some extra layers- it was cold and windy at the top.

I did this hike 8 years ago and don't remember it being so hard, but I guess that's what sucks about getting older. We chose this hike on Labor Day weekend because we had a late start after driving across Trail Ridge Road, and there was literally no parking on the Estes side for any other hike. I prefer hikes with water features, and there is absolutely no water along this trail. There are some areas with nice views, but most of the hike is through forest, thus it's not my favorite hike. Bring lots of water - don't be the people we saw a mile into the hike carrying nothing but a small, mostly empty water bottle, worried about what they were going to do for the rest of the hike.

Beautiful hike! Way too packed over Labor Day weekend but super friendly and courteous hikers. Go early especially if you go on a weekend or holiday. We arrived at 8:00 and had to start from Bear Lake trailhead which actually was a better hike IMO.

23 days ago

Did this just a year ago and it was the perfect hike to get used to the elevation. Great views at the top.

No dogs!. :(

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