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Not sure why the high rating on this trail. Nothing spectacular. Gem lake is really more like disappointing dirty swamp

hiking
1 day ago

This is a moderate intensity 3 to 5 hour trail depending on how rigorous vs. leisurely you want to be. I've hikded this trail in both directions. Ascending via Amphitheater is a steeper incline, and more gradual descent via Ranger and Gregory Canyon, compared to vice versa. I recommend this route if you're looking for a more challenging climb that's gentler on the knees coming down. There is plenty of shade and some open spaces. The view from the summit is beautiful.

This is a great hike if you are looking for a short and moderate to rigorous workout with great views. Ascending Mount Sanitas took me about 1 hour with several short water breaks. It is moderately steep and rocky. There is no shade 85% of the way up. Pretty views en route and at the summit. Descending through East Ridge was rough. I may have taken a wrong turn and ended up off the actual trail because it was loose rock almost the entire way down, pretty dangerous, and I ended up entering the valley trail further down.

Not a difficult trail but a beautiful end point!

Probably the most rewarding easy hike suitable for the entire family in the park. My 3 year old daughter was able to do the majority of the hike on her own short of a few steep stretches towards the end. With about 0.9 miles between each of the three lakes on the trail, it makes for regular breaks and helps keep everyone motivated for the next stop. Each lake offers something a bit different with all having a slightly different appeal. Great hike to share with new visitors of all abilities and a perfect entry level hike to RMNP.

Beautiful day, Makes a great couples hike.

we went on a Monday and arrived around 11 am, only saw two other people and some campers that we're across from the trailhead but definitely not high traffic. i agree it was a little confusing to arrive to but the directions helped, stay left at the fork and keep going uphill. also like other people said, it is really downhill the way out, so the way back be prepared it's a long way up! great trail, looking forward to doing it again !

Amazing trail hiked on 9/14/18. Arrive before 7 if you want to park at Glacier Gorge trailhead. Hike took us 6 hrs round trip but we took our time at the Loch, Timberline Falls, Lake of Glass, Sky Pond, and also detoured to Mills Lake on the return trip. Trail was long but otherwise not too difficult for a couple of moderately in shape amateur hikers. The waterfall scramble took all of a few minutes and so long as you watch your footing carefully on the wet rocks isn’t bad. Amazing scenery at every stop....tough to say which stop is the best which made for an extremely rewarding hike. Highly recommended.

Great trails and views on the way to Dream Lake and then Emerald Lake... get there early as I had to use the park and ride at 7:00 am but it was very quick and free.

Great day hike. Worth going up the small falls to eventually get to sky pond. Round trip somewhere between 4:30 to 5hrs.

A pretty constant ascent for most of the trail but the views are great and arch was so worth it! Though the elevation wasn't too high at the end, we had a little trouble with the altitude here since we're from the northeast (brought extra oxygen in case). Distance is not very long at all and was relieved that the descent was not super steep. Highly recommend this hike!

We tried the perimeter trail from the trailhead st the dam of Shadow Mountain Lake. The views of the lake and surrounding peaks are incredible! The devastation of the pine forest by pine beetles is regrettable and mars the beauty of this area. The lake was also being used by fishermen and boaters (loud outboard motors and the smell of their exhaust also detracted from an otherwise beautiful location.

The perimeter trail is mostly flat with a few downed trees and some end-of-summer growth beginning to encroach. We did not attempt the steeper climb up to the viewpoint.

Beautiful trail, well maintained and gorgeous views throughout the whole hike. I would say it is more of an easy hike than a moderate, although the altitude coupled with a lot of stair climbing towards the end did take my breath away a few times (as someone who is used to 800ft above sea level, this is a big change for me).

We arrived to the trail head around 7:30am on a Friday morning and the parking lot was only about 25% full. The hike up was not crowded at all but it was getting significantly busier on the way down. I would suggest starting at 7.

Not a gem in our opinion. More like a small pond and wonder who named it?

We only hiked about 4.5 miles of this trail since we got on the road a little later than expected. Still a beautiful hike, is mostly a steep incline for the first couple miles so I would recommend being prepared for that. There’s a really pretty waterfall around mile 2(ish) off to the side. Would definitely like to go back and go backpacking!

hiking
2 days ago

Always a beautiful hike! The views at the top are amazing, why we love living in Colorado. Moderate climb, and worth doing many times.

I'm guessing the hard rating is based on the minor scrambling required to get to the upper lakes. Overall a great hike with 4 gorgeous lakes. Saw some people braving the cold water and had wished I packed some extra clothes to jump in as well. Even though there's a decent amount of traffic on the trail, it didn't feel overly crowded and everyone I encountered was friendly and courteous.

hiking
2 days ago

Majestic arch!!!

Beautiful hike! Long one with heavily trafficked trail.

Had a wonderful hike but lots of people. The fall colors were amazing and I’m sure everyone had the same idea to view them. Parking is awful so get there early in the morning or later in the day around 2pm. Hike isn’t long so totally doable

Scenic hike with a lot of fall colors. We did see a Moose on the trail (that startled us). We kept our distance and warned hikers after we were able to continue.

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

Moderate hike with a little bouldering. We took our time and wrapped up the hike, plus Mirror lake and Mills lake in 5 hours. I'm a novice hiker and really enjoyed this hike.

Good hike...go early as it gets busy with hikers. make sure you wear your hiking boots. it's a bit rocky in places.

hiking
2 days ago

The bluest blue water that blew my mind! Most of the hike was not too bad until the last 45min. Completed the loop rather than out and back.

I really loved this hike until the waterfall scramble. I really had no idea what it would be like, and I'm afraid of heights, but more so coming down. I think it helped me that the trail was busy and I could watch some other hikers come down - otherwise I was ready to turn around! I'm glad that I went on - Lake of Glass and Sky Pond were beautiful (hold on to your hats, though, it was very windy!) Also, there was a marmot that was overly tame at Lake of Glass - when we were there he ran off with a plastic water bottle (not ours). Don't feed the wildlife!

Beautiful hike! We really enjoyed the variety of this hike including waterfalls, mountain vistas, gorgeous lakes, and groves of aspens. The wind above the scramble was strong today, but it was definitely worth hiking all the way to Sky Pond. The gradual elevation change helped us warm up to take on the steeper sections that start before the scramble. Also, we liked the decent amount of shade along the way.

We took the shuttle from the Bear Lake Park and Ride, which worked well for us. There was a bit of a wait to leave in the morning, but I think we only waited 5 minutes to take it back to our car.

Awesome hike ! I would highly recommend it . Like the other reviews said, the elevation gain isn’t bad until the very end towards the waterfall. I was a little skeptical at first about the climb but it wasn’t bad at all . Actually the climb down was easier for me than the climb up. The scenery the whole trail is absolutely beautiful.

Amazing hike! Start early to avoid crowds and wear layers (can get windy and colder towards the top) as well as well shoes w/ good traction (the rocks by the waterfall can be slippery). Make sure to continue past Glass Lake, which is just past the top of waterfall to Sky Pond. Fall colors are gorgeous right now. One of the best hikes in the park!

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