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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.

off road driving
3 days ago

PLEASE HELP! this trail looks AMAZING but I was wondering if it is an off roaring trail or do you have to hike it?? If it is an off roaring trail can you get to the top of that ridge in a off road vehicle?
Thanks!

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.

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.

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!

Wonderful hike! Worth the scramble up the the waterfall.

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.

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.

This is still one of my favorite hikes. Great views, waterfalls, forest, lake meadows and sweeping views at the pass. At this time there is lots of snow and ice and it is likely the trail will not be passable in the next couple of weeks with any additional snow. Forth of July road was rough but still passable with 4WD drive and decent clearance. No snow on the road at this time. It was very challenging to get to Lake Dorothy. Most people had stopped at the pass and in addition to being sandblasted with snow and ice from hurricane force winds, there was no path to the lake. We tried and got caught in thigh high snow from the drifts. Views at the top were spectacular if you could handle the wind. Great hike. Definitely one to add to the list.

Beautiful hike, lots of scenery and mountains all around you covered in snow. Parking lot (due to road closure) is 3.5 miles away from the lake Isabelle trailhead, entire hike ends up being 12.5 miles. Lake Isabelle is completely frozen over and looks immaculate. Expect a 5 and half hour hike. I would arrive early to get the best views and temperatures.

**there is a separate account for “winter” trail, but this is the first account most people go to** Beautiful hike the entire way. As someone else mentioned the road to Brainard Lake is closed. From parking and back we clocked a round trip of 12 miles to get to Lake Isabelle and back to parking lot. The trail had nice packed snow 90% of the way, the last part before the lake is a little slushy and muddy being exposed to sun which can cause it to be a little slick, so careful if you have some limitations. The lake was completely frozen on 10/20.

Hiked this today. Most of the trail is covered in snow and ice— definitely need microspikes, especially for the last half mile. Past Lake of Glass the trail is hard to find. Snow is deep and the path beat in through the snow is not the actual trail and can be hard to follow. Weather was absolutely perfect!

My wife and I made it all the way up with only our hiking boots. We both agree that going up with crampons would have been better. We had one slip/fall on an icy decline. Plus going up the water fall just below Lake of Glass was a little dicey, but a decent amount of people made it up and back down. We enjoyed trotting our snow pants up and put them on for the decent so we could “sled” down some of the steeper areas. Others were jealous. Overall we loved our trip. Walked over a frozen lake and Sky pond was just beautiful to celebrate our 5th anniversary.

Hiked this trail on Wednesday. It was very icy with lots of snow. Road getting to the trailhead was rough too! Better have a high clearance vehicle for this one. Came across a moose and her calf 1/4 mile from the trailhead. They were very close so got some good pics of them. Didn’t seem to mind us at all but they were blocking the trail and I know moose can be aggressive so we made a wide left around them just in case! Very scenic hike but I wouldn’t recommend it this time of year. Snow packed and icy.

Really beautiful and super fun, but definitely needed our crampons. Poles would have been helpful on occasion as well. I wouldn’t advise doing this one so late in the season unless you have the right gear for snow and ice.

trail running
24 days ago

Full on winter conditions up there now. Micro-spikes or other traction control would be advisable. The trail is well packed snow/ice. I didn't go further than Sky Pond due to the deep snow.

Beautiful trail!! Couldn’t make it up the waterfall (covered in ice) without crampons but the views were still gorgeous.

As Galen noted below, heavy snow drifts up above Lake of Glass. Difficult to distinguish any trail in the snow. Found myself somewhat unprepared for this level of snow. I felt this trail was overrated, but I bet the experience is better in the summer.

Just a heads up the road to Brainard Lake is closed for the season as of 10/15 so you have to park at the winter lot and hike the 2.5ish miles to the trailhead.

Beautiful. Even with deep snow, the entirety of the hike was wonderful. Moose, Steller’s Jay and lost of views. Scrambled up the frozen waterfall to Lake of Glass, but the trail disappeared into chest-deep snow. Loch Vale was lovely too. Truly, we loved it all.

This was a beautiful hike with varying difficulty in the trail throughout and lots of beautiful views along the way. we didn't make it to glacier lake but lake Isabelle was great!

We do a lot of hiking in Colorado, and for my entire family this is our favorite. It is extremely easy, and just shockingly beautiful the entire way. I can't think of a better place for a hike. We went on a Wednesday, arrived at the park about 7:05 in the morning, and there were only two parking places left. Arriving early and bug spray are both a must!

Great hike, but beware, October brings unpredictable weather. We just hiked this in rain, sleet, and snow. Beautiful views, and amazing colors!

I hiked this trail CCW from 11-13 Sept 2018.

Flew into DEN and rented a car - beautiful drive, but budget 4 hours as an absolute minimum. Overnight parking is very limited at the TH, so unless you get there very early in the morning, you'll likely have to take a shuttle from town and pay for parking.

I left the TH at 1.28p on the 11th, and camped near mile 6.2 on this map. Plenty of h20 heading toward buckskin, but it got a little thin on the way down until you reach the meadows. Excellent view on buckskin, but it was quite windy, so I didnt hang out long.

After trail rider pass there is a little water at a pond, nothing else until ~ mile 11.7.

Beautiful waterfall near mile 13.5.

Camped near mile 15. Sites near water are nearly impossible to find. I just took what I could get & camped on a slight angle, then hiked several hundred yards to water.

Frigid Air pass was so beautiful in the early morning light. Hiked 3.5 hours without seeing another person.

Everywhere I read said no water between FA and Maroon passes - thats not true. I passed several great streams to get water. Beautiful basin.

Maroon pass took me about 6 minutes to climb. Literally. All of these passes with exception of Buckskin LOOK a lot taller than they actually are.

Lots of great campsites between MP and the TH. Water between MP and ~mile 21 is sparse.

One of my favorite trails. Have fun! :D

One of the best trails I've ever been on in my life. All sorts of different scenic views and the grand finale of Sky Pond (after climbing a waterfall) to reward you for your hard work on the hike.

What an amazing hike! This is the second time I have done this hike, the first being in January where everything was covered in snow. We arrived at the Glacier Gorge trail head around 730am and got one of the last parking spots despite the weather being not ideal. Guess a little snow doesnt stop anyone here. There were a lot of low hanging clouds and fog but it started to snow lightly as we got to the Loch. The little snow fall, no wind, and cloudy skies made for amazing scenery! The waterfall was flowing and as beautiful as it is in the summer. The best part of the hike is the waterfall scramble you have to do to get up to the lake of Glass is not frozen which made it so much easier. The Lake of Glass was incredible but dont stop there! Sky Pond was and is one of the most gorgeous sites in the park and probably the rockies. The Shark Teeth are even better from the top of the lake. There was a little wind but nothing that should stop anyone from hanging out and taking it in.
We went through the trail seeing very few people starting off the day but on our way down, the crowds really picked up. Always start as early as you can to really enjoy the park.

This hike was incredible! Did it on 10/6. Road going up is a little wild, but not too terrible. Lots of snow at the top, still enough that you can walk on top. But I didn’t have hiking boots and my feet got pretty wet. Stunning stunning views!! You park at the Fourth of July trailhead.

This hike remains one of my favorites in RMNP. There is so much to adore in 8 miles: you traverse aspen groves, walk the shore of The Loch, Pass Timberline Falls, scramble up steep and gorgeous rocky sections of the trail and then are rewarded with Lake of Glass and Sky Pond almost back to back. Sky Pond has a stunning turquoise color in the sunshine. Keep an eye out for elk near the Trailhead - they frequently hang out there. Plan to park in the Glacier Gorge Park and Ride and take the free shuttle to the trailhead. The Trailhead parking lot is small and fills up almost instantly. The hike has strenuous sections that will give you a good workout but isn’t uphill the entire way.

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