Sky Pond Trail

HARD 260 reviews

Sky Pond Trail is a 8.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September.

DISTANCE
8.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1833 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

Take Hwy 36 out of Estes Park to RMNP entrance, then go to Bear Lake Road and take it to Glacier Gorge Trailhead.

2 hours ago

Great hike, still a lot of snow but worth it! From glacier gorge trail head took about 6 hours.

hiking
6 hours ago

Started the hike at 7:00 AM. If you're starting around that time and the Glacier Gorge TH is filled go up to Bear Lake park there. There was plenty of parking and you can access the same trails from there as you can with GG. Hike to the Loch is beautiful and not hard elevation wise. About 100 yards of snow to cross to get to Loch at very end, but it has been well packed and trail is easy to follow. Keeping on to Sky Pond I'd definitely recommend getting some inexpensive yaktraks. There are numerous snow fields, and the last part of the hike you are hiking along the side of a mountain completely covered in snow, so poles and spikes were super helpful and a big confidence booster! Just trust yourself during this part it's not bad!! Scramble up the waterfall is super fun! Lake of Glass and Sky pond are spectacular! I've done a lot of Hikes and this is definitely my favorite of all time!!!

9 hours ago

Best hike I've done.

20 hours ago

Amazing!

23 hours ago

Gorgeous, gorgeous hike. Parking lot at trailhead full by 6:45am, no joke. Bring poles and microspikes if you plan to hike entire trail, snow pack still present last mile of trail as of June 24.

1 day ago

hiking
1 day ago

One of the top five most beautiful hikes I've ever done. We started at about 10 o'clock and were relatively skeptical at the beginning of our hike as it was incredibly foggy/overcast and there were concerns about getting rained out in the afternoon. But the skies cleared right up and we had a magnificent hike up the mountain! Unfortunately we did make it all the way to Sky Pond, as timing was tight and we had to head back. But Alberta Falls, Loch Lake and Lake of Glass were a great consolation prize! Absolutely stunning views from the top of Lake of Glass with a great overlook of Loch Lake. Definitely could have used some crampons and hiking sticks on the way up to the waterfall. But besides that, it was a walk in the park, so to speak. Finished the entire trek in around 5 hours round trip. I would definitely do it again and will hopefully make it all the way to Sky Pond next go-around! Highly suggested.

fishing
2 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

Hiked 6/20/17

Intermittent snowfields begin just before the Loch but are passable in just hiking boots until nearing Timberline Falls—a little before the falls there is an extensive stretch covered by snow where spikes were greatly useful. We did not use poles and were fine. The scramble up the right side of the falls contains no snow or ice and there is minimal snow from the top of the falls to Sky Pond except for in one place where the trail is a bit tricky to find (due to snow)—just follow an intuitive route to the next basin to reach Sky Pond and if you end up at a small boulder field, bear left to catch the trail again. All of the lakes were completely thawed and Lake of Glass was quite windy compared to the others. We began around 7:15 AM which was helpful since the snowfields remained firm for the hike up—but since we sat at Sky Pond for an hour and a half, the snow was much slushier on the way down. The rest of the trail is wet and muddy in many places, but boots with waterproof soles are sufficient.

This is one of my favorite hikes in RMNP—wonderful scenery throughout the hike and the lakes are beautifully clear and blue against a backdrop of rugged, snowy cliffs and peaks. At Lake of Glass and Sky Pond we saw where skiers had previously dropped in on the cliffs and we also watched some climbers. The trail itself is quite fun too. Highly, highly recommend.

5 days ago

5 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

By far the most fun hike I have done in RMNP to date. The trail is beautiful at every turn and offers sweeping views of the water, the Rockies and more. We started at 8 AM and got back to Bear Lake lot (a bit further than parking at Glacier) around 2 PM, leaving time to stop and take in Loch, Glass and more. The trail starts off passing Alberta Falls and on the first part of the incline past theFalls you're in the sun and hiking up, so it can get pretty warm! The waterfall you hike by the whole time is incredible as well. The trail continues on switchbacks rather easily to Loch. Loch is absolutely gorgeous and is completely melted by now. Great stopping point for those without spikes or wanting a more moderate hike. Verge off to the right of the Lake when you get to the entrance into the snow in order to stay on the track to Sky (you will see a carved out slope in the hill...that's the trail!). You wrap around the right half of the lake completely before entering the woods back up to Sky. We put and kept our spikes on at this point, still lots of snow but very firmly packed and mostly slushy on top. You still can't see the trail so just follow the dirt from other people's paths. After this you will come up to the last (and hardest) push up to Sky. The side of the mountain is still covered in snow and while we did see people make it without spikes, I wouldn't recommend it. Again, follow the path of the people before you up the steep incline, there were a good amount of people there to direct you. This is when you get to the waterfall, which is really just a scramble. Might not be the best for people with a fear of heights, but if you like the challenge, it's an absolute blast!! Once you reach the top, you'll see Glass Pond and then just about 1/4 mile further is Sky (you can see its runoff into Glass). Again, no trail up to Sky as it's still covered in snow but very clear foot steps make it easy. The boulders don't have snow on them anymore so they are fun to hike around. Either pond has absolutely phenomenal views (and some adorable marmots) to take in and enjoy. Reviews said to dress warmly, but I did fine with just leggings, tank top and a windbreaker for the top (it was also sunny/ no clouds the day we hiked). Be careful as you go back down the waterfall after reaching the pond, as it is steep, slippery, and sometimes the rocks aren't as stable as you think. Not too many people on our way back but was definitely picking up as we got closer to Alberta Falls and then anything closer to Bear Lake. Overall, absolutely phenomenal hike and will absolutely be doing it again!

hiking
6 days ago

Outstanding trail, combine it with light snow past first lake and it's as beautiful as it gets, good shoes/pols recommended. Parking is always a problem, had to walk a bit extra because of where I parked my car. Slippery fun adventure that ended up consuming my entire day, we took it slow and enjoyed it a lot. Pretty much a must.

7 days ago

This hike starts out pretty easy and gentle up past the loch and through about a mile afterwards. The worst part is the waterfall right before Lake of Glass. You have to make your way up a pretty steep snow bank and then climb up the side of the waterfall. Wasn't overly difficult but definitely nerve wracking. I got shakey knees from looking at the climb, but once moving it wasn't as bad as it looks. You can also sit down and slide down this section on the way back. My fiancé and I both did and it was an absolute blast! Trail got pretty slushy and the hike up the the loch was crowded on the way back. I was so glad we left early so neither of these were too bad. If you have microspikes or poles, I would strongly recommend them. We hiked in just boots, and it's doable but would have felt more comfortable and safe with a little better equipment.

hiking
7 days ago

7 days ago

Awesome trail! The rangers will recommend not to do this one yet because of the snow but it is totally doable. We used yak-tracks and did not have hiking poles (though they would have been helpful). Started at Bear Lake trailhead and left through Glacier Gorge. It took us 5 hrs including a 30 min lunch at sky pond.6/17/17

hiking
9 days ago

Hiked on Sunday 6/11/17. Started around 8:30AM. The hike was beautiful! Started out on a busy trail that thinned out as we went on. There was snow pretty much from the first lake on. We brought microspikes and poles which were helpful for traction. The snow was still firm enough that you could walk on top without sinking in but the top inch or so warms up in the sun making it slippery. The trail wanders through the woods with many different paths as people lose the trail. Eventually the tree line thins out and you come to a steep climb on a snow covered and exposed face. Climb up the right side of the waterfall/break at the top, we climbed up to the left of it and it was very steep and not heavily traveled. The second lake was completely ice free and this is where we had lunch and made friends with a marmot. We hiked to the third lake and there was still ice in the lake but it has broken free from the edges of the lake mostly and is melting. Be careful on the decent, we took some unexpected (and expected) slides in the snow. I am glad we started early because it was beautifully sunny and calm the entire hike up and at the final two lakes. In the afternoon it clouded over and looked like it was going to storm. We spent 7 hours outside of the car and probably 5:50 actually hiking. Probably my new favorite hike in Colorado so far, would highly recommend!