Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail

HARD 589 reviews

Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge 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 September until October.

DISTANCE
8.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1683 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

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.

hiking
11 days ago

This was an amazing hike/snowshoe, the trail is fully covered in snow and snow shoes definitely advised. We didn’t make it to the sky pond sines the last climb near the frozen waterfall is ALL ice, we felt it was to dangerous to climb.

17 days ago

Wow! My favorite in Rocky!

snowshoeing
18 days ago

For 2/2 we turned around at the lake of glass with winds literally blowing us over. Broke trail most of the way past Loch vale second to wind blown snow- will definitely be back!

hiking
26 days ago

Great weather. 5 hours round trip from TH. Snowshoes definitely needed. Able to scramble up falls on rocks but microspikes were helpful. Trail was easily visible.

hiking
28 days ago

I found prior reviews to be largely accurate--this hike would be rated "moderate" save for the final scramble up to Sky Pond, at least in winter. I found a heavily-compacted trail from the parking lot to Lake of Glass, with occasional ice and bare spots, easily handled in microspikes. The short distance from Lake of Glass to Sky Pond appears to be much less travelled, so less compacted. Snowshoes were necessary and very useful. The mapped trail is difficult to pick up in snow cover along the west side of Lake of Glass, so it appears many previous hikers just walked to the far end of the (fascinating) frozen lake where it narrows to a point. From there, I advise staying along the right side of the gorge going uphill, as the pass to the top of Sky Pond occurs on that side. I mistakenly followed a pair of snowshoe tracks up the left bank of the ravine for a half mile, only to reach Sky Pond on the wrong side of monumental ice and boulders, and no way to continue. Took an extra hour re-routing off-trail (must've been a mountain goat wearing those 'shoes).

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Challenging hike in the snow. Considering having under weighted snowshoes - the hike was doable with only boots to about halfway. I'd recommend snowshoes from there just to make the hike more enjoyable. The steep climb up to Glass Lake is a bit tricky as it's icy, just confirm your footing and proceed cautiously.
Recommendations: A light pack, snow shoes, start early.

2 months ago

I did this in the snow. My favorite part was sliding down from Lake of Glass on my derrière

2 months ago

beautiful hike. views are amazing. trail is packed snow and a bit icy, yack tracks did the trick for me. the last part up is some what sketchy. a little icy and a sort or rock scramble but really not that bad. deffinetly recommend doing this hike now. great experience in the winter! enjoy

hiking
2 months ago

It was a beautiful day to hike. Did this hike w/o crampons but can come in handy once you pass Loch. Here is snow but manageable. It’s definitely worth trying now! It looks great w/ snow w/ breathtaking views!

hiking
2 months ago

I thought I would be able to access sky pond based on the reviews... I made it halfway up the frozen waterfall using microspikes and trekking poles. It got way too sketchy for me. It was completely ice and I could not get good grips; If you fall, you could die. So I turned back at this point. I think crampons and an ice pick or something would be more ideal. Although, I'm sure some people made it past this point with only microspikes and trekking poles, but I did not feel like risking my life.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorites in RMNP. Bring your crampons or microspikes in the winter!

hiking
2 months ago

Great conditions this thanksgiving weekend, awesome trail. I highly recommend. Took about 3 hours 45 Min to get to Sky pond.
Some reviews say you need “crampons” to complete this, I disagree strongly. All you need is micro spikes and poles, snowshoes might be needed later in the season for powder. There is a frozen waterfall which might be a good ice climbing spot (only place I can think of that you would actually need crampons + axes),but you don’t have to climb it to get to sky pond. There is a trail covered in ice nearby (has a sign saying “sky pond”) that goes to the top that circumvents the main falls. Hopefully this helps!

2 months ago

Amazing in the winter, less crowded than Emerald lake right nearby making it less icy and a very peaceful hike.

hiking
2 months ago

A truly incredible hike in the snow. The first 2 miles are pretty easy as the ground is pretty level. The final 2.5ish is mostly uphill and the further you get the less compacted the snow is. The final climb up to Sky Pond will require crampons as the waterfall is frozen solid. I would definitely recommend snow shoes and gators as well but it can be done without. Highly recommend this one during the winter season.

hiking
3 months ago

Stunning views, especially while standing in the middle of the frozen lakes/ponds. Crampons are necessary. A friend and I both completed the hike without them but our bodies were overworked from slipping on ice or falling through 2-3 feet of snow. Gaiters are also a very good idea unless you like changing your socks when it’s 10 degrees. Definitely worth the struggle and if you can fit ice skates in your pack, you could have some fun on the lakes!

hiking
3 months ago

Get Crampons!!! Don’t do the hike without them. Total time was 7 hours, the majority of the time was spent going up because we were slipping everywhere without the crampons. The trail is very icy with some spots of softer powder. I’d also recommend getting gaiters because you can step in thigh deep snow. All the lakes are absolutely beautiful. We walked across each one. Start early and enjoy!

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Hardest part is a short scramble up a snow covered frozen waterfall. Really worth the hike as there are some spectacular views.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved every moment of this hike, even getting caught in the snow and the rain! The first part was just a little crowded, but not bad, and it thinned out the further we went. We stopped for a munch and some pictures at Lake of Glass, it was so amazing. Toward to top, near Sky Pond, there was a tiny scale up some rocks that was a little scary because it was wet, but it's really not as bad as it looks! And the pond is so well worth it- it started to snow at the very top which was so beautiful. Take a lot of water- the end is a challenge but gorgeous and fun. There's a lot of different views- beautiful trees, lakes, valleys... LOVED IT.

hiking
3 months ago

Incredible hike with so many things to see. Lake of Glass and Sky Pond are stunning. You absolutely need spikes or crampons to get to the last two lakes, the route is so slippery that even my spikes couldn’t hold in some places. Tried to stick to the rocky parts but we couldn’t avoid ice. The last part of the climb up the falls is nearly vertical and solid ice. Not for the faint hearted... but worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

Had a blast, getting to the loch is easy. Great hike. You can get about a mile from sky pond before I recommend using crampons or spikes. Really icy.

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