Timberline Falls and Sky Pond Trail

MODERATE 84 reviews
#24 of 180 trails in

Timberline Falls and Sky Pond Trail is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.

9.3 miles
2,162 feet



nature trips







wild flowers





no dogs

1 day ago

Beautiful hike, not easy but worth the effort. Adding Emerald lake to this hike is recommended, only 1.6 miles extra. Only very crowded at the end at the climb on the falls.

8 days ago

I made it halfway up Timberline Falls, but after seeing 2 gals above me slip and get hurt climbing the wet boulders I decided to stop and enjoy hiking another day. Kudos to those brave climbers. Still a great challenging hike with amazing views! I will enjoy the photos of those that made it to Sky Pond

27 days ago

Beautiful walk. We did the whole loop and it took almost 6 hours which includes a couple rest stops. We got to the waterfall, but decided not to climb up to Sky Pond. While we could have made it up there, I was just wearing sneakers so I was afraid coming back down would be too slippery. While a little disappointed that I didn’t complete the hike in full... it was still an amazing view from the top.

Long trail. But definitely worth it

1 month ago

Long trail, and tough at the end. I’m a pretty fit 27 year old and the altitude combined with the rock climbing at the end up by the sky pond had me exhausted! The views are incredible and well worth it though, I’d definitely recommend this trail for anyone looking for a long day hike in the mountains. We arrived to the park at noon, parked fairly close to the entrance and caught two buses up to bear lake, the first to the park and ride, and the second up to bear lake as there was no parking up top. The buses were frequent so no complaints there!. It was crowded by Alberta falls and bear lake but around the rest of the trail there were only a few people. Loved it!

Incredible! Added Andrews Glacier and Tarn for an epic half day hike!

1 month ago

Great suggestion to cover the biggest things to see. That's what we did, but also adding mills lake and emerald lake and andrew lake and black lake. The best (and easiest) addon is mills lake - worth the detour for sure!

1 month ago

Did this a month ago when there was still snow on the ground - it kicked my butt but the payout was fantastic

1 month ago

This is a classic RMNP hike and it shows with the hordes of hikers on the trail. Pretty easy hike till the rock stairs right before Timberland Falls. The rock scramble up to the top of the falls is only difficult by the numerous people trying come down and climb up, but once up the views are well worth it. If you don’t like a crowd, I’d recommend a very early weekday morning trip.

1 month ago

Still some spots with snow but regular hiking shoes are fine. Pretty easy hike until you get to the timberline falls, then you have to do some crawling / bouldering up rocks. Amazing views. Worth the distance.

7 months ago

One of my fav spots in the park. Went last Wednesday 01-17-18 got away without snowshoes until about 3/4 way to Timberline falls then popped them on. Some spots seemed dangerous and deep in steep with snowshoes, but were fun because of that (especially a whole mountain of lovely huge icicles.) Walked the frozen Loch and made it to frozen Timberline Falls but did not attempt to climb up ice to Lake of Glass as others that tried before me told me it was too dangerous so I did not attempt. Beautiful in summer but still need to see winter version.

7 months ago

one of the most amazing hikes I've ever been on! lots of elevation change so be prepared for that and go slow if need be. temperature changes throughout and completely gorgeous the entire way. afternoon thunderstorms are extremely common and we got caught in one on the way back down. kind of scary for a bit but it didn't last long and we were back to slower sight seeing shortly afterward. definitely a hike I'd do again!

10 months ago

Incredible, the whole hike was just one beautiful turn after another. As others have said, the last stint up to sky lake is a bit tough. prepare to rock scramble a little, and then head up a steep grade with a bit of a waterfall beside you. Have good boots, and a pole to help with that part. Tons of wildlife, the marmots were especially active.

11 months ago

Very beautiful hike. It does get difficult as you get towards the top but very much worth it!

11 months ago

Great hike, particularly at the end. Sky Pond is well worth the climb at the end.

11 months ago

Awesome hike! Countless wildlife and wildflowers. You hike through several types of environments with forest, meadow, cliffs, waterfalls, river, lakes and more. Loved this hike!

11 months ago

This trail is beautiful! Does have a good tough incline towards the lake, with a short rock climb at the falls to get to sky pond. Highly recommend though, pretty amazing views!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

One of the most amazing experiences ever. Be prepared to climb a waterfall.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

A lot of fun. Pretty casual until you get to the snow. Have to scale if you want to get to the two lakes at the end of the trail. Really fun with amazing views

Monday, June 19, 2017

We did not head up past the loch but the rest of this loop was great. Few key things from this today:
-we parked down at glacier (the parking lot before bear lake) and started at that trail head early around 7, hardly anyone on the trail.
-trail is clear up past Alberta falls but you quickly realize you should have brought spikes for the rest of the trail.
-past the loch is apparently really sketchy without poles and spikes (which is why we didn't go that far) so make sure you plan ahead.
-the trail from the loch to lake haiyaha switches from mud to 3ft of snow and it's challenging. Doable, but challenging. Again, hardly anyone on the trail so you have time to slide around and get up to the lake.
-the trail from haiyaha to dream lake was garbage the last mile. The trail is completely covered in 4+ ft of snow and was impossible to do at the last switch back. We sort of headed down south the side and finally found the next part of the trail to be met with more snow pack. Slip 'n slide method seemed to work for me at this point.
-the trail from dream lake up to emerald is snow mush and muddy, makes it a little interesting to do with how many people use that trail but very doable without poles or spikes. We stopped for lunch at emerald lake which is partially still frozen.

All around still an awesome trail loop and great views, just be ready to roll around in the snow a bit. We still did 9 miles without going past the loch and had a great time, I included pics of the snow situation above :)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

My group had a hard time finding the trail in the snow past the Loch. We had to turn back due to thunderstorm/lightning. The Loch was beautiful! We were close but did not quite reach the falls. I guess we will try again next time! We definitely made good use of microspikes/yaktrax and hiking poles on this trail in early June.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

I stopped here to admire the falls on the way to Sky Pond trail. Untouched beauty!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Amazing! got to the parking lot at 530am... it was half way full. AMAZING hike! watch out for extreme weather changes

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Fantastic half-day hike in Rocky Mt. National Park. Start early, saw hundreds (not exaggerated) of people heading up as I was heading down. I included Emerald Lake Trail and hit that one first, than Lake Haiyaha , The Loch, Lake of Glass, and the last was Sky Pond. Lots of wildlife and people on this one, it is a stunna.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

First 3/4 of this trail was easy but once you get close to Timberline falls it gets difficult. This was by far the most scenic beautiful trails I've been on! Make sure you go past the calls to sky pond too!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Wonderful views. A little scary climbing up the waterfall. So glad we did. This took us 4 hours to get from Glacier Gorge Trailhead to the falls. Make sure you bring mosquito Repellent otherwise they will chase you up the trail :)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

We went from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead down to the Loch and continued from there to Timberline Falls, but did not continue up to Lake of Glass or Sky Pond. The Loch is absolutely beautiful and definitely worth the hike by itself. Timberline Falls is also quite impressive. You get amazing views of the surrounding rock walls and it's incredible how much snowpack is still around up there even in mid-July. A word of advice: wear mosquito repellent on this hike during the summer. There are swarms of mosquitoes from the Loch onwards and they are relentless. Overall a fantastic hike with great sights to see and a good physical challenge without being too difficult or long.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This moderately challenging hike offers a lot of variety, from canyon and tundra to lush forested paths along the creek. Spectacular lakes along the way. The ascent gets challenging toward the falls, but it's doable for any intermittently skilled hiker. It does require climbing up a 20 ft rock bed at the end but it's no big deal. One piece of advice for summer hikers: : bring bug spray! Lots of mosquitoes and gnats. The only places to picnic sans bugs are the dry areas below the Loch, or at the falls area.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

I have been up here several times. 1st time was early in the year. This was as far as I could hike, too much snow. 2006-8-6, 1998-11, 2005-8-6, 2003-7-12.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Beautiful hike. Completed on a Tuesday morning in early September. Only saw maybe a dozen people in 5 hours. Very secluded and quiet. The trails stays close to Icy Brook, a creek that flows down the mountain and gives beautiful waterfalls the whole way up. Lots of photo ops for photographers.

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