sky pond hike

Dare I say more?! The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from May until September. This demanding hike begins at the Glacier Gorge trailhead and takes you past at least three waterfalls and a beautiful set of cascades. Of the seemingly infinite hikes to do in Colorado, Sky Pond stands out as one of the best. 2 waterfalls and 3 lakes. I’ve listed them in order below! The hike to Sky Pond will satisfy your wanderlust for the mountains all in one day. Trail Description: The hike to Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park begins from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, located on Bear Lake Road almost 8 miles from the turn-off at Highway 36. You’ll be wowed by the amazing scenery along this world-class hiking trail. Sky pond is a short quarter mile walk past this which is the ending point of the hike. Hiking to Sky Pond. Why, you may ask? Sky Pond is a 9.5-mile hike that gains 1,837 feet in elevation. This uber-iconic challenging hike isn’t just one of the best hikes near Estes Park, but it’s one of the top national park hikes too. If the lot is full, there are other nearby lots where you can park and start your hike from or snag a shuttle from. We immediately noticed how windy it was. I can tell just from your pictures that this hike is scenic! If you manage to get above Timberline Falls, you’ll soon hike upon Lake of Glass which as a matter of fact was named accordingly. Sit down for a while and enjoy the view. I’m just another 26 year old solo traveler here living life on her own terms. The Rocky Mountains and this hike will definitely be on my bucket list now – I’m from the UK and love the US so love finding new places to visit over there 🙂, Thank you, Cathers! I love hearing from my community about all the badass adventures. At about .8 miles you’ll hike upon Alberta Falls, a 30 foot waterfall that pours into Glacier Creek below. Most people hike to just see the falls then turn around. Sky Pond: One of the Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain NP; Best Things to do in Canyonlands: Island in the Sky District; Hike the Blahnúkúr Brennisteinsalda Loop, Landmannalaugar, Iceland; Kjeragbolten: Our Favorite Hike in Norway Check out the following details about the Sky Pond trail that you’ll need to know: Local Tip: For the 2020 year, you need to make advanced reservations to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Love this post and wow those pics are amazing! The hike to Sky Pond begins at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead within Rocky Mountain National Park. Head toward the Bear Lake Trailhead and pull out at the Glacier Gorge Parking Lot. When we went it was cold and windy! I visit Rocky Mountain National Park several times a year and know quite a bit about hiking to Sky Pond. As an absolute outdoor PRO (seriously, I get paid to write about the outdoors) and Colorado local of over 12 years, you've found the best outdoor blog on the internet. Here are a few tips from the hike I want to share that will make your day more enjoyable! You’ll work up an apeptite on your Sky Pond hike, so be sure to check out one of these local eateries in Estes Park: Have the perfect day along the Sky Pond trail, complete with beautiful mountain vistas and an excellent physical challenge. The outstanding scenery and varied environments along this trail make it a very popular trail for day hikers. Bear Lake to Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail is a 8.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. You’ll want to stick to the far right of Timberline Falls and scramble up the rocks. For more, see the Fox in the Forest Privacy Policy. Pass the Loch on the north (don’t forget to stop for photos). I sure hope you get to make it to the US and explore this park! Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail is a 8.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. While you're waiting why not follow me on socials? Then there isn’t really a set trail to Sky Pond, but just head past Lake of Glass along the right side and you’ll start to see somewhat of a trail. Sky Pond is 4.9 mi/7.9 km from the Glacier Gorge trailhead with an elevation gain of 1650 ft/503 m. The trail passes by Alberta Falls and the Loch before climbing up Timberline Line to reach the Lake... Read all 98reviews Continue another 0.7 miles until you reach Sky Pond, a beautiful, tranquil lake nestled amongst jagged granite spires. The end of the trail leading up to Sky Pond is often impassible from November through early June. September offered cooler temperatures, a slight breeze at the lower elevations, and sunny skies. Stay organized with this easy-to-use hiking planner and checklist for your next hike. Hiking Sky Pond in Winter This is a fantastic winter hiking option. As a local Coloradan and full-time freelance writer, I know quite a bit about hiking throughout Colorado. Local tip: Hiking is popular this year, expect to see a full parking lot on weekends by 5:30 am. Start early (before 6am) for the most solitude. This hike did that for me. To the north the spires of Sharkstooth, Petit Grepon, and the Saber dominate the sky. Keep in mind, once this parking lot is full, you’ll need to either park nearly a half mile down the road (adding a total of one mile to your journey) or you’ll have to take the park shuttle. (Psst, perfect if you've just moved to CO too!). Make your way back the way you came to complete this bucket list Colorado hike. Expect it to be packed during the summer months. Now you're ready to travel like a local, not a tourist. Nestled amongst towering granite spires, Sky Pond, Colorado is an amazing hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. The highest of the two is Sky Pond, and the lower is called The Lake of Glass. So pretty! Hi there! Keep in mind, this also coincides with the best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, so expect crowds on this trail. Sky Pond is known for its shark tooth appearing rocks that surround one side of it. Of course to hike other trails, but when I visit again I’ll be sure to hike to Sky Pond a second time. I’m adding this to my bucket list! Although the trail is difficult, it’s certainly managable for the avid hiker. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Due to the extreme popularity of the Bear Lake Road area you may want to consider using the free park shuttle to access the trailhead during peak tourist season. Sky Pond Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park is one of Brad’s favorites and he wanted to share that special spot with me. The best approach is to head for a relatively dry chute of the waterfall, on the right of the main flow. Charlie’s Bunion- Smoky Mountain National Park, When to Hike Rocky Mountain National Park, Utah Canyoneering Tour Near Zion National Park, Hike to Kendrick Peak Lookout in Flagstaff, AZ, Know the Shuttle times and route beforehand. This trail goes by Alberta Falls, The Loch, Timberline Falls, and Lake of Glass. The space between the lakes is dotted with ponds, meadows and cascading streams, and worth exploring if time permits. This is one of the best day hikes in the park, but remember, if you aren’t able to hike the entire trail, there are several destinations along the way that will satisfy you before you turn around. Fill out your email below to get exclusive access to the ultimate Colorado packing list! I visited Denver in September for a long weekend and this was my hike of choice! As always, please be considerate of the environment so we can keep enjoying it and remember to leave no trace. Keep in mind, this also coincides with the best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, so expect crowds on this trail. The hike to Sky Pond will satisfy your wanderlust for the mountains all in one day. Therefore, the best time to do the Sky Pond hike is between mid-June through mid-October. Eventually, you’ll reach a beautiful lake, the Lake of Glass. Check your inbox for instructions on your FREE Colorado packing list. Traction is highly recommended (microspikes or snowshoes). The hike to Sky Pond isn’t easy, isn’t incredibly hard either. The kicker- you have to climb it! The trail is 9.5 miles long and is an out-and-back type trail, meaning you will hike back out the same way you hike in. To get to the trailhead, you will drive Bear Lake Road almost to the very end. The water flow at the waterfalls wasn’t as strong, though. Lake of Glass was the most impressive lake in my opinion. We hope the guide helps you on your hikes and adventures. If you’re lucky you’ll have it to yourself for a while like we did. Planning a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park? I will pin this just in case I ever decide to tear myself away from beach destinations to do a hike! You’re not quite there yet! If you only have time for one hike within the Rocky Mountain National Park, I HIGHLY suggest hiking to Sky Pond. We knew the parking lot was small from our last trip so we arrived early (at around 9:30am) and were able to snag one of the last remaining spots. The good news is that all trails in Rocky Mountain National Park are well maintained and marked. Here are a few notable options: There’s nothing quite like a post-hike meal. Due to the the hike’s popularity, the trail is well maintained and easy to follow at first. “The Loch” is the perfect place to post up for a break and hangout while having some snacks. It’s not uncommon to see climbers using this trail (I used it when I climbed the Petit Grepon). You’ll love it ☺️. Luckily Sky Pond can be reached during all seasons! The best trail to hike between June to September is Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail that offers many activities. With lush, green grass and large rocks surrounding you, this is the perfect spot to kick back & relax a while before hiking back down. Sky Pond and Lake of Glass hike Map Cathedral Peaks from Sky Pond The Trail Guide to The Loch, Glass Lake, and Sky Pond includes trail descriptions, photographs of the trails, comments from our hikes, mileage data, custom topo map, and the routes tracklog on a geo-pdf map. The large tooth-like formation towards the north west corner of the pond is called Sharkstooth. She'd rather be dirty than done up. Denver, CO ItineraryLookout Mountain at Windy Saddle ParkTouring Cities on a Budget- 10 Ways to Save. Keep going for Sky Pond is not much further and is the final destination. As one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in Colorado, it’s well worth a visit. Sky Pond is about 4.5 miles from the trailhead and sits surrounded by cliffs at about 10,900 feet. Once you make it to the lake it is truly an accomplished feeling rewarded with beautiful, glacial blue water. The varied views, including of several alpine lakes, and the vistas you see on this trail showcase some of the best that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer. I work from my laptop and travel all across the U.S. with my German Shepard, Monty. The hike to Sky Pond starts near Bear Lake. Once you reach the Glacier Gorge and the Loch junction, head towards the Loch (away from Glacier Falls). You can take one of two trailheads to reach Sky Pond. I was glad to have brought layers but do wish I had remembered gloves. Nick Sangetta and Barb Sangetta hike Sky Pond in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado on September 12, 2018. Sky Pond Colorado is certainly a noteworthy destination. This looks like an awesome trip and a wonderful hike. Come early or expect to wait. Get the FREE Colorado trip planning checklist and get the inside scoop on hiking, camping, climbing, and more in the great Centennial State. Yep, it definitely might be the prettiest place on the … Depending on what time of year it is you will be scrambling in some water. Remember that you’ve climbed roughly 1,780 feet in elevation so it will be cooler at the top. However, before you go, understand what you’re getting into. You can easily add on in extension to this hike to see Mills Lake or Andrews Glacier. The round-trip hike to Sky Pond is 10 miles and it begins at the Glacier Gorge trailhead. While Powell Peak is to the south. The hike to Sky Pond begins from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, which is located on Bear Lake Road. The trailhead is at Glacier Gorge near Bear Lake, one of the most popular so arrive early or use the shuttle. The hike goes over mostly gentle terrain with a few steeper sections, but this part of the Sky Pond trail is generally considered easy. I’m so grateful that he did! The remaining trail to Sky Pond was quite tricky, as in we lost the trail and climbed over a bunch of rocks until we found it again. A little ways past The Loch (about a mile or so) you’ll start trending uphill. You know those adventures that go spectacularly, end up being better than you could have ever expected, and leave you on an adventure high afterwards? Here’s everything you need to know to hike the Sky Pond trail. Meg aka Fox is a 30-something who's born to explore. Included are The Loch and Glass Lake. Distance: 9.5 milesType: Out and BackDifficulty: Difficult (Strenuous)Elevation Gain: 1708 ft.Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, COTrailhead: Glacier Gorge Trailhead. Hiked with my brother and friend to Sky Pond from the Bear Lake Trailhead on September 2, 2017. We think it's one of the best hikes in the USA. I’ve got you covered with these local resources. Far up into the alpine lies a lake so beautiful, it’ll take your breath away. Then a little stone path a few steps lead right to it. You’ll see the mighty peaks in the distance, this is your destination. That means if you click on some of the links and purchase something, I get a small kickback at no added cost to you. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. At 4.6 miles into the trail, THIS is Sky Pond. When we started the trail was quite crowded but really thinned out towards the top. ;). The turquoise blue water and close proximity to high mountains made you feel more enclosed. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and snowshoeing and is best used from June until October. I dream of going back to Rocky Mountain National Park. This hike is also a great choice because you don’t have to do the entire trail to get jaw dropping views. Pro Tip: If you plan on visiting a National Park within the U.S. more than 2x a year it would be worth your money to purchase the annual pass. It might be the most beautiful place on Earth. The hike to Sky Pond is one of the most famous and best rated hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Her mission is to get you out on your greatest adventure. These are amazing pictures! Thank you for sharing. In this guide we’ll cover: Before you hit the trail, it’s important to be prepared. It is up to you to decide what you want to put up with. If you’re not an early riser or lucky enough to snag a parking space you can park at the shuttle parking lot and the shuttle will drop you off! I camped at Moraine Park so got an early start and a parking spot from the Glacier Gorge trailhead. It is a somewhat famous, classic, technical rock climb. Next you’ll find yourself standing below another waterfall- this one roughly 100 feet high (pictured above on the right). My first visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. Complete with planning info, hiking packing list, emergency contact and more! Hiking all the way to Sky Pond is definitely a difficult hike for most people because of the length and the climb up Timberline Falls. In September my friends and I didn’t experience as much flowing water as ice- so be careful! There are a few things to know about visiting Sky Pond Colorado. As a resident expert, I’m giving you all the details about the Sky Pond hike. Notice how clear the water is in the picture below. The Sky Pond Trail is a difficult out-and-back trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. Travel like a local, not a tourist! There is a lot of uphill climbing and an elevation gain of over 1,800 feet. Turn around and retrace your steps back to the trailhead and parking lot or set up camp at one of the three lakes. Therefore, the best time to do the Sky Pond hike is between mid-June through mid-October. The trail crews did some amazing work on the path to Sky Pond. best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, advanced reservations to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park, The Complete Guide to Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park Like a Local, 21 Incredible Road Trip Stops in Colorado You Can’t Miss, 10 of the Most Scenic Backpacking Loops in Colorado, Practical information about the Sky Pond Trail, Additional Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning resources, Drive Trail Ridge Road or the Peak-to-Peak Highway, one of the, Spend time shopping and dining in Estes Park, Smokin’ Daves BBQ and Brew (BBQ and beer), Notchtop Bakery and Cafe (brunch, breakfast, coffee). You’ll be able to see Loch Vale far off in the distance and the views here are stunning. Fall here is stunning. Check your inbox for instructions on your FREE hiking checklist. The lake has an elevation gain of 1,765 feet and its total distance is 8.1 miles. The trail - rugged and indistinguishable at times - continues up the west side of Glass Lake through krummholz and talus to Sky Pond (4.5 miles : 10,887'). Let's strap on our boots and hit the trail! The parking lot for the trailhead is on Bear Lake Road but is small and can fill up fast. From here, the trail gets steep and travels through Timberline Falls. Headlamp hiking for the first hour of the trail; This hike can be started from two different trail heads in the park, Bear Lake Trailhead or Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead. Have I convinced you yet? Length 8.5 miElevation gain 1761 ftRoute type Out & back Trail Review: Rating: Moderate Distance (Round trip): 9.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,660 ft. Beginning at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, Sky Pond is the final stop on the trail which passes Alberta Falls, Loch Vale, Timberline Falls, and Lake of Glass. The Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead is the ideal place to start this hike, since the distance will be the shortest. At the beginning of the hike you’ll be trekking under tall pine, following along and crossing a rushing creek. Note that most trails are not named, but there are signs at intersections - keep heading to Sky Pond. Be sure to take it all in- it is a peaceful start! Roughly 2 miles later you’ll find yourself hiking around Loch Vale (photo above on the left), the first lake of three on this hike. Colorado weather can really change any second, especially in … The Sky Pond and Lake of Glass hike is a favorite hike for locals. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to explore virtually every hiking area in the State. But before you go, keep these quick Colorado hiking tips in mind: There are plenty of awesome things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park. Freelance Writing, Travel, and Life Skills. You’ll literally be hiking up a gentle waterfall. Explore the outdoors in Colorado like a local, not a tourist. Note: This website participates in affiliate marketing. The avid hikers will continue on to Sky Pond so you’re likely to lose a lot of the crowd after this point. Our advice is to arrive early so that you can snatch a coveted parking spot at this lot because it does tend to fill up quickly. No matter the season, Rocky Mountain National Park never fails when it comes to epic vista views. I can see why this hike is so popular, it was amazing every step of the way. This packing list includes separate checklists for camping, hiking, backpacking, winter travel, and trip details. Mosquitoes seem to be fairly active at Sky Pond. 😍. Sky Pond was my favorite hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Thank you, Kym! Now I get to share them with you! Expect to use your hands in a few spots where the rocks are slick. It’s less than a half mile to Sky Pond and it’s pretty incredible too. The National Park is absolutely gorgeous and worth visiting. The rocks are extraordinarily slick from water and hikers so take your time. It’s a long slow uphill hike so be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and of course layers. Heading north (towards the trail) you’ll see the Petit Grepon, the Saber, and other famous spires. I hope you get to! Like all National Parks, there is an entry fee. To reach the alpine lakes, Sky Pond and Lake of Glass, you must climb up the side of the falls, which lies at the 4 mile mark. Start early (before 6am) for the most solitude. These spires (mostly on the right) are home to some of Colorado’s most famous rock climbing. Get organized with local advice on what to pack for your awesome Colorado adventure. Scramble to the top, the steepness and wetness making it a challenge. It all comes down to what you prefer! The crowds dwindle quite a bit in winter (though this is still highly trafficked), and the experience is entirely different during winter months. It has a little bit of everything- scrambling up the side of a waterfall, epic Colorado glacial lakes, and fresh mountain air. Well, the side of it any ways. I’d say fall and spring are the best times to visit, however winter would be way less crowded and provide a different experience. I highly recommend exploring out onto the little peninsula for a closer, unobstructed view of the lake. Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park Situated above Timberline Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park are two spectacular lakes. If you are afraid of heights this will be where you either turn around or conquer your fears. Together we embrace the nomad lifestyle for it has allowed us to live our life the way we want by traveling and hiking the places we’ve dreamed of! As one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll want to enjoy this gem early in the morning to beat the crowds. There are several distinct destinations along the way that would be good turn around points if you’re short on time, making it the perfect day hike. Make sure to get a reservation for RMNP and try to go as early as possible to avoid large lines, crowds, and the heat It has a little bit of everything- scrambling up the side of a waterfall, epic Colorado glacial lakes, and fresh mountain air. You can continue to enjoy the park after your hike. Working remotely has changed my life and allowed me to experience the places I've been dreaming of. Climbers are often seen (or heard) on Petit. Sky Pond takes you to many different sights in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Alberta Falls, Loch Lake, Timberland Falls, Glass Lake and finally Sky Pond. I'm Kara and I travel the U.S. solo with my fury companion, Monty. Make your way along the Glacier Gorge Trail for several miles, passing a few marked junctions. Plus get bonus local travel tips, gear deals, and more to your inbox once a month! The guide will familiarize you with The Loch, Glass Lake, and Sky Pond Trails. Sky Pond sits in a cirque of mountains. This is a definite must on my list for the next time we plan to travel. Good, let’s begin. Get a beautiful glimpse of Rocky Mountain National Park on this fun, yet challenging hike that takes you by stunning lakes and to a waterfall and two beautiful hidden lakes! During this time there is a lot of ice and travel over avalanche territory is required, making it a serious endevour that is often very unsafe. This hike is absolutely beautiful! This hike is also a great choice because you don’t have to do the entire trail to get jaw dropping views. First, the only way in and out is via the Glacier Gorge Trail. Simply fill it out and send it along to a trusted friend. 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Your time hike begins at the beginning of the two is Sky Pond in winter this a. Will be scrambling in some water this will be scrambling in some water down for a relatively chute...

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