Sky Pond

9 Miles Round Trip - 2000 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Glacier Gorge Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Jack Henstridge

A Rocky Mountain National Park Must-do.This trail has it all. Waterfalls, deep valleys, 3 incredible lakes, scramble climbs, wildlife, and the reward once reaching sky pond to be surrounded by 3 incredible peaks. Taylor Peak, Powell Peak and the aptly named Sharkstooth. 

Starting out at 9,100ft at Glacier Gorge trailhead follow the trail 0.8 miles to easily reachable, and often crowded, but beautiful Alberta Falls. Follow the trail past the Falls and the signs for The Loch. The trail becomes gradually steeper and starts to switchback through the dense pine forest, before starting to level out as it meanders through the valley towards The Loch at roughly 3 miles in. You'll be wanting to stop here, maybe for a rest, but mainly to take in the breathtaking views of the Loch, the remnants of Taylor Glacier, and the Peaks in the distance.

From here the trail will be marked for Sky Pond, follow the trail around the northern side of the Loch. The trail will eventually break through the trees and you will be able to see Timberline Falls in the distance, your biggest challenge of the hike, but before that it's a steep hike up to the base of the Falls. On reaching Timberline Falls look for the best place to scale the falls. Usually on the right hand side there is a relatively dry chute which can be climbed. Hands and feet will be required.

Upon the successful climb of Timberline Falls you will be heavily rewarded with the Lake of Glass. This is roughly the 4 mile mark, and from here its short 0.5 miles or so to Sky Pond, but stay awhile and take in the Lake of Glass, its beautiful.

The rough rocky trail will lead you to the gem and final destination of this hike, Sky Pond at just over 11,000ft. The temperature will be noticeably cooler up here and over Timberline falls, so throw on another layer. Make your way to your prefered spot, our was the western side because of the views of the Sharkstooth, and sit a while, have a snack, stare at Taylor and Powell Peaks, and just breathe in that clear mountain air.

To get back? Treat yourself to the whole hike again, just in reverse. 

Tags

Rock Climbing
Fishing
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Details

9 Miles
2000 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

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Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park KOA

Boulder, Colorado

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Boulder, Colorado

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