Hike to Sky Pond
Colorado › Glacier Gorge Trailhead
Added by Ryan Dewane
- Incredible views of Rocky Mountain National Park
- Escape all the main crowds below and be in complete solitude
- 3 unique and beautiful lakes - The Loch, Glass Lake, and Sky Pond
- Camping is available at all 3 lakes if you overnight but it is certainly doable in one day
Start at the Glacier Gorge trailhead on Bear Lake Road. Parking is limited so it is advised to get there very early. It's a longer hike so plan on taking a full day to complete or stay overnight to enjoy more of the scenery.
Within the first mile on the Glacier Gorge Trail you will pass by Alberta Falls which is a really popular tourist destination. Continue past this to get to the really good stuff and ditch the crowds, looking for and following the junction to Loch Trail. About another 2 miles later you should reach the Loch which is the most scenic and largest lake of the three. You'll find the best campsites here. Continue past Loch Lake and begin a somewhat strenuous climb up to Glass Lake as the Loch Trail turns into Sky Pond Lake Trail. At the last point before you reach Glass Lake a bit of scrambling is involved up some rocks which can be dangerous in icy conditions - step carefully and you will be fine. Sky pond is a short quarter mile walk past this which is the ending point of the hike. Turn around and retrace your steps back to the trailhead and parking lot or set up camp at one of the three lakes.
To get to the trailhead, drive west on Hwy 34 out of Loveland for 30 miles until you reach Hwy 36 where you'll make a left. Drive about 4 miles on Hwy 36, make a final left onto Bear Lake Rd and follow about 8 miles all the way to the Glacier Gorge traihead.
If you need a place to refuel after the hike, head back to Loveland on the 34 and hit up Big Beaver Brewery.
- Good shoes
- Camera gear
- Warm Clothes for higher altitude
- Permit (if camping)
- Sleeping bag
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Fav hike in Rocky Mountain
Oh wow, I don't have enough good things to say about this one! I did it for sunrise twice this past summer, and each time, watching the sun come up over the alpine lakes and Rockies was even better than the last. This trailhead area is VERY popular, but once you get past the falls around the first mile, you also get past the crowds. Love everything about it!
what a day.
This was an adventure I will never forget. The hike to the first lake Loch, was just outstanding. You follow the creek all the way up and it is just beautiful. Then once you get to the lake you can see the falls which you are about to scale if you plan on going to Sky Pond and Lake of Glass. The hike to the falls was more than expected. You have to climb many many rock stairs then you finally get to the falls. These falls are about fifteen feet tall and look intimidating but actually wasn't as hard as expected. It was a thrill to climb them and then see Lake of Glass. Then just a small hike away is Sky Pond, this was just breath taking. I would recommend bringing a jacket because it was rainy and very chilly when I went up there. This is a 10/10, would recommend doing this hike.
So worth it!
This hike was well worth it! The trail was fairly busy up to the waterfall before Sky pond lake, but pretty quiet once at the end. We parked at the car park as opposed to the trailhead after hearing reviews. We took a free 15 minute shuttle to the trailhead from there. The buses came quite frequently, roughly every 8 minutes, so despite there being a cue we only waited 10-15 minutes to get on. The car park was already full by 9am and we were told to park on the perimeter on the pavement. Don't park on the grass, the ranger told us that could get us a ticket. The views kept getting better each turn. This is definitely a must do hike if you're in RMNP!
9 miles of Solitude
Aside from the views, I think the best thing about this hike is the amount of solitude one gets when hiking it. Many hikes in RMNP have you hiking with numerous tourists, but not so much this one. I started this hike around 6 AM on a late July morning and I don't think I encountered 10 people on my way once I was past The Loch. As you approach the last part before seeing Glass Lake/Sky Pond, you have to climb up Timerline Falls (100 ft. waterfall). Stay to the right of the falls and the rock scrambling isn't too hard....just the initial few steps. Once you have conquered Timberline, you'll come upon Glass Lake and then finally Sky Pond. Be aware, it is super (I mean super) windy up there. So worth the trek though!
More Adventures Nearby
Hike to "The A" via the Foothills Trail
Colorado / Maxwell Natural Area
Why is there an A on the side of the mountain? The "A" stands for Aggies. When Colorado State University was first founded in 1870, it was originally called Colorado Agricultural College.
Hike Arthur's Rock in Lory State Park
Colorado / Arthur's Rock Trail trailhead
The climb to the summit of Arthur's Rock in Lory State Park provides relative isolation and solitude just 30 minutes from downtown Fort Collins along with great hiking, trail running, mountain biking.