Sky Pond

Quick Info

Distance:
9.2 Miles
Route Type:
Out & Back
Nearest Town:
Estes Park
Elevation Climb:
1,837 Ft
Difficulty Rating:
Not So Approachable
View Rating:
5
Distance:
9.2 Miles
Route Type:
Out & Back
Nearest Town:
Estes Park
Elevation Climb:
1,837 Ft
Difficulty Rating
Not So Approachable
View Rating:
5

This hike was absolutely incredible! From start to finish it was stunning, relatively easy for most of the way (except for climbing up a waterfall – more on that in a minute) and had multiple lakes and waterfalls.

We got up at 3am in order to be at Rocky Mountain National Park as early as possible (reminder: you need a reservation) and as we got to the parking lot at sunrise it was already pretty packed. The trail starts at Glacial Gorge which is a very small lot, so we parked at Bear Lake which added an extra mile. You can also wait for the shuttles to bring you from lot to lot.

A mile into the hike you get your first waterfall: Alberta Falls! This area was super crowded. Then another two miles and you get to my favorite lake of the hike: The Loch.

The water was like glass and you could see the rainbow trout perfectly through the clear water. You also hike along it for a ways and it’s stunning from every angle. Then the incline really gets going as you make your way to Timberline Falls. Here’s where the hike gets tricky. Most of the way up until the falls in pretty easy, some steep spots but also lots of flat, level parts of the trail.

Then you have to climb up a waterfall. Yup, literally climb up wet rocks. The climb itself isn’t that difficult, but the trickiest part was not slipping with wet shoes on the rocks. I ended up using my knees/legs to climb to climb because I didn’t trust my shoes. Only one group can go up or down at a time, so there might be a bit of wait. We didn’t have to wait going up, but coming back down (oh gosh, way worse than going up) we waited for a while and there was a long line waiting to go up.

One you’re up, you’re immediately rewarded with Lake of Glass! Another gorgeous lake.

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. It’s less than a half mile to Sky Pond and it’s pretty incredible too.

I can see why this hike is so popular, it was amazing every step of the way. Definitely go early and bring a mask because you’ll be around a lot of people at times.

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

More From Kylie

Wine & Wildflower Hike

Wine & Wildflower Hike

This was my first year at the Vail Wine Classic and it was an absolute blast. As expected, the wine was exceptional and getting to meet the people behind the wine made it all the more special. But maybe the best part was the Wine & Wildflower hike! I'm going to...

Weekend Hiking Trip in Vail

Weekend Hiking Trip in Vail

This summer I've been trying to get out of the city and into the mountains just about every weekend. When I was dealing with higher anxiety this spring I took note of what was important & what helps - and no surprise that has me prioritizing time in nature. I...

Denver on a Budget

Denver on a Budget

Denver can be an expensive city to live in and visit, but there are also a ton of ways to enjoy the Mile High City and the mountains on a budget. It can take a little creativity and lots of time outside, but here are my favorite ways to save money & still enjoy...

2022 Moab Road Trip

2022 Moab Road Trip

Moab is one of my favorite road trips from Denver - the drive is only 5 hours and the hiking, biking & off-roading trails are seemingly endless. This was my fifth trip to Moab and I was still amazed at the beauty and found new trails to explore. I knew it would...

Discussion Combustion Podcast

Discussion Combustion Podcast

I am so incredibly honored that the lovely men behind Denver's Discussion Combustion Podcast invited me to come and chat! After interviewing people on the news for a decade now, it's always funny to be in the other seat and honestly I was a little nervous about...

Mental Health Check In

Mental Health Check In

I haven’t talked about mental health publicly in a while and it’s for a couple of reasons. The first is actually pretty wonderful: this is the best I’ve felt mentally in years. I feel like after years of turbulence my life feels settled, stable and full of purpose....

Hike For A Cause

Hike For A Cause

What an amazing weekend! There's nothing better then spending time outside with wonderful people who genuinely care about making an impact in our community. When the team behind HalfDays first approached me about teaming up to do a fundraiser, I was immediately on...

Best Road Trips from Denver

Best Road Trips from Denver

1. Southwestern ColoradoFrom Crested Butte to the Black Canyon then rounding off the trip with a stay in Ouray and Telluride, southwestern Colorado is an absolute must visit! Must hike: Black Canyon of GunnisonOuray Perimeter Trail We did a mix of camping and Air...