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Sky Pond

 96 votes

8.3 Miles 13.3 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

2,000' 610 m

Ascent

-1,999' -609 m

Descent

11,014' 3,357 m

High

9,162' 2,793 m

Low

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

32%

Max Grade (18°)

Minor Issues

59 days agoUpdate

Sky Pond is in a deep valley carved by Taylor Glacier and capped by Taylor and Powell Peak.

Mike Langenkamp

Overview

Begin at the Glacier Gorge trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park and follow a well maintained trail to Timberline Falls. The trail ends there and you must scramble up the side of the falls to continue past The Lake of Glass to Sky Pond.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs

Need to Know

Sky Pond is inside Rocky Mountain National Park, so NPS restrictions apply.

Description

From the Glacier Gorge trailhead, your first destination is beautiful Alberta Falls, 0.85 miles in. Continuing on past the falls the trail has less traffic as it meanders along pine forests and switchbacks to the North Longs Peak Trail junction, 1.6 miles in.

Follow the signs for the Loch, heading west, climbing through dense forests. Glacier Gorge Junction will appear after the 2.1 mile mark, continue to follow the sign to The Loch. Climb steep switchbacks through heavy forest and you'll next come upon Andrews Glacier Trail junction, 3.65 miles in. Continue straight (west) on the main trail. The trail eventually levels out at the Loch, 3 miles in at 10,200'.

From the Loch onward, the trail becomes rougher and less used. The trail follows Icy Creek through heavy woods along a canyon. As you walk, the breaks in the trees will reveal Timberline Falls in the distance, your next destination. 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.

The best approach is to head for a relatively dry chute of the waterfall, on the right of the main flow. Scramble to the top, the steepness and wetness making it a challenge. The climb up Timberline Falls is the most difficult part of the route and does not exceed Class 3 in good conditions.

Once on top of Timberline Falls, the environment immediately changes to arctic tundra. The stark Lake of Glass (at the 4.15 mile mark) lies in front of you but the most noticeable effect is the harsher weather. There is a substantial temperature drop and the wind often blows relentlessly. Now is the time to add a layer of clothing and a windproof shell.

From the Lake of Glass, cross smooth granite slabs westward along the shore and pick up the rough trail. The trail follows Icy Brook to a beautiful waterfall and Sky Pond. Reaching Sky Pond, 4.6 miles in, you are at the base of Taylor Glacier and surrounded by Taylor Peak (13,153), Powell Peak (13,208) and The Sharktooth (12,630).

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   Clear Rating

4.9 from 96 votes


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Check-Ins

Jan 7, 2018
Katie Duron
Nov 30, 2017
Steven Rosenblum
95% trail coverage with hard pack snow & ice. Micro spikes a must, crampons recommended if you want to climb the falls and head all the way up. 12mi — 5h 30m
Nov 18, 2017
Luc MacArthur
Nov 3, 2017
Kyle Hawk
Oct 29, 2017
Andrew P
2 hours up, 2 hours down. Accent to glass pond incredibly icy and difficult, even with micro spikes
Oct 14, 2017
Rece Lehberger
Oct 14, 2017
Levi Reisinger
Incredible hike - couldn't make it up to sky pond due to ice however 9.5mi
Oct 13, 2017
Varadh Jain

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 96 votes

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in Bear Lake

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Overall
  4.9 from 96 votes
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16,096 Since Feb 26, 2015
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Conditions


Minor Issues 59 days ago
Icy: Snow from 11/16-17 has been nicely trenched up to Timberline Falls. Traction recommended from then on.
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