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“Checking One Off My Bucket List!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sky Pond

Sky Pond
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located at the bottom of Colorado's Petit Grepon.
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Checking One Off My Bucket List!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013

I've been coming to the YMCA of the Rockies and RMNP since I was 30. I'm now 70+. For some reason I'd never made it to Sky Pond. I got to Timberline Falls once when I was 60 but I'd hiked with just one person I met on the trail and didn't feel safe doing the "stairs" to Lake of Glass and Sky Pond. This time I was determined to get there so, with my daughter and son-in-law and a great niece I signed up for a YMCA guided trip. I'd avoided them in the past because I thought I enjoyed the solitude, but the encouragement I got from the hike master and my fellow hikers (14 in all) was wonderful. Even the younger set agreed. Solitude is overrated!

Even for younger folks, I'd strongly suggest not trying this hike alone. We took a couple of "shortcuts" on horse and fire trails to shave a little bit off the distance. More important was the fact that someone was ahead of and behind me on the climb up the stairs to point out handholds and suggest foot placement. It gave me the confidence I needed to finish what I'd started, and it was so worth it! (It also meant I was with a hike master who was carrying a roll of duct tape which was mighty useful when the soles of both my old hiking boots started to come off on the downhill hike!)

The view of Lake of Glass at the top of the falls would have been enough, but just 4/10 of a mile and a few more stairs to climb, the views at Sky Pond were absolutely stunning. I have never hiked a summit trail at RMNP, preferring the lakes as my end points, so I can't compare this with that experience. Long ago I hiked to Chasm Lake at the foot of the east face of Longs Peak and for me, NOTHING will ever compare to that vista, but darn, for a 70+ year old, Sky Pond comes awfully close!

Visited July 2013
6 Thank Stratford64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
55 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A great hike”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

This was my first time there and it was well worth the hike and scramble up Timberline Falls. Be sure to start early since storms roll in quickly. Take rain gear and plenty of water. It's an 8.5 mile hike with several sections of "stairs" so be prepared. Can't wait to go back with my son once he is a little older and able to handle a more strenuous hike.

Visited July 2013
Thank Rlebb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Best hike EVER!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013

This hike is incredible. Don't hesitate when you get to the steep part. It's not as bad as it looks, and it's totally worth the effort. A beautiful, amazing place. Actually there are about 5 amazing places on this hike. If you want to see more, you can come back via the Dream Lake side of the trail, but that will bump it up to 11.2 miles, and the other lakes are a bit anti-climactic after you've seen The Loc and Sky Pond.

Some tips:
Get there before 9am because they are currently (june 22, 2013) working on the road, and the road is closed to cars after 9am. After that, you will have to take the bus. Check the park service website for updates. The earlier you get there, the better

In early June, parts of the trail were covered by snow, so decent boots really helped, although my wife did it in running shoes. Bring an extra pair of socks.

If you come from sea level to Estes Park, you might feel some altitude sickness, but I felt much better the 2nd day. 8-10 miles sounds easy, but the altitude will slow you down, so allow plenty of time. We came back the long way past dream lake and emerald lake, and it took us 6.5 hours, but we stopped lots to soak it in.

Bring plenty of water. My wife and I each drank 3 liters, and we hydrated on the way there.

It's not nearly as cold and windy as the top of the trail ridge road, but bring a jacket. The last bit gets chilly, and you never know if it might rain. We started in jackets, did most of the hike in t-shirts, and put jackets back on at Sky Pond.

Visited June 2013
10 Thank Doug_Yule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Great, great, great hike!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013 via mobile

Did I mention that it was great. Take off from the Bear Lake trailhead and you will Hit five beautiful spots in one hike. Go towards Alberta Falls, then hit Mills Lake which is breathtaking, then you will hit The Loch, Glass Lake, and them the finale at 10,700 ft, Sky Pond. Altogether it is about an 9 mile hike round trip,I would say it is moderate to advanced hike with almost 1000 feet of elevation but it is worth it!!

Visited June 2013
5 Thank rahren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
197 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Tranquil, serene and just a little painful at one point!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

The problem with RMNP is that there's almost too many trails to choose from. The good thing is that in several places you can link smaller trails together and make a good day or half day hike. Starting out at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead we passed several fantastic waterfalls before making our way along the edge and then up the side of a steep valley. Once on the flat at the top you reach The Loch, which suddenly appears from round a corner and is possibly one of the best sights of my trip. After taking way too many photos here we carried on towards Lake of Glass, the scenery getting more and more alpine all the time. Before reaching the Lake there's a waterfall that you must climb up the side of and this was the painful part for me - even though I was wearing decent hiking boots, the rocks are very greasy and wet, I was paying more attention to the view than my footing, slipped and fell a few feet before I managed to stop myself going all the way down. I was lucky, my camera wasn't so lucky. Anyway, once at the top where you can see the Lake of Glass, it's totally worth it - then it's just a little further to reach the end of the trail at Sky Pond. There's no words to describe the view, it's simply breathtaking.

Visited September 2012
2 Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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