Sky Pond (10,900′)

Sky Pond (10,900′)

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.

StatsRoute DescriptionDirectionsNotes
  • Trailhead:         Glacier Gorge
  • Round trip:      9 miles / 14.5 km
  • Elevation:         9,240′-10,900′ (+1660) / 2,816m-3,322m (+506m)

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).

Fee

GPS track

Trek up to Sky Pond

Sky Pond
Sky Pond

Pictures

  • Trailhead to Sky Pond

    Trailhead to Sky Pond

  • On the trail

    On the trail

  • Passing Alberta Falls

    Passing Alberta Falls

  • Heading towards the Loch

    Heading towards the Loch

  • Loch Vale

    Loch Vale

  • Loch Vale

    Loch Vale

  • Timberline Falls in the distance

    Timberline Falls in the distance

  • Heading to Timberline Falls

    Heading to Timberline Falls

  • Timberline Falls from the trail

    Timberline Falls from the trail

  • Timberline Falls from the trail

    Timberline Falls from the trail

  • Base of Timberline Falls

    Base of Timberline Falls

  • Climbing the waterfall to get to Glass Lake

    Climbing the waterfall to get to the Lake of Glass

  • Wet on the way up

    Wet on the way up

  • Lake of Glass...wonder why...it's always windy here

    Lake of Glass...wonder why...it's always windy here

  • Lake of Glass from above

    Lake of Glass from above

  • Heading to Sky Pond

    Heading to Sky Pond

  • Looking back at the Lake of Glass

    Looking back at the Lake of Glass

  • Sky Pond

    Sky Pond

  • Shelter from the wind

    Shelter from the wind

  • Sharktooth

    Sharktooth

  • Sky Pond

    Sky Pond

  • Views back

    Views back

  • Heading back to the Lake of Glass

    Heading back to the Lake of Glass

  • Shelter from the wind

    Shelter from the wind

  • Looking back at the shelter

    Looking back at the shelter

  • Heading back

    Heading back

 

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