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Timberline Falls-Lake Of Glass-Sky Pond
|Trail Name||Timberline Falls-Lake Of Glass-Sky Pond|
|Nearest City||Estes Park|
|Elevation Gain||1,700 Feet|
|Low Point||9,200 Feet|
|High Point||10,900 Feet|
|Trip Reports||Timberline Falls-Lake Of Glass-Sky Pond|
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A continuation of the trail to The Loch, offering three distinct and scenic destinations, within 2 miles of The Loch, and within 0.6 miles of each other.
How to get there
From Estes Park, continue west on Hwy 36 to the Beaver Meadows entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. Just beyond the entrance, turn left and head south on Bear Lake Rd. for about 8.2 miles. Trailhead and parking lot are on the left. Restrooms available, no water. Due to its popularity, the trailhead parking lot is often full by 8:00 on summer weekends. If so, you can continue about 1 mile further and park at the Bear Lake lot (a 1/2 mile trail connects to the Alberta Falls trail), or return south to the Bear Lake shuttle bus depot where you can park your car and ride the bus to Glacier Gorge Junction.
As this is a continuation of the trail to The Loch, refer to The Loch description for details to that point.
Total distances from the trailhead are:
- Timberline Falls: 4 miles (1.3 from The Loch), 10,660 feet ending elevation;
- Lake Of Glass: 4.2 miles (1.5 from The Loch), 10,820 feet ending elevation;
- Sky Pond: 4.6 miles (1.9 from The Loch), 10,900 feet ending elevation
From the Loch, continue up the trail along the west side, and leave the lake at its northwest edge. The trail passes through coniferous forest, following Icy Brook about 1.3 miles before arriving at Timberline Falls. The scenery along the stream is a reward for the ascent up from The Loch. The forest opens up to meadows, and within 1/2 mile, you will arrive at Timberline Falls. Most of the summer, Timberline Falls cascades down the ganite rock face in multiple rivulets. Neither high nor large, it's delicate beauty is worth visiting.
Lake Of Glass is immediately above the falls. The route can be hard to find; it's immediately to the right of the falls, so close in times that it can be wet and slippery. Lake Of Glass is another of the Park's trademark alpine lakes: Surrounded by rocky terrain, with 13,000' plus peaks behind it.
Less than half a mile and 100 feet in elevation gain bring you to Sky Pond. Powell Peak and Taylor Peak rise above the lake, Taylor Glacier situated in the bowl between them.
Don't let the names of these lakes fool you. Like all of the park's lakes at these altitudes, the wind can whip across their surfaces, and windbreakers or jackets are often welcome, even in the dog days of summer.
The return trip to The Loch, virtually all downhill, provides the hiker with spectacular views, first of Lake Of Glass, then The Loch and Loch Vale (the valley extending down from The Loch).
This trail can be snow-covered, and the lakes partially covered with ice, through June and into early July. Checking with the rangers at Glacier Gorge Junction or Bear Lake regarding the trail conditions before early July is advised.
Fees, Permits, etc.
After the Hike
- 40.31045, -105.64035, Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead
- 40.293689, -105.654947, The Loch (Loch Vale)
- 40.283345, -105.665114, Timberline Falls
- 40.281861, -105.665744, Lake Of Glass
- 40.278969, -105.668411, Sky Pond
- Suggested hike list on National Park Service Rocky Mountain National Park web site