Lake of Glass in Rocky Mountain National Park
- Date hiked: Several
- Hiked from: Glacier Gorge Trailhead
- Distance hiked: 6.5-8.3 Miles RT (Fire Trail Alberta Falls bypass will save you some mileage)
- Total elevation gain: 1,598 ft
- Maintained trail: Yes
- Overall Difficulty: 6/10 – The small Class 2 scramble up the side of Timberline Falls adds a little difficulty to this hike.
- Overall Views: 7/10 – Very scenic trail and destination.
I‘ve hiked to Lake of Glass 3 times and every time the wind has been extremely strong. But this has only been at the east end of the lake. Follow the trail to the north of Lake of Glass and the wind is blocked by trees. If you continue to Sky Pond the wind may be more manageable. At least it has been from my experience.
Video – Arriving at Lake of Glass
Tips for Hiking to Lake of Glass
- If Glacier Gorge trailhead full in the early morning, you can try parking at Bear Lake trailhead. During peak season on weekends, it’s not uncommon for Glacier Gorge trailhead to fill up by 5:30am and Bear Lake trailhead to fill up before 6:00am. Park n Ride shuttle is available during peak season from 7am to 7:30pm.
- Wear shoes/boots with traction. The waterfall scramble up to Lake of Glass isn’t that bad if you have good traction on your feet. You will be climbing up wet rock and a slip here could make it a bad day.
- Get on the trail early, like 5am early to avoid traffic jams at the water fall scramble.
- Once you make it to Lake of Glass, Sky Pond is only about 80ft of elevation gain away. If the weather looks good, go for it!
- When hiking to Lake of Glass in the winter, try to stay on the same route up to the right of the waterfall, which will likely be completely covered in snow.
Lake of Glass in the Winter
Lake of Glass is one of my favorite frozen alpine lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park mainly because of the ice formations it produces. For a photographer looking for cool ice compositions in frozen water the opportunities here are endless. It’s also easier to get to Sky Pond in the winter time because you can walk right over the lake instead of zig zagging on the trail, which you would have a hard time doing in the winter anyways.