Sky Pond

Summer is almost over, and we did not fit in much hiking. We did one backpacking trip in the Rawah Wilderness early in the summer, but I forgot to take my camera! It was a short 2-day trip, but long on adventure with lots of melting snow, stream crossings, and a crazy young Labrador that I will probably not take backpacking again for at least two years.

We were planning another backpacking trip for this Labor Day weekend, but I never got my act together, and suddenly the weekend was upon us. So instead, we took a beautiful day hike to Sky Pond, one of the few popular places in Rocky Mountain National Park that I had surprisingly never visited.

We started hiking at the Glacier Gorge trail head and stopped for a snack at Loch Vale.

photoThen we continued up the trail, stopping briefly to snatch this distant shot of the waterfall coming down from Glass Lake — our next destination.

photo2The trickiest part of the hike was the approach to Glass Lake. No, that is not part of the waterfall the kids are scrambling up — that is the actual trail.

Approach to Glass LakeNeedless to say we had to be very careful coming back down this section. My son was able to do it all himself, with just a little bit of coaching. I had to help my daughter a few times, having her step on my knee to get down to the next foot hold. It was tricky with her short legs, but she never got scared or discouraged — and truly did most of it herself.

At Glass Lake we had another snack before hiking the last half mile to Sky Pond.

photo4At Sky Pond, the humidity that had been slowly building all day had formed low clouds that made the pond look a bit mysterious. My son took this great picture of my daughter and I.

Sky PondThen a fellow hiker took this one of all three of us. Thank you!

Sky Pond 2Shortly after leaving Sky Pond and heading back past Glass Lake, we saw a very friendly and very chubby marmot. This guy really wanted my daughter to throw him some food. We don’t feed animals in the wild, but obviously some visitors don’t follow that rule. I literally had to shoo this marmot out of the way so the kids could get by — I think he thought the trail was a toll road! None shall pass!


Hiking back down the Glacier Gorge trail, we got caught in a bit of a thunderstorm, but it wasn’t too bad. Still, we were glad we were on our way down, and that we had our raincoats. There was even a little bit of hail, but thankfully only a few lightning strikes — and nothing too frightening.

We all finished the 9-mile hike in good spirits, and my daughter asked me, “Can we please do this hike 10 times per year?” “Certainly,” I said!

But we’ll be lucky if we fit it in a couple of times per year.

Glacier Gorge Trail

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3 Responses to Sky Pond

  1. Mary Russell says:

    I remember the hike to Sky Pond. I, too, had trouble on the same parts due to short legs. The walking pole helped a lot! Loved the pictures, but who is the good looking boy you picked up along the way?

  2. Donna Russell says:

    One of my all time favorite hikes. We once (in another lifetime!) climbed the rocks when they were covered in ice formed from spray from waterfall. Wondering if trails were crowded?

    • Otters Coach says:

      Yes, there were quite a lot of people on the trail, but not to many all the way up at Sky Pond. Sometimes it is nice to hike a trail with lots of people — the kids seem to like saying “hello” to everyone and beta info about the trail ahead.

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