Adventure to Glass Lake

Being new to Colorado, we (Morgan and I) have been trying to experience as much as this beautiful state has to offer. Three months into this new adventure, we have experienced a lot of really neat things. We’ve tried to avoid what’s popular on the internet and listen to recommendations from locals we’ve gotten to know. We have found this to be a very smart move!

This past Saturday, we made the trip up to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and planned to take a hike up to Glass Lake. The trek to RMNP is a solid 2 hours from our apartment — but we were told it’s worth the trip to see Glass Lake.

We hit the road at 7am sharp after cooking up some scrambled eggs & toast — a solid breakfast to say the least. The drive to RMNP from Denver is honestly quite boring. Once you pass downtown Denver, there’s just not that much to see until you get to Lyons, CO. Luckily we were equipped with some good tunes and some pretty alright conversation.

We arrived at the entrance of RMNP at 9:00am. The entrance fee is $15 per vehicle, however when my family was visiting they bought the season pass so that we could visit whenever we wanted to. Thanks fam! :) As we went through the gates, we started to notice how busy the park was. Traffic was backed up on the road and moved at a snails pace.

In order to get to Glass Lake, you have to begin the jaunt at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. The closest parking lot is the Bear Lake lot, however we were quickly notified that the parking lot was already full. So, we decided we would dump the car off at the Park n’ Ride lot and catch a bus up to the trailhead.

As we pulled into the parking lot, we were greeted by a winding line of people waiting to load the bus. We were becoming very discouraged about the trip. We discussed how it was really sad that a National Park like this was so commercialized. Between the busses, large crowds, traffic, and road signs — it didn’t really feel like we were in the outdoors at all. Despite the discouragement, we threw our backpacks over our shoulders and got in line for the bus.

We arrived at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead around 10:30am — almost 1.5 hours past the time we arrived. The initial trek was very crowded and we couldn’t seem to get away from anyone. However, not a complaint was mentioned because of the beautiful fall foliage we were greeted with.

After about 1 mile into the hike we hit the very popular, Alberta Falls. It was a neat waterfall, but we still had a good hike ahead of us, so we kept trekking.

Alberta Falls

As we continued to climb in elevation, the views of the fall foliage around us continued to get better.

After about 2 miles in, we finally reached a point where we could see all around us. The mixture of rocky peaks, the green trees, and blue skies were enough to make this view stunning.

3 miles into the trek, we stumbled upon a small body of water called, Loch Lake. At this point, our legs were getting pretty tired. 3 miles isn’t very far, but the trail isn’t rated as ‘difficult’ for no reason. There was plenty of elevation change (1200' elevation change I believe?) and stumbling around rocks to make the legs burn. I couldn’t help but to laugh when Morgan asked if this lake was what we were set out to see. Although it was pretty, we knew we had something much more pretty ahead of us. After scarfing down a bag of Chex mix, we proceeded.

Loch Lake

After busting our legs for a solid 1.5 miles, we decided to stop and take a look. We gained quite a bit of elevation and distance, but we could still see Loch Lake from where we stood. We decided to take a quick break before we climbed up the waterfall that stood between us and Glass Lake.

A view of Loch Lake

After our legs were rested, we decided to make the trek up Timberline Falls. No climbing gear was necessary for the climb, so I believe it was technically a “scramble” up the rocks. However, it was enough of a challenge to get our adrenaline going!

A small portion of the scramble up the Timberline Falls

As we reached the top of the waterfall, we were greeted by what seemed like 100 mph winds and very chilly weather to go alongside it. The wind was strong enough to throw my hat and sunglasses about 20 feet. However, it was all worth it for the view we had of Glass Lake.

The pictures of glass lake do absolutely no justice to the actual beauty it was. We have seen a lot of very pretty views since we’ve been here in Colorado, but nothing has compared to this. I’m sure the journey there only added to its’ beauty. Reflecting back at the views, conversation, climbing up the waterfall, and everything else along the way — there just wasn’t much we didn’t enjoy (except for the lines, busses, and ridiculous parking situation).

The hike back was tiring, but we wore a smile all the way back. We kept one another company — mostly through conversation about how hungry we were and planning out what kind of food we were going to demolish after we got back into Denver. In case you are curious, we went with subs — specifically I went with a Philly Cheese Steak. No complaints.

We are meant to explore this beautiful earth and everything it has to offer. We are extremely thankful to live in a state that has some of the most stunning landscapes and natural areas and we are showing our appreciation by exploring as much of it as we can. I hope you enjoyed reading about our journey! Until the next one..