The hike up to Timberline Falls is a challenging, but super rewarding adventure in Rocky Mountain National. Can't beat multiple lakes, stunning mountain vistas, and TWO towering waterfalls in one hike!
Start this adventure at the Glacier Gorge trailhead. You can also access it by the Bear Lake parking lot/trailhead, but it will add a short distance to the hike. These lots fill fast. A free shuttle runs throughout RMNP and stops at both of these lots if you need to find parking elsewhere. More info can be found on the shuttle HERE.
The first part of this hike will be the easy trek to the incredible Alberta Falls. Alberta falls is a gorgeous waterfall, and a great place to sit on a nearby rock, and bask in the beauty of the park. You can climb up next to the falls for fantastic views and enjoy the roar of the water. This is one of the more popular hiking spots in the park, so it can get a bit crowded.
Continue climbing up past the falls and continue on the Glacier Gorge/Loch Vale trail on the right at the first junction. After climbing for about a half mile, you will reach another junction. Follow the sign towards Loch Vale/Sky Pond.
You'll climb for about a mile until you reach stunning Loch Vale or better known as just "The Loch". This is a gorgeous lake, and a great spot to take a breather or maybe have a snack at, as this lake is generally less windy than the area you will be ascending to. If you look above Loch lake to the West, you can actually see Timberline Falls and the area you will be climbing to!
Continue on the trail towards Sky Pond, past the Loch. You will start to gain elevation quickly, this can be a more challenging section of the hike. To your left you will start to hear and see gorgeous Timberline Falls!
Keep going and you will get to the base of the 100 foot falls, a magical site and a great place to soak in the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park. Be aware it is generally fairly windy here and can be quite cold even in the middle of summer. Dress accordingly for this adventure and wear lots of layers!
From here you can choose to continue the climb to stunning Sky Pond by actually climbing sections of this waterfall to the right! (It isn't as hard as it sounds or looks at first, just take your time!) Or you could head back down and take a detour out to pristine Mills Lake on your way back. Whatever you choose, just remember to take your time and enjoy the breathtaking views on this incredible Nation Park adventure!
The path up to Sky Pond actually requires you to climb the falls! Learn more on the Sky Pond adventure!
Bring the camera for some great shots of multiple waterfalls!
Starting this trail from the Glacier Gorge trailhead is optimal, however, you can also start from the Bear Lake lot. There is a free shuttle that runs throughout the park with stops at these lots if they are full. Click HERE for more info on the shuttle.