Sky Pond is not only known for its pristine beauty, but also its incredible rock formations.

Sharkstooth is a beautiful rock formation in Rocky Mountain National Park, located at Sky Pond in an alpine setting at 11,900 feet above sea level. This natural rock formation has been named for its striking resemblance to a row of shark’s teeth, only much, much larger. Its jagged-narrow tooth-like spindles and spires distinguish it from any other rock formation in the park.

Start your hike to Sky Pond from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, located on Bear Lake Road roughly 8 miles from the turn-off at Highway 36. This 8.1-mile heavily trafficked out and back trail gains 1,710 feet in elevation and is rated as difficult. The trail features summer blooms, pristine forests, stunning waterfalls, wildlife sightings, magnificent peak views, and two beautiful alpine lakes –  Sky Pond and The Lake of Glass.

Rocky Mountain National Parks offers a variety of camping opportunities for adventure-seeking souls. However, Andrews Creek Campsite is the closest backcountry campsite available. This 10,560-foot-high campsite is just 0.2 miles beyond the junction of Andrews Creek Trail and Loch Vale Trail. You will need a backcountry permit to camp here.

Photo Credit: detroitstylz (Flickr.)

Other prominent formations that can be found towering over Sky Pond include Petit Grepon, The Saber, and The Foil – making this a popular destination among tourists, particularly rock climbers.

If you really want a great view, get to Sky Pond for the sunrise. Photo Credit: Chris Ruemenapp.

The lake also offers some great fishing opportunities. Populations of brown, brook, rainbow and cutthroat (Colorado River, greenback and Yellowstone) trout can be found within the waters of the park. A valid Colorado fishing license is required for anyone 16 years or older to fish in Rocky Mountain National Park. For additional park rules and regulations regarding fishing, click here.

Get an early start to avoid crowds or take the free park shuttle to access the trailhead. Due to dangerous snow conditions, Glacier Gorge Trail is best used from June through early September (but be aware of trail conditions during the day you’re visiting). Spikes and trekking poles are also highly recommended for this extremely steep and strenuous ascent.

Laura Kottlowski skates on the ice of 10,900-foot Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park Sunday, March 13, 2016. Kottlowski hiked the nine miles to the alpine lake to figure skate on the glass-like ice. Kottlowski says skating on the high alpine lakes can be like first tracks on a powder day at a ski area. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Rocky Mountain National Park offers several hiking trails of various lengths and difficulty levels, many of which lead you to alpine lakes, waterfalls, and wilderness wonders. Prior to planning your visit, always check incoming weather and trail conditions. Be prepared for the unexpected – including heavy rain, gusty winds, and changing temperatures. Bring sunscreen, rain gear, and extra warm layers.

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