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Trip Details

Date Saturday  2/24/2018
End Date
Group Shining Mountains
Event Title South Glacier Knob Loop (RMNP)
Start Time 8:00 AM
Status Complete
Leader Pete Langer
Member Price Free
Non-member Price Free
Available Participants No tickets left
Waitlist Participants 3
Type Trip
Trip Type Snowshoe
Pace Casual
Classification Moderate B
Trail Mileage 6.0
Elevation Gain 1200
Driving Distance 12


Our hike will be to the summit of the "South Glacier Knob" above Mills Lake (and below Half Mountain) in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  This will be a mostly off-trail loop hike (snowshoes required) with a (really fun) return to the trailhead via a descent of the frozen Glacier Creek.  We will meet at 8:00 AM at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (BMVC) and carpool from there to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead.  There are toilets at both BMVC and the trailhead.  At the BMVC meeting place, please park in the outbound lane spots farthest from the Visitor Center building (and closest to the lot exit).  A Park Pass will be required for each car we take into the Park so, if you have one, please bring it.

For more info Contact

Contact your trip leader Pete Langer at or voice at 970-227-3614.


Our hike today will be a loop hike to the summit of the "South Glacier Knob".  This is a rock dome above Mills Lake and is connected to Half Mountain by a ridge.  The highest of the highpoints that comprise this glacier knob is visible from the Glacier Gorge TH parking lot.  It is the bump on the horizon between Half Mountain and Thatchtop.  However, the summit is not our only objective.  Our descent route down Glacier Creek from its outflow point at Mills Lake is just plain fun!  Our pace will be comfortable to all participants.  We'll take the few steep segments slowly.  The trailhead to trailhead time will be about 5 hours.

From our meeting point at BMVC, we will carpool to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead.  We will take the "winter trail" to the Loch/Mills junction and continue on the summer trail to Mills Lake.  The South Glacier Knob will be immediately above us to our left.  After a brief rest we will begin the ascent of the Knob.  Initially we will be on open terrain with some well-placed vantage points that look out high over Mills Lake.  Eventually we will work our way into denser, steeper terrain that we will take to the top.  We should be able to wear our snowshoes to the cairned summit.  There is an excellent lunch spot up here that we will take advantage of.  The views up Glacier Gorge are spectacular and are somewhat unique as the whole of the gorge is visible.

Once back at Mills Lake, we will exit the lake on its outflow creek, Glacier Creek.  We will drop over steep Glacier Falls (which is not visible from the summer trail) and continue down the Glacier Creek drainage passing the bridge at the North Longs Peak Trail.  We will continue down the drainage over a blue-ice wonder unofficially known as "Roberta Falls" and make our way to Alberta Falls.  From there, we will continue through a narrow gorge (that can only be tracked in winter) to the bridge on the Glacier Creek Trail.  We will take that trail back to the Glacier Gorge TH thereby completing the loop.


Snowshoes will be required.  Gaiters, trekking poles, and snow pants will be extremely helpful and bringing a spare pair of socks is recommended.  Conditions are often windy at Mills Lake so consider goggles and a balaclava also.  The ascent of the South Glacier Knob as well as the descent in Glacier Creek will be off trail, probably not packed, and is quite often in very deep snow.  Additionally, we will often be walking over a frozen creek bed so you'll want the float the snowshoes will give you.  This hike has been previewed.

Sorry it is past the registration deadline for this event.