Staunton SP

Staunton SP

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lily Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Lily Lake
Rocky Mountain National Park

Date Hiked: January 31, 2010

Distance: 2 mi (RT)

Elevation Gain: 200ft

Managing Agency: National Park Service

Rocky Mountain National Park Website (NPS)

Directions:  From Estes Park, travel south on Hwy 7 to the Lily Lake Trailhead.  The trailhead is right off of Hwy 7 after the Longs Peak Entrance.

The hike around Lily Lake is much more than just a walk around a lake.  While the trail is relatively easy and good for kids and adults alike, it has a lot to offer.  First of all, the views of Longs Peak are fantastic.  You can see the peak from almost the entire hike.  The hike starts off following the lake shore but you quickly leave the lake and climb to the top of the ridge bordering the northern shore.  From here you can see down on the lake as well as across the road to the Twin Sisters Peaks.  When you descend from the ridge, you'll be on the far shore of the lake.  From here it is an easy stroll back along the lake shore.  The views and the ease of this hike make it an essential Rocky Mountain hike.

Twin Owls, Rocky Mountain National Park

Twin Owls
Rocky Mountain National Park

Date Hiked: Jan. 31, 2010

Distance: 1.1 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 400ft
Managing Agency: National Park Service
Fee: None

Rocky Mountain National Park Trails Webpage (NPS)

Directions:  From downtown Estes Park, head north on 34 past the Stanley Hotel and make a right on MacGregor Ave.  Make another right onto Devil's Gulch Rd and look for the signs for Lumpy Ridge Trailhead on the left.  There is no fee to hike into RMNP from here.

Twin Owls is one of the more famous and prominent rock formations on Rocky Mountain National Park's Lumpy Ridge.  Lumpy Ridge is the dryer, lower elevation portion of the park located just north of Estes Park.  The rock formations are intricate and the trail are easily accessible during the winter and shoulder seasons.

The hike to the Twin Owls, or at least to a good view of them, starts at the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead and follows the signs to the Black Canyon Trail.  The turn around point is the junction with the Black Canyon Trail which lies just below the Twin Owls.  The trail is easy hiking, rolling over the hills, with views of the Twin Owls and other rock formations in this area.  This is a great hike for kids, hikers, and rock climbers alike.