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Lily Lake Loop Hike

Rocky Mountain National Park

Northern Front Range, Colorado

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Lily Lake Loop Hike

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  • Lily Lake Loop Trail.- Lily Lake Loop Hike
  • Lily Lake Loop Trail.- Lily Lake Loop Hike
  • View of Mount Meeker (13,911 ft), Longs Peak (14,259 ft) and Estes Cone (11,006 ft) from Lily Lake.- Lily Lake Loop Hike
  • Mount Meeker (13,911 ft) and Longs Peak (14,259 ft).- Lily Lake Loop Hike
  • Lily Lake Loop Trail.- Lily Lake Loop Hike
  • Cut-leaf gaillardia (Gaillardia pinnatifida).- Lily Lake Loop Hike
  • Lily lake.- Lily Lake Loop Hike
  • Many-flowered aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides) with a Hoary comma (Polygonia gracilis) butterfly.- Lily Lake Loop Hike
  • View south of "Jurassic Park," Lily Mountain's famed climbing area.- Lily Lake Loop Hike
  • Musk thistle (Carduus nutans) along the Lily Lake Loop Trail.- Lily Lake Loop Hike
  • - Lily Lake Loop Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Views of surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park peaks. Kid friendly. Access to Jurassic Park.
Cons: 
Very heavily used. Limited parking.
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Region:
Northern Front Range, CO
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
20.00 ft (6.10 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
0.80 mi (1.29 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
8,920.00 ft (2,718.82 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

With only a short drive from Estes Park, the whole family can enjoy this easy, ADA-accessible loop around Lily Lake within a scenic corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. While taking in views of granite crags, high mountains, and pine forests, kids can splash in cold, clear water at the lake's edge. It is stocked with federally-protected greenback cutthroat trout, which you are allowed to fish for as catch and release. Other wildlife to look for include ducks and herons in the water and hummingbirds around the numerous wildflowers. Deer and elk may be spotted grazing in the meadows surrounding the lake, but continual human presence makes these only an occasional sight.

Peaks visible from the trail include Twin Sisters to the southeast, Lily Mountain to the north, and Estes Cone to the southwest, with 14,259-foot Longs Peak as a dramatic backdrop.

There are various benches and picnic areas along the trail and near the parking lot as well as shady areas beneath trees. Restrooms are available at the trailhead. If you want to extend your hike, there are a few side trails that are accessible from the main loop, including the steep Lily Ridge Trail that climbs toward the impressive rock fins in the boulder field known as Jurrassic Park. You can also hike up Estes Cone by taking Storm Pass Trail from the lake loop.

Lily Lake was a special place to Enos Mills, a settler to this area who was instrumental in the founding of Rocky Mountain National Park. For a brief history lesson on Enos and his legacy, pause to read informative signs near the trailhead.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(14 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(100 within a 30 mile radius)

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