Lily Mountain is a fantastic viewpoint between Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Though it is not quite within park boundaries, the summit offers a panorama of many impressive 12,000-foot and 13,000-foot peaks, plus the iconic Longs Peak, at 14,249 feet elevation. Below you lies the picturesque Lily Lake and Fish Creek. To the south are the rugged Twin Sisters Peaks. To the north, you can see the town of Estes Park and more of the Front Range.
This trail is of moderate difficulty, ascending approximately 1,000 feet in 2 miles, but the spectacular summit is worth every bit of effort. The final several hundred yards will likely require some use of your hands to scramble up a low-angle rocky ridge. Route finding might become a bit difficult near the top, but following rock stacks and a trail sign will keep you on track. As you work up to this point you will travel through shady conifer forest dominated by lodgepole pines along a much less rugged path. Shortly after starting the hike, notice the landslide area caused by catastrophic flooding in 2013. This trail has only been re-opened since summer 2014, following extensive repairs.
If the parking lot is full, you may find parking at Lily Lake just a bit further up the road. You can walk back to the Lily Mountain Trailhead from there, but you will have to present a park pass or pay a fee to access the lake parking. Arrive early in the day for the best chance of parking at the trailhead.
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