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Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,116.00 ft (340.16 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
7.50 mi (12.07 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

A hidden gem of a hike located just a few miles from Estes Park, Homestead Meadows provides not only a beautiful hike through wildflower-filled meadows but is also a journey back through time. This extensive hike is steeped in the history of the first settlers of the area, and the highlights of this hike are the eight individual homesteads spread through miles of trail that give this area its name.

A great portion of the hike is on marked fire roads that are in actuality the old wagon routes the settlers used to travel into town. Access to this remote section is from from either the south end of Hermit Park Open Space on the Homestead Meadows Trail or from the Lion Gulch Trail. If you’re planning to visit all of the homesteads, it will most likely take all day and be a journey of at least 15 miles, which may be better accomplished by mountain bike.

If time is limited, stay on the north side of the Homestead Meadows area to visit the four closest homes: Brown, Griffith, Walker, and Irvin. Of all the sites in the area, the Irvin homestead is the most complete. With at least six different buildings in impressively good condition, this homestead features a bathhouse, sawmill, barn, and huge main house whose cooking and baking implements still hang on the shelves above the old porcelain-faced cooking stove. Wash tubs and woodworking tools, many of which have sat in the same spot for generations, fill the shed and the sawmill just behind the main house. After exploring here for a while, you really get a feeling for the lives of the homesteaders and the remoteness they embraced every day. Their story tells the tale of the rugged pioneering spirit that helped shape the area and Estes Park into what it is today. Impressions of days gone by still echo throughout the meadows and hillsides at Homestead Meadows.

When visiting the homesteads please look and observe only; do not remove or touch artifacts. The homesteads are a unique piece of Estes Park history for all, both past and future, to enjoy.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Yes

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Low foot traffic.

Cons

$9 access fee.

Trailhead Elevation

8,271.00 ft (2,521.00 m)

Highest point

8,710.00 ft (2,654.81 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,116.00 ft (340.16 m)

Features

Family friendly
ADA accessible
Vault toilet
Potable water
Wildflowers
Bird watching
Historically significant
Wildlife
Horseback riding

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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Estes Park, Colorado is the base camp for amazing adventures in Rocky Mountain National Park and your favorite mountain getaway. Explore the Colorado Rockies. Encounter real wildlife. Whether you are planning a romantic weekend or the family vacation of a lifetime, Estes Park has the eventslodging and activities to create the perfect escape from the everyday. So, go ahead. Start planning today to experience Estes Park tomorrow.

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