You are here

Pets allowed
No
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
0.80 mi (1.29 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.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Views of surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park peaks. Kid friendly. Access to Jurassic Park.

Cons

Very heavily used. Limited parking.

Trailhead Elevation

8,920.00 ft (2,718.82 m)

Net Elevation Gain

20.00 ft (6.10 m)

Address

Lily Lake Trail
1149
Estes Park, CO 80517
United States

Features

Big vistas
Wildflowers
Fishing

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

05/10/2019
Those are some beautiful photos. This is a A short family-friendly loop and it’s a very easy flat hike. We hiked the Wild Basin Ouzel Falls 5.5 mile hike which is near this trail so having a short trail to end the day and walk out some kinks was perfect. There was a surprising amount of wildlife, ducks, various other birds, and muskrats. Here is my video of Lily Lake hike. https://youtu.be/h45ZpWjci30
09/06/2015
Lily Lake is quite beautiful and an easy hike. The Lily Lake parking lot is also the place for the best 4G reception if you are staying at Olive Ridge Campground or around the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.