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Lily Lake and Ridge Loop

Intermediate
 3.7 (12) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A quick loop right off of the peak-to-peak highway near Estes that offers a taste of RMNP's bounty.


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Map Key

1.1

Miles

1.8

KM

Loop

9,089' 2,770 m

High

8,922' 2,720 m

Low

168' 51 m

Up

166' 51 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly This is a short enough loop to be doable for the whole family. If climbing and descending the ridge is too much at this altitude, give it the axe and finish the complete Lily Lake Trail.

Overview

This is a great way to experience a taste of RMNP's bountiful scenery, flora and fauna. It's an easy drive (or shuttle ride) from Estes Park and the trail is located directly off of the highway.

Description

From the Lily Lake TH, start out on the Lily Lake Trail in a clockwise direction. This section of trail offers a nice, flat warm-up with stunning views of Longs Peak (14,259') and Mount Meeker (13,911') and, of course, the serene Lily Lake. Once you've reached the opposite side of the lake, look for the Lily Ridge Trail to branch off to the left - take it.

Lily Ridge Trail switchbacks its way up the ridge on the northern shore of the lake before flattening out and descending to the lake's eastern shore. This trail could prove a slight challenge for some but the views down on the lake are worth it if you're willing to put in the extra work.

Once you descend back to the lake, you'll be back at the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

The wildflowers around Lily Lake are stunning in the spring after the snow melts. Keep an eye out for deer, birds of prey and the [not so] occasional chipmunk.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 12 votes

#5

in Estes Park

#3090

Overall
  3.7 from 12 votes
5 Star
8%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
42%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#5

in Estes Park

#401

in Colorado

#3,090

Overall
106 Views Last Month
3,148 Since Jun 17, 2015
Intermediate

25%
8%
58%
0%
8%
0%

Photos

View of Longs Peak, looking west from Lily Lake. Lily Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park, Colorado.
Aug 10, 2019 near Estes Park, CO
Lily Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park, Colorado.
Aug 10, 2019 near Estes Park, CO
Rainy this day but great views here.
Jun 9, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Lily Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park, Colorado.
Aug 10, 2019 near Estes Park, CO
Overlooking Lily Lake from Lily Trail
Jul 9, 2020 near Estes Park, CO
Longs Peak from Lily Ridge Trail.
Jul 9, 2020 near Estes Park, CO

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Check-Ins

Aug 3, 2020
Susan C
Jul 29, 2020
Jonathan Everest
Jul 28, 2020
Zach Hayes
2.1mi
Jul 9, 2020
Brent Kasl
Great morning, no traffic, plenty of blue sky and ideal photos of Longs Peak and Lily Lake 1.5mi — 1h 30m
Dec 22, 2019
Mark Woods
I enjoy this loop hike in the summer but this was my first time standing in the middle of it frozen. The views from there are different.
Jul 10, 2019
Jack A
Jun 23, 2019
J B
Took the ridge and explored. Beautiful hike. 1.4mi
Jun 3, 2019
Trent Caldwell