Monday, April 3, 2017

Day 49: Hiking from The Baldpate Inn

Estes Park is a hiker’s haven, and The Baldpate Inn is a wonderful place to start many hikes! With a spectacular view of Longs Peak and Mount Meeker greeting you at the top of the driveway, it’s hard not to be inspired to head for the hills! 

Guests and staff alike have taken advantage of Baldpate’s proximity to Longs Peak, making that VERY early morning start much more bearable. The fact that the Baldpate staff will send you off with a bag of goodies makes the “alpine start” that much sweeter. The hike up 14,259 foot Longs Peak is indeed long, but absolutely worth it in the end.

Brad, Greg and Jim on Longs Peak summit
Happily, there are also many hikes that can begin right from The Baldpate Inn that do not require you to be an insanely-early-morning-person! 

If you want to head downhill first, you can consider the Homer Rouse Memorial Trail.

Lily Mountain, across from The Baldpate, stretches above Lily Lake, and offers the starting point several hikes with stunning views. Estes Cone is also nearby.

For those who don’t need to stand on the top of a mountain to feel like they’ve enjoyed their hike, Lily Lake’s wheelchair accessible loop trail is beautiful and often serene. (Well, serene until you startle a deer and it yells at you).

Lily Lake with Mount Meeker and Longs Peak above

Twin Sisters Mountain is right behind The Baldpate Inn. As reported to me by a tourist encountered on the trail, with a definitely-not-from-Colorado accent, “That there is some real live mountain climbing!”

And indeed, it is always advisable - for a hike of any length - to be prepared with the 10 essentials, and keep your eye on the weather. And even if you are just hiking from the Baldpate’s Key Room to the Dining Room, remember to stay hydrated due to the higher elevation.  Hydrating along with a piece of pie totally counts! After that hike, you’ve earned it.

Cheers and happy hiking!

Written by Liz Rodgers

A younger me perched on a rock outcropping of Lily Mountain

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