- Mileage: 3.4 miles round trip
- Elevation gain: 360 feet
- Altitude: 9,760 feet
- To get there: Take Highway 7 to the Long’s Peak trailhead. Follow the Long’s Peak trail 0.5 miles and take a right at the fork in the trail.
- Side trips: Eugenia Mine, Estes Cone.
We are starting out to Moore Park late, as dusk is settling in the Estes Valley, and I am happy we only have 1.7 miles to the site after a tough day at work. It is quiet on the trail and we meet no other hikers, except for some of my fellow Mary’s Lake Lodge employees who are just getting down off the Estes Cone. As they are heading home, we are just beginning our first two-nighter of the season. I am exhausted, but exhilarated about what mysteries the next two days in the park might hold.
The hike to Moore Park is fairly easy, with little elevation gain. Still, I am dragging my feet the whole way, anxious to get there and crawl into the tent for an early bedtime.
“You’re going to get off work and leave right away to go backpacking?” one of my tables had asked me as I worked earlier in the day.
“Yeah,” I told them. “It’s a little rushed, but that’s July.”
I tried to get everything for the trip prepared the day before so Alex and I could leave as soon as we were both off of work. Still, we don’t reach our site until about 9. On the way, we pause for a picture at the Eugenia Mine, which dates back to 1905. All I can see of the mine is what used to be a house and is now just a short stack of wood that made up the frame.
After setting up our tent at the site, we perch on a nearby flat rock to enjoy a snack of Sleepytime Tea and Cinnamon and Sugar Pop-Tarts. Our site is about a 3 minute walk from a meadow, and as the darkness comes I am constantly scanning the trees for glowing eyes or the movement of animals that may be coming in from the meadow to sleep in the trees. But it is a quiet night at Moore Park, until middle-of-the-night winds start whipping our rain fly around. We awake to a warm, windy day and have breakfast in the nearby meadow before heading to our next site, the Boulder Brook group site.
Source: NPS area maps of RMNP