Category Archives: Rock Climbing

Moore Park site

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Hiking details:

  • 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.

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Lily Mountain

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Panoramic of a sunset from Lily Mountain

Marveling at a rainy-day sunset from the top of Lily Mountain.

Hiking details:

  • Mileage: 4 miles roundtrip
  • Altitude:9,786 feet
  • Elevation gain:1,006 feet
  • To get there: Take Highway 7 south out of Estes Park to the Lily Mountain trail head.

I don’t know where to look, and I say so out loud. Alex and I are alone on the top of Lily Mountain for a sunset. It’s 8:30, quiet and calm. The Continental Divide is looking back at us, every single mountain in the chain perked up to greet us, it seems. All day it rained on and off, leaving layers of heavy clouds stacked above the mountains. From behind Sundance Mountain the sun is turning the cloud’s edges orange, like the fading embers of a flaming piece of paper. Later, they will be cotton-candy pink, the cloud variety that pleases me most. Further south the clouds line up behind Long’s and Meeker and turn purple in the fading light. For fear of missing an important element in this Thursday night light show, I am scanning the mountains. Where do I look?

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