Medium Hikes

Mills Lake

 

This lake is named after Enos Mills who helped create Rocky Mountain National Park and was his favorite spot to hike to in the park.  This trail starts at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead and takes you past Alberta Falls on the way up to Mills Lake.  The trail to Mills Lake splits after 2 miles at the junction with the trail to the Loch and the trail from Lake Haiyaha.  The trail to Mills Lake goes South (left) to a bridge across Icy Brook and then climbs a steep hillside of granite rock.  Once you are on the granite rock, look for rock cairns (piles of rocks) which mark the trail to the lake.  The trail to Mills Lake is about 2.7 miles long with an elevation gain of 760 feet.  The return trip is the same way you came up to the lake.

 

The Loch

 

This hike starts at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead and takes you past Alberta Falls on the way to the Loch.  The trail to the Loch splits after 2 miles at the junction with the trail to Mills Lake and the trail from Lake Haiyaha.  The trail to the Loch goes West (straight) up to the Loch.  The trail to the Loch is about 2.9 miles long with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet.  An add on to this hike is to continue on the trail up to Timberline Falls.  The trail to Timberline Falls is another 1 mile in length with an elevation gain of another 300 feet.  The return trip is the same way you came up to the lake or the falls.

 

Deer Mountain

 

This hike starts at the Deer Ridge Trailhead on Trail Ridge Road.  The trail up Deer Mountain is about 3.1 miles long with an elevation gain of 1,093 feet.  From the top of Deer Mountain you have a commanding view of the Estes Valley and the Front Range.  This is normally a hot and dry trail in the summer.  The return trip is the same way you came up the mountain.

 

Ouzel Falls

 

This hike starts at the Wild Basin Trailhead, which is located south of Estes Park on Highway 7.  The trail to Ouzel Falls is about 2.7 miles long with an elevation gain of 960 feet.  The falls is named for the Ouzel bird that will dive into the water of the falls.  This is a popular hike and can be a busy trail.  The trail to Ouzel Falls goes by Copeland Falls which is a very small falls compared to Ouzel Falls.  The return trip is the same way you came up to the falls.  This trail has also had bear activity on it.

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Chapin Mountain

 

This trail starts at the Chapin Pass Trailhead located on the Old Fall River Road close to the tree line.  The trail to Chapin Mountain is about 2.5 miles long with an elevation gain of 1,434 feet.  Chapin Mountain is part of the Mummy Range and you can climb Chiquita Mountain from Chapin Mountain.  The hike to Chiquita Mountain is another ½ mile with an elevation gain of another 615 feet.  You can also climb Ypsilon Mountain from Chiquita Mountain.  The hike to Ypsilon Mountain is another 1 mile with an elevation gain of another 445 feet.  The return trip is the same way you came up the mountain.

 

Lake Helene

 

This trail starts at the Flattop Mountain Trailhead that is on the East side of the lake.  From the trailhead for Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lakes take the trail to the North (right) that goes up to the lake and continue North until you come to the trailhead for Flattop Mountain, Odessa and Fern Lakes.  Take the Flattop Mountain trail 4/10 of a mile to the split in the trail that goes to Bierstadt Lake.  Take the Flattop Mountain Trail that goes West (left) until you come to the split in the trail that goes to Odessa and Fern Lakes.  Take the Odessa and Fern Lake Trail that goes West (straight).  Continue on the trail until just before you round the bend and begin to descend into Odessa Gorge.  You should see a faint trail heading South (left) to Lake Helene.  The trail to Lake Helene is about 3.2 miles long with an elevation gain of 1,130 feet.  If you hike to the South end of the lake you will probably find a snowfield and if you climb up the rocks to the West of the lake you should be able to get a nice view down the Odessa Gorge to Lake Odessa.  You also get a nice view of Notchtop Mountain to the West.  The return trip is the same way you came up to the lake.

 

Twin Sisters

 

This trail starts at the Twin Sisters Trailhead located south of Estes Park on Highway 7 by the Lily Lake parking area.  The trail to Twin Sisters is about 3.4 miles long with an elevation gain of 2,268 feet.  This hike is a warm and dry hike in the summer, but does offer an excellent view of Longs Peak and Mount Meeker.  The return trip is the same way you came up the mountain.

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