2019 Estes Park Colorado Vacation

For our annual summer vacation this year we returned as we do every 5 or 6 years to Estes Park Colorado. We rented a Tahoe and drove as we’ve come to realize that when we hike, we take a lot of stuff and it’s just much more convenient.

Our first day out we tried to go hiking in the Wild Basin area but it was closed for the day for road repairs and so we ended up just doing both the high and low trails around Lily Lake and then headed over to explore the Alluvial Fan area.

The next day we were able to get into the Wild Basin area and ended up hiking through Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades, Ouzel Falls, Ouzel Lake, on our way to the highest and furthest location, Bluebird Lake before returning to the trailhead at Wild Basin. This was one of the most difficult hikes we’ve tried in years. Without our little side trips hiking straight to the lake is rated as difficult with a distance of 12.1 miles and an elevation change of 2,657 feet. According to our tracker we covered just over 16 miles that day and we felt it…so we rested the next day by venturing into Estes Park.

For our next hike we ventured out to see Bridal Veil Falls by way of the Cow Creek Trailhead. The hike was mostly in the open and 6.1 miles long with an elevation change of only 964 feet so it was fairly easy since we started earlier in the day to avoid the afternoon sun.

The next day of hiking had us hiking up to Nymph Lake, Dream Lake and Emerald Lake taking the turn on the way back down to go up to Lake Haiyaha before returning to the trailhead and finishing with the hike around Bear Lake. This all came in at just under 7 miles with an elevation change from highest to lowest of 846 feet.

Finally, on our last day hiking we headed back up to Bear Lake to take the Bear Lake Trail then taking a left onto the Flat Top Mountain Trail which lead to the Fern Lake Trail. We did the little side hike to see Lake Helene before continuing on to Odessa Lake, Fern Lake, Fern Falls, The Pool and then on to the Fern Lake Trailhead. Unfortunately the shuttle doesn’t make it down that road so we had to do the 1 mile hike up to the closest shuttle stop. This ended up being just under 12 miles on our tracker with an elevation change of just under 1,900 feet. It’s now one of our favorite hikes with the most incredible views of Odessa Gorge as well as numerous mountain peaks along the way. While fairly strenuous, and I wouldn’t want to reverse the hike, we all felt it was well worth it and hope to make this trek again in the future.

Here’s the link to some pics or you can just click on the picture below.

Bluebird Lake