Lily Lake is only a couple miles from the Overlook and is located off of HW 7. It is directly across from the trail head for Twin Sisters and the entrance to the Baldpate Inn. There is a handicap accessible path around the lake that is excellent for everyone in the family. There are more challenging hikes in the surrounding mountains. It has a great view of Longs Peak and is always a favorite place for photos.
One of my favorite things to do is drive up Old Fall River Road to the Alpine Visitor Center in the RMNP. The Alpine Visitor Center is on top of the mountains at the continental divide which is above tree line. At the Alpine Visitor center you will find a ranger station, restrooms, gift store, and restaurant. It is very popular and therefore you want to get an early start. If you take Trail Ridge Road, which is the highest continuously paved road in the US, it is 22 miles from the Overlook. If you take the Old Fall River Road, it is only 11 miles. However, both take about 45 minutes. Trail Ridge Road is usually open by Memorial Day. Old Fall River Road doesn't open until July 4th. Both have spectacular views. However, Old Fall River Road is dirt and gravel. It is a one way road with steep drop offs. Enjoy these pictures of some of my favorite scenery on this drive.
This picture shows one of our colorful Colorado sky. This picture was taken around 6:30 a.m. on August 3rd, 2017 from the front deck of the Overlook.
It finally feels like summer. Summers are short in Estes and you need to be ready to take full advantage of the warmer weather. We grabbed a picnic, and some firewood and headed into the park for date night. We went to upper Beaver Meadows. This is one of our favorite spots. The views are spectacular, but then again, they are spectacular everywhere in the park. However, this picnic spot is only 3 miles from the Overlook, has nice restrooms, fire pits and picnic tables. The best time to go is during the week, or in our case, on a Sunday evening. We arrived at around 5:00 p.m. Sunday and were the only people there! I say people because there were lots of Elk, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, etc everywhere. On our way there, we passed a Bobcat carrying some creature in its mouth up our driveway next to the Overlook. He went right up the front steps of the Overlook and onto the deck. We thought about notifying our guests, but by the time we would have contacted them, he would have been long gone. Summers here. Time to start your Estes vacation!
Its that time of year when the Bull Elk are growing their new antlers. Initially, as they grow, they appear very thick and covered with velvet. In fact, they are referred to as velvet. Here is the definition from Wikipedia.
This Bull Elk was right in front of the Overlook yesterday foraging. Right now, everything is very green and lush in Estes. This will change in the next few weeks as things dry out. However, for now, the Elk and Deer are loving all the vegetation.