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Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

Merritt Island...
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Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

We'll be driving up from Colorado Springs and were given a good scenic route up the Peak to Peak Byway. Any interesting historic spots or lunch recommendations would be appreciated.

Also,

I picked a few hikes on the road up, are most of these easily accessible and easy to moderate hikes?:

Mitchell Lake

Long Lake

Lost Lake

Rainbow Lakes

St. Marys Glacier(this seems a bit out of the way but maybe worth it.

Thanks

Nederland, Colorado
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1. Re: Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

All of the hikes you list are very easy. Mitchell and Long Lake are in the Brainard Lake Recreation area/Indian Peaks Wilderness. There is a fee to get to the trailheads.

protrails.com/trails/…mitchell_lake

protrails.com/trails/view/119/indian_peaks_w…

Lost Lake is past the town of Eldora http://www.protrails.com/trails/view/26

Rainbow Lakes is past the town of Nederland protrails.com/trails/…rainbow_lakes

Depending on your timing, you could stop in Nederland for lunch/ pick up snacks or a picnic.

Edited: 18 June 2012, 21:48
Nederland, Colorado
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2. Re: Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

Babalax always gives good advice! I wouldn't call Lost Lake easy, but moderate depending on your shape/acclimatization. Parking is hard, but there's a new shuttle system this season....

The Sundance cafe just south of Nederland has nice views, okay food ( but friends like the food more than myself). I'd stick to the Brainerd area (mitchell, long) for easier and higher hikes ( entrance fee).

Windsor, Colorado
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3. Re: Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

If you have an Annual Pass (Federal Lands Interagency Pass), the Brainard Lake Recreation Area fee is covered. I did read 2012 would be the last year the fee would be covered by the Annual Pass.

Nederland, Colorado
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4. Re: Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

Good point belizeeee - of those mentioned Lost Lake would be more of a moderate hike. I read that the shuttle will only run on weekends and holidays. I think the fee at Brainard is still $9. Well worth it IMO.

Chicago, IL
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5. Re: Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

I really like the hikes in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Besides the ones you mentioned, there is also a nice hike starting at the Long Lake Trailhead and ending up after 2 miles at Lake Isabelle.

A good place for lunch would be The Savory Cafe in Nederland.

http://www.thesavorycafened.com/

Have a good trip.

houston
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6. Re: Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

I heard during drought years that St. Marys Glacier isn't as much there. Is it still worth a drive and hike compared to others?

We are going to be there at the end of July.

thanks!

Merritt Island...
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7. Re: Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

Thanks for all the repsonses. That ProTrails is a great site. I picked a few shorter ones but have others marked. We're from Florida and don't do alot of hiking, or at altitude.(My house is a whopping 6 ft above sea level)

Here are a few from RMNP. I'd love to get your opinion.

Ute Trail

Moraine Park Trail

Big Meadows

Or any you'd recommend along trail Ridge rd.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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8. Re: Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

Tomn3, one of your days for RMNP, you need to drive and explore Trail Ridge Road. Here is the link to a timeline and itinerary for doing that. You will be backtracking on TRR after crossing over to Grand Lake but no one minds. This timeline is the last question in the RMNP forum Top Questions.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g143048-i3489-k542…

I would add the Holzwarth Historic Site walk to the timeline for the good chance of spotting moose.

The upper section of the Ute Trail leaves from TRR near the Forest Canyon Overlook. You will see it on the park map. It has great views and you only want to walk about 1 1/2 to 2 miles before turning around. There is no need to start going downhill. You can add this to the timeline. Parking is very limited so you may have to skip it.

Big Meadows is on the western side of the park and you will not have time to do it on the day you are exploring TRR. You would need to make a trip back over TRR to do this hike.

The Moraine Park trail is a walk through a meadow and is not high on my list.

Hikes/walks you want to consider in my opinion:

Bear Lake Loop--be very aware of Bear Lake Road Reconstruction. www.nps.gov/romo and click on the red alert.

Bear Lake TH to Dream and Emerald (most popular hike in the park)

Alberta Falls

Sprague Lake

Alluvial Fan

Lily Ridge Trail

Gem Lake Trail at least to the ridge to the right of the steps for views--the lake is nothing to write home about.

Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades

The Pool from the Fern Lake TH

See nps.gov/romo/…list_hiking_trails.htm for a list of hiking trails in RMNP.

rmnp.com/RMNP-Things-ShortWalksAndHikes.HTML has additional info on some of the hikes I mentioned.

Merritt Island...
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9. Re: Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

For travelling TRR to Grand Lake, would it be easier(quicker) to follow thru and loop around the southb side and back up? Or backtrack across TRR? Just thinking if we made it to Grand Lake for late afternoon, dinner. If not, what is recommended for exploring that side of the park?

Windsor, Colorado
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10. Re: Peak to Peak Hwy and Hikes

Tomn3, in the link to the timeline and itinerary I gave you for driving and exploring TRR, the reason I made a loop was because TRR was closed due to bad weather after I got to Grand Lake. This can happen early in the season (my trip was May 16) but is unlikely during the summer. It is much quicker to backtrack over TRR. If traffic is not too bad, you can make it back over TRR to Estes in 90 minutes but it is usually 2 hours due to slow moving and stopping traffic.

You can spend the night in Grand Lake to explore more of the western side of RMNP and maybe enjoy a boat tour of Grand Lake or the acclaimed Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. www.grandlakechamber.com is a good source of info for lodging and other info for Grand Lake. If you want to do this, I would stay in Grand Lake the night before going back to Denver. Take the highway 34/40/I-70 route from Grand Lake back to Denver. This route through Winter Park and over Berthoud Pass is very pretty.