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incredible views from the summit if you manage to stay on the trail

hiking
11 days ago

This hike was ok, not my favorite. The entire hike is in dense dry pine forest, I guess I prefer more lush scenery. And the only panoramic view is at the summit, and you still have to scramble to the top of the highest pile of boulders to see it. The last mile to the summit is also very steep and rocky, hard on the knees. I don’t recommend it for kids. I hiked it in September and was hoping for some views of the changing aspens, there were a few trees along the trail that had changed but other then that not good for aspen viewing.

I just wanted to follow up on @AmandaNowak's comment. The Antelope trailhead indeed only has about 10 parking spots and no parking allowed along the street. The Bitterbrush trailhead on the other hand has 2 huge parking lots. These 2 trailheads connect up and it's about a 2 mile hike from one to the other (one way). I think it's a little bit of an easier hike to go from Antelope to Bitterbrush than Bitterbrush to Antelope, but you'll end up having to go both ways to get back to your car, so if you plan on doing the full distance it probably doesn't matter which trailhead you start at. The directions on this trail will take you to the Antelope trailhead, but you can Google map Bitterbrush Trailhead in Lyons and find that one instead very easily (from downtown Lyons you head towards Allenspark instead of towards Estes like you would for the Antelope trailhead). Also there are no bathrooms at the Antelope trailhead because it's so small but there are a couple toilets and picnic benches under a shelter at the Bitterbrush trailhead.

Hard hike but worth the view!!

on Estes Cone Trail

1 month ago

If you’re not parked in the parking lot (which fills up really early), be VERY careful where you park as they tow cars parked on the side of the road on the side of the yellow curvy road sign that is closer to the trail. As per an officer, you’re ok if you’re not parked after that sign (on the way up), not in front of a no parking sign, and have both wheels completely off the road, i.e. to the side of the white line.

mountain biking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite trails.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. The views don’t come until the top however,. Until then it is hiking through forest with some wildflowers, and then when you reach the top, the views are breathtaking.

hiking
2 months ago

Best view you can get without climbing Long's Peak (I think, haven't done that yet). To the north we could see Lily Lake, Estes lake and Sprague lake. Bring a snack or lunch to sit and enjoy the views with. Watch out for bold Chipmunks and take your trash with you. We spent a week hiking and only picked up one small chip bag along a trail, that was a nice change from what I'm use to.

Started our trek at Bear Lake trailhead, per the advice of a person on the shuttle. Good decision! Hiked mostly downhill to Bierstadt and then enjoyed the loop around the lake. Thanks to another tip from a fellow hiker, we found a nice spot off the loop to view the lake (it is surrounded by trees). Next, we hiked to the Bierstadt trailhead which involves scenic views going DOWN the switchbacks. (Note: If we had started the hike from Bierstadt trailhead and ended at Bear Lake, this would have been a much more strenuous journey!) It took my family (12 month old on my back + two 6 year olds) about three hours total.

Advice for families: Start at Bear Lake trailhead, end at Bierstadt trailhead, use shuttle back to Bear Lake or to Park & Ride.

hiking
2 months ago

Wife and I hiked the estes cone trail today 7.10 in a little under 4 hrs. Arrived at trailhead just before 9 and lot was full so parked on the road with a short walk back up. Great overall, moderately challenging hike, esp the last .5 mil. The trail is hard to dicern near the top and back down so be sure to notice your surroundings. View from the top is worth all those steps.

2 months ago

It is a hard trail. Up near the summit, the carens disappear near the summit so it is very easy to get lost coming back down.

We hiked this one 6/5 and only did a one way trip. We parked at bear lake and then took the shuttle back from the Bierstadt trail head. The hike was fairly easy, as most of it is downhill. It took me about 2 hours to make the one way trip at an easy pace. The hike is mostly through wooded areas so not as scenic until you reach the switch backs headed down to the trail head. The switchbacks offer up some really great views of Sprague lake and the mountains surrounding Bear Lake.

Hiked 5/29. On the tougher side of easy, after Bear Lake. Steep incline and then the descent after Bierstadt was hard on the ankles with the rocky trail. Starting at Bear Lake TH is the way to go. Bierstadt is a beautiful scene with incredible views. There are a couple trail markers to keep you from meandering to the Park and Ride and to keep hiking the lake. The descent was perhaps my favorite part- the view was breathtaking with every switchback!

Easy and fun hike. The inclinés are very gradual and worth it to get to the beautiful, glassy lake. The trail is very well maintained and great for all ages. I would definitely bring visitors to Colorado out to this trail again.

3 months ago

Wonderful views of Longs Peak. Nice steady climb. (~2000’ in three miles) Views at the top are very nice! Also, you can access it from Lilly lake or the ranger station.

Wasn't able to do the hike. Got to the trailhead at 10am on a Monday in the beginning of May and there was no parking available. Looks like there was only room for a max of 10 cars, if that. The 2 mile road leading up to the trailhead was all marked no parking.

5 months ago

One of our favorites, and doesn't require having to go through the national park to get to the trail head. Loved the scramble at the top, and the windy views are worth it. Would not recommend this trail of you have small children that do not like scrambling.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a wonderful hike. It is easy to find and offers amazing views from the summit.

I started from the Long's Peak Ranger Station parking lot. It is easily accessible from Highway 7. The road were plowed, paved and easily accessible.

We started later in the day, around 1 pm. That was probably a mistake because the snow was a bit messy and slushy due to the warm weather. The trail to Long's Peak and Chasm Lake was fairly busy, we saw 5 groups going in both directions over the first half mile. We saw only one group on the trail once we turned North toward the Cone. This was a nice surprise to see the trail nearly empty.

The trail is well packed and easy to hike in micro spikes. Snowshoes were not necessary. The snow was not very deep and potholing was not an issue. The initial 2 miles of the hike are rolling hills with relatively little elevation gain. It was a very laid back hike. The final 1.2 miles is where the majority of the elevation gain comes from. Once you cross Storm Pass Trail you are on the final .7 miles of ascent. The snow is very sloppy here and you could see areas where people slid 5 to 6 feet through the slush. The trail is very steep here and very slick. Also, follow the cairns. I got a little lost because a set of foot prints that looked like the trail lead to a dead end. I used my GPS to find my way back to the trail.

It may be getting to be a little late in the snow season to attempt this trail. Know if you are comfortable hiking on steep slick terrain. The snow is beginning to melt and there were small trails of melted water that made the trail even messier. There were marks in the snow from what looked like falls by other hikers. The descent was difficult and I did fall one time, though I was not hurt.

The view is one of the best in Colorado because you can see the entire continental divide as it winds through Rocky Mountain National Park. It is pretty amazing and humbling. Long's Peak is definitely the highlight of the view, but the whole thing is pretty amazing.

on Estes Cone Trail

hiking
5 months ago

Memorial Day weekend 2017. Icy in spots toward the top, slippery in spots. Nice view of Longs Peak from the summit.

Nice quiet trail with great views at the top. Snowshoes not needed as the trail was almost all packed snow, but I was very happy I brought my micro spikes. There were some rogue snowshoe tracks a bit after the sign saying 0.7 miles to the top, right as you start to really gain elevation up the cone, but I was able to find the trail easily with the many cairns. Took me 3 hours round trip.

snowshoeing
6 months ago

We hiked from the Longs Peak ranger station to the peak and back.

Snowshoes were handy, as some people in our group didn’t have them and were up to their hips in the recent snow. I didn’t bring spikes however, and the snowshoes were tough on the icy/rocky bits; just my boots didn’t grip well as there was a lot of hard packed icy snow.

That being said, if I’d had the right gear, I would have enjoyed the last mile up/down a lot more. Due to the snow and ice, it took about 6 hours.

The views were beautiful, though, even before we got to the top. Highly recommend if you have the right gear with you.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked up here with my dad about a year and a half ago, and what a great hike it was! We started on the Longs Peak Trailhead and stayed on it for the first half mile, then took the Estes Cone trail the rest of the way past Eugenia Mine and Storm Pass. The trail was in great condition from the trailhead to Storm Pass. After Storm Pass the trail became a bit hard to follow, but there were many cairns along the way, which were a big help. After passing through a nice coniferous and birch forest, the views really began to abound on the way up to Storm Pass. Once we got to the summit, they were even better. The only difficult part was the last half mile, which gained about 600 feet of elevation. Can't wait to return to the area!

hiking
6 months ago

Sat. 3/10/18 -- light snow, temps in the low 30s
start time: 10:00am
total hiking time: ~3hrs
trail traffic: low

- ~1" fresh snow on the trail, otherwise packed underneath and icy in various sections
- gaiters: nice, not necessary
- snowshoes: unnecessary
- microspikes: wicked handy, perhaps necessary to safely navigate the topmost sections after Storm Pass
- trail a little hard to follow in rocky sections towards the top, look for tracks or cairns

Absolutely gorgeous every time!! Just wanted to let people know that when I went up here on 2/7, where the Bitterbrush Trail meets with Antelope Trail, there's that gorgeous meadow and prairie dog community to look out on. My friend and I definitely saw a mountain lion walking around far from us among the prairie dogs, so please be a aware that one has been seen very recently!

Beautiful hike, did the Antelope to Bitterbrush to the Nelson Loop, then back down Antelope. We got here about 8am and saw more then 50 deer and 10+ bucks on the hike. Might go a little earlier next time to avoid the influx of mountain bikers we encountered after the half way point. Also, if you get to the Nelson loop, go clockwise to get the best views of Longs towards the top.

Went up to Bear Lake with the plans to snowshoe the Bear Lake and Bierstadt Lake trails. Snow has been sparse so far this year and we were concerned that there would be minimal snow coverage and what the trail condition may be. The weather pulled through and we had a micro blizzard for our snowshoe hike. It was awesome.

Fresh snow if you're looking to head up snowshoeing soon. ENJOY!

Note: There were some ice patches on the road up through RMNP and some cars struggled.

hiking
8 months ago

This was an amazing hike, highly recommended. The trail was mostly snow pack but relatively easy travel. I wore micro-spikes, and I would recommend doing the same, but you could probably get by with just a good pair of boots. The trail is clear all the way to the juncture of storm pass. From this point, the trail becomes steeper, with a few more slippery spots along the way. There is one more junction that leads the rest of the way up to the summit of Estes Cone. After this junction the trail becomes a little more obscure. Cairns will mark the trail as you make your way up but it seems that there a few different options. The views from the top are spectacular. Longs peak presents itself to the south, and the peaks of Otis, Sharkstooth, Powell and McHenrys rise in the west. Plenty of good rock formations at the top to search for a good sitting place. The whole journey took me about 4 hours. Plus an hour to sit and enjoy the views.

hiking
8 months ago

We hiked this trail on New Year's Day, so there was barely any traffic. There was snow pack and patches of ice, but we didn't feel the need to stop and put on our micro spikes at any point. In the last half mile to the summit the trail became difficult to find because of the snow and "rogue" snowshoe tracks. But there were plenty of cairins to help lead you back to the trail. I think a moderate rating is accurate.

Beautiful, peaceful, not many people today. Traction makes it better.

Amazing winter hike! Would suggest microspikes, saw tons of animal tracks - rabbits, squirrel, mountain lion, elk - and pretty much had Bierstadt lake to ourselves

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