Upper Beaver Meadows in the Winter

A great easy hike in winter is the Upper Beaver Meadows hike.  There are two different routes you can take (or you can take one each way):  the road is 1.6 miles to get to the parking area at the west end of Beaver Meadows... 


Upper Beaver Meadows in Winter start

Upper Beaver Meadows in Winter Longs Peak


... or you can take the trail which is 1.5 miles and crosses the stream and runs along the south side of the meadow at the base of the moraine.  


Upper Beaver Meadows Stream

Upper Beaver Meadows Pine Trees


Once at the west parking area, you can take trails leading to either Moraine Park (which is 2.7 miles) or Trail Ridge Road and the Ute Meadow campsites (which is 6.5 miles).

Upper Beaver Meadows view


If you take the road, you will cross a picnic area (about 1.1 miles in) and then a trailhead which takes you to Deer Ridge Junction.  


Upper Beaver Meadows Winter Picnic Area


If it has recently snowed, it would be a good idea to bring along snowshoes.  The snow can melt quickly on many sections of the trail, but there can be sections where it hasn't melt and the wind blows it into big drifts which are quite hard to cross without snowshoes.  

The Upper Beaver Meadows trail is easy to get to and has beautiful views.  It's definitely a hike worth exploring. 

Restaurant of the Month - Notchtop Cafe

Looking for a great place for breakfast or lunch?  Look no further.  One of the local's favorites, The Notchtop Bakery & Cafe, is a great place to go in Estes Park for a made-from-scratch delicious meal.  


Notchtop Cafe exterior Notchtop Cafe interior


Notchtop Bakery & Cafe has easy parking, and from inside you can see the peaks of the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park in the background.  They have excellent service and free WiFi.  They specialize in using the most naturally grown, local, and fresh ingredients available and they make everything from scratch, including their hamburgers and sausages.  They are also able to accomodate those of you with food allergies or special diets - they have lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options on their menu.  One of the dishes we chose was their Veggie Scramble with a side of fresh fruit.  As you can tell from the "after" picture, we thought it was delicious!


Notchtop Cafe Veggie Scramble Notchtop Cafe veggie scramble after


They even have a coffee club for those of you who like to return often - you can leave your own mug.  Try a flavored latte with a bakery treat for a morning snack!


                                       Notchtop Cafe Mugs


Notchtop Bakery & Cafe is open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  You can give them a call at 970-586-0272 or visit their website for a look at the menu.