Photo Credit: Kari Bradley
Afternoon in Estes Park: Lunch with a View and an Easy Hike
How we spent an afternoon in Estes Park – lunch with a view of Notchtop Mountain and an easy hike in RMNP.
Lunch with a View
We arrived in Estes Park just in time for lunch, and went straight to Notchtop Bakery and Cafe. Half our family still wanted breakfast and the other half was ready for lunch. But Notchtop’s all-day breakfast menu meant we could split the difference and each get our choice. We enjoyed our meal with a view of the famous Notchtop – to the left of Longs Peak – from the outside seating.
Family Friendly Hike
After lunch we took a quick drive up Hwy 7 to Lily Lake to take a short, easy hike. It was just after 3:00 pm, so we didn’t need a Timed Entry Pass to park in the Lily Lake parking lot. However, if you get there between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm prior to October 10, 2022 remember to plan ahead and get your pass! There were families out walking with toddlers, senior citizens, and every age in between enjoying the crisp mountain air and sparkling water. The level gravel path makes it easy to push a stroller, and the .9 mile loop is an easy hike for all abilities. If you’d like a little more challenge, add the 1.1 mile Lily Ridge Trail for a little more elevation and higher views of Mt. Meeker, Notchtop, and Longs Peak – Colorado’s most famous fourteener.
Halfway around the lake we came upon a wooden boardwalk built over a marsh. Next to the willow trees – a natural habitat for elk and moose – we saw a mother moose and her calf calmly munching on the marsh grass. It was a beautiful surprise to see these majestic animals enjoying their lunch with Notchtop views – just like we did!