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Lilly Mountain

The weather in Rocky Mountain National Park was supposed to be calm, sunny, and in the mid 20's on Saturday, so we decided to go up into the mountains to enjoy the snow and use our snowshoes. Our Snowshoes were over a year old but had only been used once before back in March at Zimmerman Lake. Because of the Government shutdown, I did my due diligence by finding several local newspaper articles telling me that the park was open as well as calling the park to hear an automated message telling me that the park was open. So we headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park. The park was indeed open, but the roads were closed. With some recent snowfall, I guess there was no one to plow the roads, so we couldn't get to our original destination, Bear, Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lake like we had done a few summers's ago.

With our plans spoiled, we didn't just want to go home. After all, we drove over an hour to get up here, so I started looking at the map to find some hiking trails that didn't require us to drive into the park. We headed to a trailhead that starts right next to the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park; Longs Peak. But instead of hiking South to get to Longs Peak, we headed North to go up Lilly Mountain.

Lilly Mountain has been on my list of hikes to do for a while, but only being 4 miles round trip, it's a little too easy for us to hike in mid-summer. However, being out of shape since we haven't hiked since September, this was a perfect January hike. There wasn't enough snow to use the snowshoes, but Katherine was able to use the new crampons that she got for Christmas. The hike started off easy, and after about a half-mile, we started descending. I thought it was a little weird but kept going on the path. About 3/4 of a mile into the hike, some fellow hikers told us that we weren't actually on the trail. So we tracked back until we found the correct trail and continued upward. We finally made it to a spot where we could see the summit, but the tracks in the snow became non-existent. So we made our own trail and climbed up the way that looked the best.

After 1 and a half hours, we summited. Several people followed us up the sketchy path that we made and completed their hike over the next 20 minutes that we were resting at the top. The hike ended up being 4.68 miles and took 2 and a half hours and almost 1600 feet of elevation gain. Had we stayed on the path, it would have been 4 miles round trip, and only 1200 feet of elevation gain. I guess that's what we get for hiking in the snow.

Trailhead Location
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4.68 mi 2.6 hrs 9,846 ft 1,585 ft
View Graph
Wet Road
Trail No. 933
On the Snow
Dark Clouds
Trail Panorama
Off the Trail Rock
Big Bolder
In the Valley
Through The Trees
Snowy Trees
Perfect Lumpy Snow
Lilly Mountain Panorama
Cloud Passing By
Frosty Bush