Hike to Estes Cone

A couple of days into our early October trip to Estes Park, I woke up ready for a little challenge. After reviewing some of my go-to Rocky Mountain National Park guidebooks, I convinced my husband that Estes Cone’s short distance at 3.3 miles each way would be doable with our little one. I underestimated this hike a bit…

There are a few ways you can get to Estes Cone and we chose the shortest distance by starting out at Longs Peak trailhead. This lot can fill up before dawn, but we arrived late into Longs Peak’s climbing season and easily found a parking spot.

Longs Peak from road lookout
Longs Peak from road lookout
Estes Cone from parking area
Estes Cone from parking area

We followed the Longs Peak trail for about .5 miles before the trail split off towards Estes Cone. From the turn, we hiked .8 miles to get to Eugenia Mine ruins which are marked by a sign that reads, “Eugenia Mine, at the turn of the century produced more dreams than gold”.

Keeping slightly right, we hiked beyond the ‘mine’ and soon found ourselves in a grassy clearing where we could spot our destination.

Estes Cone
View from grassy clearing up to Estes Cone

We followed the trail left back into the woods. This is when the trail starts to get noticeably steeper! The views of Longs Peak were really amazing though.

trail views of Longs Peak
trail views of Longs Peak

2.5 miles into the hike the trail meets Storm Pass junction where you have the option to go on to Lily Lake or Bear Lake Road. We were huffing and puffing up the last .7 miles and began to worry that the trail was getting too steep to carry 10 month old Cecy safely up. My husband was nice enough to stay back with her so I could finish the last .3 miles of the climb solo.

Looking back down towards my husband and baby on steep trail
Looking back down towards my husband and baby on steep trail

The views from Estes Cone made the steep hike worth it!

View from top of Estes Cone
View from Estes Cone
Furry friends at the top
Furry friends at the top

We celebrated hiking Estes Cone by going to downtown Estes Park for a waffle cone at our favorite ice cream shop, Hayley’s.

Celebrating Estes Cone with ice cream cone
Celebrating Estes Cone with ice cream cone
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