Meet Duncan, he is our fun-loving Golden Retriever/Newfoundland mix. Sadly, Duncan hasn’t made the trip to Colorado with us quite yet because I’m afraid he will pull me off a mountain with his over-enthusiastic leash pulling. He is an important member of the family though, so I’m sure he will make it out someday soon. I’m always on the lookout for good dog-friendly hikes in Estes Park for him.
Dogs aren’t allowed on trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, but we’ve found some options near the park like Homer Rouse Trail which is a public trail that goes through private property. It’s used for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
The hike starts on Fish Creek Road where you can park off the street. You begin on a gravel road near horse pastures.
The hike climbs steadily up hill. There are signs throughout the hike to keep you on course. Look up to see beautiful Twin Sisters Peaks towering over the valley.
Turn left and cross over the creek on a small wood bridge.
This will take you into an enjoyable wooded section of the hike.
Pop out of the wooded trail and take another left up a dirt road. You can spot glimpses of Twin Sisters on your right. Our toddler walked for parts of this section because the road was pretty wide and clear.
Approximately 1.5 miles into the hike, you approach historic Baldpate Inn. Built in 1917, the Inn’s dining room serves specialty buffets. Fun fact: Baldpate Inn is also home to the world’s largest collection of keys according to their website.
After our uphill hike it was pretty tempting to stop at the Inn for refreshments, but we hiked a little further to Lily Lake which is right across highway 7. Note: Lily Lake is part of Rocky Mountain National Park and no pets are allowed on the trail. (sorry Duncan)
Lily Lake has been one of our favorite spots and now it’s even better. We were excited to see the bridge over a marshy area (the side closest to Longs Peak) finished after being under construction for some time.
We found a secluded little spot with picnic tables for a rest and snack break off the trail.
The return hike was mostly down hill, so it went pretty fast! I think our dog Duncan would have loved the Homer Rouse Trail. Where do you take your dogs hiking in Estes Park, CO?