Top 10 Posts in 2019

In 2019, we were lucky to enjoy the outdoors as a family both in our new home town of Fayetteville, Arkansas as well as our favorite mountain getaway in Estes Park, Colorado. Writing about these adventures on rockymountaintot brings me a lot of joy. My goal is to provide as much helpful information as I can in each post and hopefully inspire people to check out some of the places I love.

The number of views on rockymountaintot this year quadrupled! Thank you to everyone who took the time to check us out. I’ve compiled the list of our Top 10 Posts of 2019:

Top Colorado Hikes & More

Romantic sunset over Estes Park, Colorado

Our most popular post of 2019 was, 7 Romantic Things To Do in Estes Park, Colorado. I recommend reading this post if you are planning a Valentine’s getaway to the mountains.

Dog friendly hiking trails in Estes Park
Homer Rouse Trail

The next most-read post in 2019 was, Homer Rouse Trail – A Dog Friendly Trail in Estes Park, Colorado. If you are planning to travel with your pup to Estes Park, I put together a whole list of trails you can take dogs on here.

Hollowell Park

Coming in third was, A Trail Less Traveled: Hollowell Park to Mill Creek Basin in Rocky Mountain National Park. I recommend reading this article if you are looking for a less crowded area of Rocky Mountain National Park to explore.

Hiking with Kids in Rocky Mountain National Park, Brainard Lake Colorado
Colorado Hiking with Toddlers

Our 2 Day Itinerary in Estes Park with Toddlers continues to be a popular post. I recently wrote a 2 day winter itinerary here.

View from top of Estes Cone

9 Hikes with Amazing Views Near Estes Park, Colorado is one of our top 10 posts of the year. This post includes suggestions for kid-friendly trails and more advanced options.

Ski in Granby, Colorado

Taking Root in Colorado – An Interview with Alison Stafford was another top post this year. Read this interview if you are interested in getting the insider scoop on skiing in Granby, Colorado.

Top Northwest Arkansas Hikes & More

Winery in Northwest Arkansas

The most popular post from our Northwest Arkansas adventures was, Falling for Fayetteville – Our 9 Favorite Things Since Moving to Northwest Arkansas Last Month.

Devil’s Den State Park – Arkansas

Our second top Arkansas post was, Devil’s Den Self-Guided Trail in Northwest Arkansas. This is the first hike we did in Arkansas, and I’m eager to go back to Devil’s Den State Park to hike on more trails.

Pigeon Roost Trail – Hobbs State Park in Arkansas

The third top Arkansas post was, The Best Way to Spend a Spring Day? Hiking Pigeon Roost Trail in Arkansas’ Hobbs State Park.

Lost Valley Trail – Buffalo National River in Arkansas

Hiking Arkansas: Lost Valley Trail, Buffalo National River was one of our top posts this year and my prediction is it will make next year’s Top 10 list too. It’s that cool of a hike.

I hope next year will be even more adventurous for us all!

Homer Rouse Trail – Revisited

A couple of years ago, I wrote about our hike on the Homer Rouse Trail in Estes Park, Colorado. We’ve noticed some pretty major changes to the area, so we decided to revisit the hike on our most recent trip.

We were lucky to have two cars with us, so we decided to leave one parked off of Fish Creek Road near the turnoff to Cheley Colorado Camp. We shuttled our family so that we could walk downhill one-way from the Lily Lake/Twin Sisters parking area back to our parked car. (Last time we walked both ways)

Park near Lily Lake and Twin Sisters to start hike on Homer Rouse Trail

Going one-way made the hike approximately 2 miles, which was attainable for our 4-year-old to walk on her own while my husband carried our 2-year-old on his shoulders.

The Homer Rouse Trail is a public trail that is on private property. It is not in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Walk by Historic Baldpate Inn in Estes Park, Colorado

We walked past the historic Baldpate Inn before entering the gravel road where motorized vehicles are restricted. Horses, bikes, and dogs are welcome on the trail. We passed by groups on horseback and on a bike riding tour that looked challenging and fun. Friendly dog owners allowed our girls to pet their playful pets, which was the highlight of their walk.

Trees Cleared on Homer Rouse Trail

We didn’t walk far before we came to areas along the trail that were cleared of trees. I’ve heard two theories about the clearing. The first is that the trees were cut down to help prevent potential forest fires.

Aspens in Estes Park Colorado

The second theory is that the trees were not native to the area, so eventually the forest will grow back with new trees that will thrive. (I’m guessing aspens)

Trees cleared by Twin Sisters in Estes Park Colorado

I thought seeing so many trees down would ruin this hike for me, but if I trust that the goal is long-term forest conservation and restoration, I can see the positive. The views of the surrounding mountains and valley below are much more open.

Wildflowers in Estes Park Colorado

And wildflowers were popping up where once they would have more competition for sunlight. Here is an article from Estes Park News with more details.

Homer Rouse Trail is a dog friendly trail in Estes Park Colorado

Besides the vast views, my favorite part of the trail is when the dirt road turns into a narrower wooded section of the hike.

Fish Creek

We continued downhill through the pines until we reached a small bridge over the creek. We turned right on the dirt road for the final stretch.

Twin Sisters views

I took one last look back at Twin Sisters before we arrived where we parked our car. It’s amazing how much the Homer Rouse trail has changed in the last couple of years, but I think it’s still a hidden gem.

If you are looking for more hikes that you can take your dog on, check out our new page – Dog Friendly Hikes Near Estes Park, Colorado.