Mass in the Mountains

One of our favorite afternoon activities in Estes Park, Colorado is to take relaxing drives to spot wildlife and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains. In December, we grabbed a couple of steaming lattes at the new Ziggi’s Coffee drive-thru and headed down Highway 7, which is part of the Peak to Peak National Scenic Byway.

peak to peak
Picture of signage posted near Allenspark, Colorado.

Along the way we stopped at Saint Malo Center which is located in Allenspark, Colorado between two of our favorite destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park, Lily Lake and the Wild Basin.

Much of Saint Malo Center is undergoing needed restoration work caused by damage from fire, flooding and landslides. The scenery remains heavenly with views of Mount Meeker.

“Upon arriving in Denver I lifted my eyes toward the splendor of the Rocky Mountains, whose majesty and power recall that all our help comes from the Lord, who has made heaven and earth (cf. Ps. 121:1). He alone is the rock of our salvation. (cf. Ps. 89:26).”

Pope John Paul II
The Chapel on the Rock was built in the 1930s

Pope St. John Paul II hiked the trails around the center and he blessed St. Catherine of Siena Chapel, also known as Chapel on the Rock, while visiting Denver for World Youth Day in 1993.

You don’t have to be a saint to visit the chapel, it’s open to the public year round from 10 am to 4 pm (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas). Mass is held each Wednesday at Noon.

More information about the history and future renovations at St. Malo Center can be found at

This picture of inside the Chapel was taken during a prior visit in May 2015

I am Catholic, so you would think after years of visiting this beautiful spot I would have made it to Mass there once, but unfortunately I have not.

The chapel in the snow December 2015

We typically attend service at Our Lady of the Mountains in Estes Park, Colorado. Worship times are on their website. Perhaps this picture of the girls and me in our Easter dresses helps explain why I have failed to take a picture of Our Lady of the Mountains. When we make it to church these days, my hands are pretty full.

I often feel a special spiritual connection while I’m hiking in the mountains, but we are happy that there are several options to experience Catholic churches in Estes Park as well – whether it’s a quiet moment to say a prayer at the Chapel on the Rock or a full Mass at Our Lady of the Mountains.

If you make it through a special hike or an hour-long Sunday service, you can’t go wrong with Donut Haus in Estes Park to reward everyone’s good behavior. When we’ve been there, the Sunday special has been blueberry donuts. You have to get there early before they sell out, especially in the summer.

Winter Refresh

I updated this post about one of our first hikes in the Wild Basin Area of Rocky Mountain National Park. I also added a pair of fingerless gloves to Shop Our Favorite Things. I think they would help with winter picture taking. Has anyone tried wearing fingerless gloves? Do they still keep you warm?