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hikes without the shuttle

lees summit, MO
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50 posts
5 reviews
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hikes without the shuttle

We'll be lodging in Estes Park from Oct 13-18, after the shuttles cease operation. Which hikes (under 10 miles and appropriate for people with a fear of heights) should we consider? We have 4 days, no kids, and would like to incorporate a horseback riding trip at some point. We are in good shape, but would prefer nothing over a high moderate rating as we will have to acclimate to the elevation. I'd love to find some compliment of lakes, falls, wildlife, and panorama, if possible. Thanks.

3 replies to this topic
Fort Collins, CO
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1. Re: hikes without the shuttle

Will you have a car?

lees summit, MO
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50 posts
5 reviews
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2. Re: hikes without the shuttle

Yes, sorry. We will have a car.

Fort Collins, CO
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3. Re: hikes without the shuttle

There are lots of options. Here is a list of all the trails that also includes where they start: https:/…list_hiking_trails.htm. The Glacier Gorge parking lot is really small so it's unlikely you'll get a parking spot unless you get there really early. However, all of the Glacier Gorge trails can be accessed from the Bear Lake parking lot (which is a much bigger lot but still fills up). I think it's about 0.2-0.3 mile longer from Bear Lake than from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead and you end up at Alberta Falls. Bear Lake also has a trail that cuts over to Bierstadt Lake if you can't find parking at the smaller Bierstadt Trailhead parking lot.

The elevation gain listed gives you a good idea of how strenuous each hike is. There are also sites that go into more detail about the difficulty of each hike if you google each one.

Some of my favorites are The Loch or Mills Lake - both very beautiful. Both of these hikes start out on the same trail, which goes by Alberta Falls and later splits to either the Loch (continues to Sky Pond) or Mills (continues to Black Lake). With your fear of heights, you would not want to go to Sky Pond (requires vertical climbing up the side of a waterfall) but the trail to the Loch is not bad.

A very popular one is the one that starts from Bear Lake and goes to Nymph and Dream Lake. From Dream Lake, you can either go to Emerald Lake or Lake Haiyaha. You can also cut over from Haiyaha to the junction of Mills/the Loch trail.

I think the Cub Lake hike is really scenic near the beginning, although the lake itself is in a burn area. Good chance of spotting elk or moose on this trail and it is less popular so there should be parking available. Can also do this one as a loop from the Fern Lake trailhead to the Pool.

By mid-October, there is a chance there could be snow on the trails.

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