It took about an hour of planning, two friends to say yes, and about eight hours of driving. Those are the weekends that I love the most.
Rented a car, got a place to stay and off we went to Estes Park, Colorado. Neither my friends, my husband or I had ever been to Colorado before, so we were all super excited.
We left Kansas at about 3 AM, right after my hubby got off work. The way there went super fast. It could be because I slept most of the way there. oops!
I was a bit disappointed that after passing the Kansas line because we didn’t see mountains. I don’t know, I guess I always envisioned mountains in all of Colorado. ha! It was until we got to Denver that we began to see them, still pretty far away. Luckily our destination was right in the mountains. Estes Park is an hour and 23 minutes away from Denver. It’s a small town where you can find the Rocky Mountains National Park, Longs Peak and tons of wildlife.
We checked in really early. Everyone was pretty tired so we rested for a couple of hours. We got up and off we went to our first hike. It after 4pm so we didn’t want to adventure too far. We went to Eugenia Mine. The hike started in Longs Peak Trailhead. The roundtrip was about three miles and we reached an elevation of 9908 Feet! The scenery was beautiful. However, I did not plan very well because I forgot my jacket at home. The higher we went, the colder it got.
Once we got off the mountain, we were starving. Since it was our first night there we wanted to eat somewhere nice. We dined at the Waterfront Grille located at the Estes Park Resort. We realized it was inside a hotel once we arrived there, however we ended up having a great time! The staff was amazing and they gave us suggestions on what to do the next day.
We got up really early to start our day. Our first stop was the Chapel On The Rock. It was visited by Pope John Paul II. We ended up getting extremely lucky because they let us go in and see it inside. It is definitely a place worth stopping!
We stopped at Lily Lake to take a few photos. It also has a hiking trail, but we were limited on time, so we took the photos and off we went.
You can’t go to Estes Park without going to the Rocky Mountains!! Everywhere we turned was beautiful. We ended up following a crowd to see where they went. They were headed to a stream of water. We ended up summiting a small mountain. We were over 11k ft in elevation. The goal next year is to summit Longs Peak!
Overall, the weekend was beyond phenomenal. I can’t wait to go back and conquer Longs Peak or any 14ner next year!
Have you visited Colorado? What’s your to go place there?