1. Thunder Lake
This marquee alpine lake--ringed by glacier-carved peaks and nestled in pine forests--is a top destination in its own right, but it's also a launching pad for other sweet excursions: dayhikes up nearby Mt. Alice, Tanima
Peak, and Pilot Mountain and forays over boulder-Grand Pass into East Inlet on the other side of the Continental Divide.
From the Wild Basin trailhead, take the Thunder Lake Trail 6.2 miles to Thunder Lake at 10,574 feet. Hike just 0.3 miles to
multitiered Copeland Falls; hike another 100 yards upstream to see the even prettier upper falls. Continue to the spectacular Calypso Cascades at 1.9 miles and the dramatic 50-foot Ouzel Falls 2.7 miles. You'll pass views of Mt Meeker and Longs
Peak along the way. Pass more intersections -- Bluebird Lake Trail and Lion Lake Trail -- before you drop into a small meadow southeast of Thunder Lake.
Thunder Lake Trailhead is just 4 miles from our cabin. Take highway 7 north toward Estes Park
to Wild Basin Road.
2. Lake Verna -- Best Backpack
See moose, splash in waterfalls and sunbathe on sandy beaches
Keep your eyes peeled on the first few miles of this 13.8
mile roundtripper, since your odds of spotting moose are pretty dang good. They love the wet marshes that the gentle East Inlet Trail threads through. As the path steepens and climbs into the forest, the valley narrows to a gorge, and small picnic-perfect
waterfalls punctuate the trailside creek.
Lake Verna (10,180 feet)is unique for its sandy beaches on the eastern shore, a waterfall on the southern shore, and stunning views of the Aiguille de Fleur tower to the south.
Access the East Inlet
trailhead 98,400 feet) from Grand Lake.
3. Mt. Ida -- Best dayhike
Solitude reigns on this airy peak
You'll feel on top of the world as you traipse along the Continental
Divide to reach secluded, 12,880-foot Mt Ida. Most of this 10-mile round trip route lies on expansive alpine tundra, with breathtaking views of nearby peaks, the Never Summer Mountains, and often, bighorn sheep and elk.
4. The Loch
-- Best fishing spot
You'll be hooked on this back-country angler's heaven
F8lled with rainbow trout, cut throat, cutbow, and brook trout. The Loch is a must-visit. The abundant insect life makes
for quick catches (take a headnet on breezeless days). The moderate 2.9-mile, one-way approach starts at the Glacier Gorge trailhead (9,180 feet) Want a guide? Go with Estes Park Outfitter Kirks Flyshop kirksflyahop.com