Mills Lake

Estes Park, Colorado

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Likely the second-most popular hiking trail in Rocky Mountain National Park leads to a rock-rimmed tarn spreading picturesquely below Longs Peak, the ragged Keyboard of the Winds, and Pagoda Mountain. Because beauty is more than a joining of visually appealing elements, the many hikers who praise Mills Lake as the most beautiful in the national park likely are correct. This is an extreme claim, considering Dream, Chasm, Nanita, and many other extraordinary lakes within the park. But when pioneer innkeeper Abner Sprague named Mills Lake for Enos Mills, known since 1915 as the “Father of Rocky Mountain National Park,” the lake gained an aura of high regard boosting its beauty to the top spot.
Best Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park

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Best Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park

by Kent Dannen (Falcon Guides)

Likely the second-most popular hiking trail in Rocky Mountain National Park leads to a rock-rimmed tarn spreading picturesquely below Longs Peak, the ragged Keyboard of the Winds, and Pagoda Mountain. Because beauty is more than a joining of visually appealing elements, the many hikers who praise Mills Lake as the most beautiful in the national park likely are correct.

This is an extreme claim, considering Dream, Chasm, Nanita, and many other extraordinary lakes within the park. But when pioneer innkeeper Abner Sprague named Mills Lake for Enos Mills, known since 1915 as the “Father of Rocky Mountain National Park,” the lake gained an aura of high regard boosting its beauty to the top spot.

© 2015 Kent Dannen/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Estes Park
Distance: 5.6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 4 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 9,240 feet
Top Elevation: 9,940 feet
Local Contacts: Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office, 1000 US 36, Estes Park 80517; (970) 586-1242; www.nps.gov/romo
Local Maps: USGS McHenrys Peak; Trails Illustrated Longs Peak
Driving Directions: Directions to Mills Lake

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Apr 2018