If there is one thing that I MUST do at Rocky Mountain National Park, it is to summit a mountain. We spent the first day enjoying the scenery on Trail Ridge Road. It’s the highest major highway in North America. It was incredible to soar to an elevation of 12,183 feet. If there is ever a place where you feel like you are on top of the world, this will be it.
I planned to hike Lily Mountain because it was short, sweet and perfect for beginner climbers. I personally wanted a challenge, but since I was going with my dad, I didn’t want to scare him too much.
The trailhead of Lily Mountain was on the right side of the park map. We didn’t have to show our park ticket, so I assume you could hike it for free.
The whole trail was in the forest. There wasn’t much to see. At times, you would get a small peek of the mountains and the view of Estes Park. It was gorgeous. About 1/4 up the trail, I saw a place where we could rest, sit and eat snacks. While my dad rested, I took the opportunity to climb up the rocks and see what there was in store for me.
The view was nice, the air was so fresh and it felt awesome to be up there by myself. I got a glimpse of what it felt like to reach the top.
The rest of the trail definitely was a lot harder than the first part. That’s because it becomes all switchbacks. Switchbacks are tough, never underestimate them. While we were hiking up, we saw a bunch of dark clouds coming our way. We knew it would cause trouble by the time we reach the top of the mountain. We took the risk and decided to continue hiking. Turning around and going back down was never an option. I was so determined!
Lily Mountain’s trail wasn’t full of hikers and climbers. In fact, I only saw one other couple, but they were on their way down. Other than that, it was a very peaceful and quiet hike, until I decided to play some music; thanks to Spotify.
Reaching the top of Lily Mountain was a dream come true. All of a sudden, I felt so accomplished and strong. It was my first time reaching a summit by foot in the high altitudes. It was a tough scramble up to Lily Mountain with the rain, thunder and lightning, but everything was well worth it.
The sun never came out from behind the dark and gloomy clouds, but the views were still a beautiful reward. An experience that I will never forget.
It started to rain harder and harder, so we had to start making our way down. Otherwise, we might not make it back to our car before it got dark. Hiking back down was a lot tougher for me, not very good for someone who has bad knees.
Out of nowhere, it started to pour and even hail! We found shelter under a huge rock and waited for about 25 minutes.
It’s quite funny because once I got back to the car, the sun came out…
Time for round 2?