Estes Park Vacation

Last weekend Will and I left the boys for only the 2nd time that was longer than one night to head out on an adult only vacation. Did we miss the boys? Absolutely. Was it so nice to enjoy hikes, meals at whatever time, and conversation at dinner? 100% Yes. It is so hard to leave your kids, but it is so great as a couple to get away and we celebrated year #6 while out there!

We owe a huge THANKS to our parents who completly took over triplet duty and let this trip happen.

We flew out of Indianapolis to Denver last Saturday late afternoon. We drove up to Boulder to make a pit stop for dinner at Next Door which is on a no car street that was booming with people and such a cool area. After fully bellies and watching college kids just starting their night we knew it was time for us to head the rest of the way up to Estes Park. We checked into Historic Crag’s Lodge and it was located up on the side of a mountain with more charm and super friendly service than I could have ever imagined.

Our first day started off with a 5am alarm to start the day with some hiking. Trail head parking fills up so fast so we wanted to make sure we snagged a spot and the benefit was absolutely worth it-seeing the sunrise while up in the mountains!

We parked at Bear Lake parking lot and did Dream Lake -> Emerald Lake -> Lake Haiyaha -> Bear Lake.

Our first day did not disappoint and we covered around 10 miles.

We headed over to Notchtop Bakery and Cafe for a huge breakfast that was worth the long wait and not so great service. The food was absolutely delicious. Next stop was off to start the drive on Old Fall River Road that took us to the Apline Ridge Trail. The views were absolutely amazing from up there and it is 100% touristy, but a must do for sure.

We got ready for dinner and stopped for a drink at The Stanley Hotel which was worth the $30 drinks just to sit and see this amazing place. Dinner Sunday night was at Latitude 105 and our 1st of 3 stops at Hayley’s for ice cream–hey the reason we did over 21,000 steps?!

Day #2 began just as early as the first day with our biggest hike of the trip planned. We parked at the Glacier Gorge parking lot and started again right when the sun was peaking out. We did Alberta Falls -> Loch Vale -> Lake of Glass ->Sky Pond. The final destination to Sky Pond was like nothing I have ever seen.

We had to rock climb up a water fall which made me conquer some major height fears. These were by far our favorite hikes and views.

We said probably at least 100+ times “this place is absolutely amazing”, while hiking.

Our lunch stop was at Ed’s Cantina for Mexican and walking down the main strip into all the local shops. Our afternoon was spent in the hammock at the lodge pool for reading and a short nap that was much needed. We got ready and headed out to hit some local fun breweries and dinner at Poppy’s Grill for some great pizza on there outside porch with perfect weather.

Tuesday was our last and final day. As much as we wanted to sleep in and relax the hiking and views on our last day were calling us. We woke up before the sun to once again beat the crowds to the trail head and snag our spot. We parked at the Wild Basin Trail Head and did the Ouzel Falls hike.

This hike had a lot of openness along the side of a mountian that was completely different than our other 2 days.

We were the 1st ones out to Ouzel Lake and it was so quiet and peaceful we were both in awe of this amazing world. We sat and had some snacks soaking in our last day before heading back. As we drove out of this Trail head we saw a MOOSE!

Our entire trip we wanted to see a moose and literally as we were headed out there were two of them eating away not bothered by us stopping in the car for some pictures.

We left Estes Park with the best smells nature has to offer, thankful for health to allow us to hike each day, and absolute awe of the beauty of this world.

We headed to Denver to get a hotel close to the airport because of a 6am flight on Wednesday. Will has a classmate from college that lives near Denver so we enjoyed one final night exploring downtown Denver and having a fun dinner with him and his wife.

We lucked out with perfect weather all 3 days and smooth flights both ways that makes for a very stress-free vacation.

This by far was one of the best vacations I had ever been on and the experiences we got to do. We hope to be back and show the boys this wonderful place!

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