Lily Mountain is in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland. It is not a part of Rocky Mountain National Park and, thus, dogs are allowed on the trail. The trailhead is 10 minutes from Estes Lake in Estes Park, Colorado and is located on the western side of CO-7. Parking is free, albeit it is only limited to 4-6 cars. The trailhead does not have water, restrooms, or maps. The primary activity is hiking with permits required for camping. Motorized vehicles, mountain bikes, and horses are not allowed. Notably, the Lily Lake trails can be found only a half mile down the road and provide a more family friendly hiking experience. The following Google map contains an estimated line that should only be used to get the idea that the trail runs north for a mile before heading south towards the summit.
Lily Mountain trail is a 1.9 mile hike to the summit with a change in elevation of 940 feet, from 8,800 feet to 9,740 feet. The first mile is an easy, rolling jaunt with elevation changes in both directions and views to the north and east.
The second mile is more difficult because it is steeper. Nordic walking poles are recommended to reduce stress on ankles, knees, and hips when hiking down terrain like this. For the most part, staying on the trail is easy but the last mile is marked with cairns. As depicted in the following picture, the final several hundred feet requires the use of your hands to pull yourself up and over numerous rock conglomerations.
The summit is an amazing place to have a picnic because it has an unobstructed view of the entire Estes Park valley and enough level ground with which to relax on.
The summit provides a 360 degree view that includes Longs Peak, Mount Meeker, Twin Sisters Mountain, Estes Cone, and Estes Valley.