Hiking from YMCA of the Rockies to Moraine Park – Estes Park, CO

The YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center is located 10 minutes southwest of downtown Estes Park, Colorado. The YMCA property includes access to hiking, birding, backcountry camping, and fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Moraine Park. Horseback riding is allowed on the property but is not allowed in Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition, mountain biking, hunting, and leashed dogs are not allowed in RMNP. Cell phone service was weak while on the YMCA property and in RMNP. The YMCA livery has a restroom but we did not see water (although it could be there). The following map highlights the YMCA on-site trailhead that provides access to Moraine Park and the trails we hiked.

YMCA to Moraine Park Trails

We started from the corral and livery located on the YMCA property and hiked into Moraine Park on trails not named on the trail but named on Google Maps as Tuxedo Hallowell Trail and Moraine-Tuxedo Park Trail. The total hiking distance was ~2.75 miles with a change in elevation of 200 feet and hovering at around 8,000 feet. Glacier Creek serves as the border between the YMCA property and Rocky Mountain National Park. It can be seen in the following picture.
After dropping a 100 feet in elevation to cross Glacier Creek, the trail levels off and cuts through a serene forest.
After crossing Bear Lake Road, a 100+ feet climb is required to reach the backside of a ridge that leads to Moraine Park. Hiking along the ridge provides stunning eastern views of the nearby mountains.
We hiked along the very flat, eastern edge of Moraine Park which was highlighted by the Big Thompson River and the mountains to the west. Once inside Moraine Park, you have access to trails leading to Cub Lake and Mill Creek Basin.
In sum, this was an easy and fun hike that was a great complement to the other activities on the YMCA property. However, you would be better off parking inside Rocky Mountain National Park if you are serious about hiking and fishing in Moraine Park.

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