Adventure of the Week: Snow shoe hike to Mills Lake in RMNP
Drive Time from Denver: About 1.5 hours
Who It’s For: The person who loves Instagram worthy photos, mountain views and doesn’t mind blazing a trail.
The Adventure: Strap on your snow shoes and enjoy the last of the winter weather in Rocky Mountain National Park. Mills Lake doesn’t get nearly the traffic that Dream Lake and the Loch do so you’ll be sure to have plenty of photos without other people milling around in them. If you’re feeling extra adventurous take the jaunt back to Black Lake which sees even less people.
Why I Love It: This hike doesn’t have quite the vertical gain that the Loch does making it easily accessible for even the novice snow shoe hiker. The turn off isn’t marked in the winter so you can miss it if you’re not paying attention so study the trail map carefully. Once at the lake you’re treated to mountain views and plenty of rocks jutting out of the water to climb on making for some amazing photos.
What to Bring: Gaiters will help keep the snow out of your shoes and are especially helpful if you’re only wearing micro-spikes. There’s a few steep hills so make sure and bring the poles so you have an easier time making your way to the lake. The openness of the area tends to lend itself to quite a bit of wind so goggles can be especially helpful to keep your eyes from freezing.
Pro Tips: Wear waterproof pants so you can slide down the steep sections coming back to the Glacier Gorge trailhead cutting your downhill hiking time. Beat the crowds by starting your hike at 5:30am to catch the sunrise and bring a jetboil stove so you can enjoy brew some nice hot coffee while you take in the quiet and beauty. Hit up Claire’s for brunch afterwards in the town of Estes for 2 for 1 Mimosas on Sunday.
More Adventure Awaits: Looking for a spring adventure hike where you can catch the last snow of the season? Join Yogi Magee Expeditions as we journey to Lost Lake in Nederland! All levels welcome! Sign up here:
About The Author
Natalie Magee, of Yogi Magee Expeditions, is a self-proclaimed vampire who spends nights at 38,000 feet as a flight attendant, and days instructing cycle, yoga and barre classes at various studios around Denver. In her “downtime,” she raises her daughter, hikes 14ers (she has 15 left) and has guided over 20 people up their first 14er. She also operates Yogi Magee Expeditions which offers yoga and hiking adventure retreats. “My greatest pleasure in life comes from introducing others to my passions and pushing them past their physical and mental limits. Hosting retreats has allowed me to explore and travel while making connections with many amazing individuals. Adventure seeking is what motivates me to move every day.”
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