Thing to Do

Hike Estes Cone

snowy mountains in the distance
View from Estes Cone into the park

NPS Photo / Chelsea Hernandez

  • Distance: 6.5 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1,790 feet
  • Trail Type: Out and Back, Strenuous

Estes Cone is a difficult hike to the top of a distinct and recognizable cone-shaped mountain in the south-eastern portion of the park. The hike begins moderately to the base of the cone, passing the historic Eugenia mine and an old homestead along the way. Once at the base, the hike becomes steep and strenuous as you switchback and scramble to the top. At the top, you'll be rewarded with amazing panoramic views of the Continental Divide and Longs Peak. Estes Cone is typically accessed from the Longs Peak Trailhead, but it can also be accessed from the Lily Lake Trailhead.

Altitude Warning: Altitude sickness affects many visitors every year. Symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, and even unconsciousness. Altitude can also aggravate pre-existing conditions like heart and lung disease. Take your time, drink water, eat, and rest. The only cure for altitude sickness is to go down to a lower altitude.

Weather Warning: Weather in the mountains can turn in an instant! Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Check the forecast before heading out. Lightning can strike anywhere in Rocky. Watch for building storm clouds and return to the trailhead immediately if you hear thunder. As a rule of thumb, try to be back at the trailhead by noon.

Pets Allowed
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Longs Peak Trailhead

From May 27 to October 10, 2022, Timed Entry Permit Reservations are required to enter most areas of Rocky Mountain National Park between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. To access the Bear Lake Road Corridor, Timed Entry Permits are in effect from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Timed Entry Permit Reservations are only available to be booked through One Timed Entry Permit Reservation is $2.00 and non-refundable. 

Timed Entry Permits are vehicle permits. One Timed Entry Permit will cover one vehicle and all passengers in the vehicle. Timed Entry Permit Holders must enter the park during their reseved 2-hour reservation window. 

To learn more, visit the park's Timed Entry Permit Reservation webpage at

Accessibility Information
This is not a paved trail. It is extremely rugged with an elevation gain of 1,790 feet.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Last updated: July 20, 2022