The Walter Tishma Way

Inn to Inn Hiking Adventure

Get ready for some of the wildest walking trails around. The Rocky Mountain National Park, 415 square miles of territory, hosts many trails to select from but my vacation plans are to include the Walter Tishma Way trail. This trail is broken down into several plans depending on how fit you are, the distance you care to walk and the difficulty selected. I have elected to study, write about and soon enjoy the package for five nights/4 days. This particular hike I have selected is a 42 mile journey that’s made so you do not worry about anything. You can gander along the trail outfitted with your trekking poles, map, and route guide if you decide you would like the assistance. Your luggage is also tended to by transferring it for you to the next evenings lodging. I will be reminding you along the way that great hiking boots are truly crucial.I have seen many hikers in tennis shoes and they may work fine on many trail areas but there’s usually areas that they simply are not enough support. The Warming House has what they call the real boots for sale should you need to buy them.

I have traveled to many extraordinary places in the world, but this trail begins in an area just above the location known as Estes Park. My plans are to catch an International flight from London, England and fly to Denver, Colorado where I plan to either pick up the shuttle that is provided by the Footpaths of The World tour group or perhaps even consider flying in a few days early to overcome jet lag and rent an auto, driving myself to Estes Park in time to meet our hosts at The Warming House store, before finding our lodging for the night. The Inn Glen Haven, appears to be a fine English style B & B,  located in the village of Glen Haven just east of Estes Park. I am one who always reads reviews before traveling across the sea for both value and comfort. This B & B sports a rating of almost 5 stars whose menu looks to satisfy even the pickiest  amongst us! 

Overall, your first night will be peaceful in the rockies where a great nights sleep awaits you in this old fashion style home. It was recently restored due to a flood in 2013. The owner is English so of course they would know exactly how to make you feel at home.

Now after your restful night, your off for the first days hike in Cow Creek where your destination will be the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. This neo-Georgian style hotel was built in 1901 and sits above the town of Estes Park. Extraordinaire! No other word can describe my nights lodging which will spearhead one of my greatest adventures through the walk coming the following day. The Stanley House, takes you back in time with its grand entrance, large suites and professionally manicured lawn. You may not want to leave this one! But what is most impressive are the massive rockies, which frame the hotel. 

The Stanley Hotel-Estes Park, Colorado

(photo from the hotel)

Fun Fact: The Stanley Hotel is famous for a few reasons. 

First for its historical place in the history of Estes Park and the development of the area. Second for its connection to Stephen King and The Shining, and lastly for the supposed hauntings and paranormal activity associated with the hotel. If you want to read more about the paranormal activities and its connection to the Stephen Kings movie, The Shining, then here is a link for you.

Your walking day begins with a hearty breakfast provided for you at the hotel, followed by packing you a sack lunch to take along with you on your days hike. Everything is done for you when working with this agency, Footpaths Around The World. 

FYI: I would feel amiss if I did not warn you of possible dangers in the park. Wildlife is unpredictable and not your friend so I advise you to stay alert. There are bears, though no grizzlies at this time, rattlesnakes, lions, goats, and perhaps the worst of them…the Rocky Mountain ticks. Thousands of hikers have enjoyed these paths without incidence, but it never hurts to be cautious when hiking any forested areas…after-all, you are trespassing in the home of these wild creatures and are their guests.

Your days walk will begin in the foothills east of Estes Park, where the scenery is spectacular forrest land.Distance: 9 miles to the lodge, with and elevation of 1,500 feet and high point of 8,830 feet. This walk is considered to be moderate in it’s rating for difficulty. But, here is one siting along the Gem Lake area, which is the highlight of your day. The Rockies offers scenery like nothing I have ever seen and I am eager to arrive for my adventure through this vast wilderness. This photograph is from Trip Advisor, PC: NPS/Jacob W Frank.

The distance for this walk is 9 miles to the lodge.

Your third day isa more difficult hike of 10 miles to Deer Mountain and to Storm Pass/ Estes Cone. The elevation gain is 2,444 feet with a high point of 10,013 feet. You will enjoy this walk if descending on the North Deer Mt Trail if you prefer the quieter hike with fewer walkers. This may be aa excellent time to remind you a great pair of hiking boots is critical. Studying the trail and maps, I can see switchbacks which are always of interest to me. Deer Mountain Trail gives a 360 degree view of eastern part of the park. An interesting tidbit I found about Deer Mountain: The summit plateau of Deer Mountain offers expansive views of the Continental Divide. During the winter, the lower trail generally has little snow, though packed and drifted snow are to be expected on the switchbacks. Snow cover on the summit may be three to five feet deep, requiring the use of snowshoes or skis. Now, I am wondering if summer or winter would be best but I will explore that later in the month. 

Next up, my 3rd day hiking and said to be the most difficult of all. Third Day from Storm Pass/Estes Cone

This photograph is courtesy of the Baldpate Inn… and your next nights rest! 

Photograph borrowed from the Allenspark Lodge website:

This is the final day and night, and there’s no better place I can imagine to spend it. The lodge at Allenspark was a real surprise being a B & B. Everything I have researched shows it to have a history, and it was built early in this last century, meaning somewhere in the 1910-20’s. A rustic log lodge located in the mountains of the rockies, near Estes Park, Colorado, provides comfort in the guest rooms and serves a hefty family style hot breakfast, following a restful nights sleep. All of the conveniences are available here for you including a phone booth! Yes, you heard me correctly. Cell phone service is not available in this location but you still have a means for communication.

Well, haven’t you ever heard that they save the best for last? Well, I have done the same. At this stage, on my adventure of this most extraordinary journey through the rockies, I am looking for this last day’s walk to be the finale to end all experiences. The Wild Basin offers waterfalls, lots of vegetation, and million dollar views! The trail follows a rush of torrent to the Calypso Cascade. If you decide to take the longer walk of 3.6 miles (round trip from the Wild Basin trailhead) to view the Calypso Cascade, it’s best to go in the spring when the snow runs off into a massive rush of water as pictured below. Otherwise, this spectacular site is not present according to many references I have read. Above Calypso Cascades you’ll begin to catch sporadic views of the surrounding mountains, including Longs Peak and Mt. Meeker towards the north.


The Wild Basin is where you can walk a bit further to view the Quzel Falls or continue to Allenspark for the final celebration. Hiking to Ouzel Falls is a moderately difficult hike, but worth the effort. The Falls are an impressive 40-foot waterfall, named after the water ouzel. They are a small, slate-grey colored bird, also known as American dippers. They are divers for food along the rocks , where water is fast moving. These birds are even known for flying through the water using their wings to propel  themselves.


Calypso Cascade

The Wild Basin hike is 7.9  miles and it is rated as a moderate walk. Whatever you decide for the finish will be extra distance such as to these Falls or the continuing hike back to Allenspark from the Wild Basin. That distance was calculated in for the original hike for this day. Rewards of this last day include some of the most spectacular views on earth from the Wild Basin and the Falls and of course the dinner celebration for your hiking victory held at the Allenspark Lodge in the Rock Creek Tavern and Pizzeria..

Be sure to join me for another adventure this next month. I’ll be sure to let you know when I sign up for the walk, in case you want to join me.


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Until We Meet Again!,


Chris Ambrose, Author 

70 is the new 50`

My Boots Are Made For Walkin

No matter what Life throws at you, 

it’s where Giving Up, is Never an Option!


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