The summer of 1920 was the first summer that Anna and Isabel Pifer stayed at YMCA of the Rockies. Their father was the YMCA secretary. They quickly became known as the “hikemasters” of the YMCA. Though they worked for free, guests often gifted them dinner after the hikes and the Y gifted them free baths in the bath house. Their hikes ranged from interpretive nature walks to summitting Long’s Peak from the Y grounds (26 miles and 6200 feet).
In 2020, due to COVID-19, YMCA of the Rockies was not able to host a gathering to celebrate the pioneering of the guided hiking program, so in 2021 we invite you to join a “101 years of guided hikes at YMCA of the Rockies” celebration. The celebration is going to be geared toward celebrating both hikemasters and guided hikes through the years. Because there are many families who come year after year to hike with us, and they come during different weeks, we are planning on having two events each week throughout the summer.
On Sundays, join the Hiker’s Huddle presentation, an explanation of how the hiking program works and what hikes are scheduled to go out that week. After Hiker’s Huddle, enjoy a Hikemaster Showcase presentation where a current hikemaster will give a talk on a topic they are passionate about. Some presentations topics include, How Glaciers Shaped Rocky Mountain National Park, Using Hiking to Reduce Anxiety, RV Living and How to Volunteer for National Parks Service, and Victorian Women on the Summit of Long’s Peak.
Additionally, each week, there will be specialized hikes that showcase how unique the YMCA of the Rockies hiking program is. Unlike other hiking outfitters in Estes Park, we have the capability of doing both topically focused hikes and provide special treats on our hikes, free of charge. Some hikes we have scheduled throughout this summer include, Coffee and Donuts at Mills Lake, Afternoon Tea at the Wigwam Tea Room, Persoid Meteor Shower on Sundance Mountain, Bierstadt Lake from the perspective of 1920s hikers and The Legend of the Blue Mist at Miner Bill’s Lost Mine.
Lastly, YMCA of the Rockies is offering a weeklong final celebration the week of August 1- August 7, 2021.
Other events this summer include, an orienteering race on a new course at the YMCA, a Long’s Peak hike from the YMCA in honor of the Pifer sisters and a final celebration Potluck. Stay tuned for details and contact the YMCA of the Rockies hiking program for more information at 970-586-3341 x1104.