The Lily Lake Loop, almost a mile long, is a level, easy trail that goes around the lake. The western Lily Ridge Trail junction is around the halfway point of the Loop trail (if you are going in a clockwise direction). If you take the path for the Lily Ridge Trail, you will notice that at one point it splits. Instead of following the sign and heading right onto the trail, continue straight ahead for a bit until the path ends. You will get a beautiful view of Estes Park and the mountains that are part of RMNP. You can then turn around and go back to the sign and up the Lily Ridge Trail, which heads east and will add an extra almost half mile to your hike but takes you a couple hundred feet or so above the lake and offers even more beautiful views.
You can also access the Lily Ridge Trail at its eastern junction, which is near the parking lot and Lily Lake Loop trailhead. Please note that the hike will be much more strenuous and a lot steeper if you take the eastern trailhead and head west, due to the stairs cut into the rock.
In addition to gorgeous scenery, this is a great place to spot wildlife. We saw various birds, several muskrats (many people confuse them with beavers), a salamander, and even a small snake. You can visit the lake at any time of year but if you want to see wildlife and wildflowers, go now before winter comes and freezes it over. I hope you enjoy Lily Lake!