Day and overnight hikes Rocky Mountain National Park Rocky Mountain National Park.

Book - 2008

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917.8869/Day 2016
2016: 0 / 1 copies available
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2nd Floor 917.8869/Day 2016 2016 Due Jul 27, 2024
Birmingham, Ala. : Menasha Ridge Press 2008-
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volumes : maps ; 23 cm
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Hermit Park: Kruger Rock Trail Scenery: **** Difficulty: *** Trail condition: *** Children: *** Solitude: **** Hiking time: 2½ hours Distance: 3.6 miles, out-and-back Flood Impact: 0 Outstanding features: Meadow, forest, views of Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Meeker, Longs Peak, Continental Divide, and Mummy Range Kruger Rock Trail is located in Larimer County's Hermit Park Open Space. The historic Hermit Park is a relatively new park (it opened in 2008) approximately 2 miles southeast of Estes Park. This hike is easy to find and makes for a great workout, with an elevation gain of more than 900 feet. Much of the trail offers a rarely seen perspective of Rocky Mountain National Park, and the views are worth the trip alone. Pass through the parking lot and head toward the pavilion, picnic tables, restrooms, and horseshoe pits. Cross through the trees via a short path. Protected wetlands and fields surround the trailhead area on either side. Cross the main road and travel to the main Kruger Rock Trailhead. The trail climbs gradually up an open hillside and passes through a small meadow dotted with wildflowers in the summer. Fireweed, Indian paintbrush, and aspen trees are plentiful. Continue in this direction at a slight incline. The aspen trees become dense as you pass a large rock outcropping to the left of the trail. Turning to the north, you will come to the first switchback of the trail. The switchback takes you through a boulder field where the first elevated views of the Rocky Mountain National Park and Lake Estes can be seen. The switchbacks continue to ease the climb, and what comes up does come down, at least a little bit here and there, so expect some respite. The first such break comes with a slight decline in the trail as it leads to a false summit where the first views of the Mummy Range can be seen to the northwest. A short descent follows the ridge to the southwest, keeping the Mummy Range in view. The trail becomes sandy in small patches during the slight decent, with rocky outcroppings popping up throughout. The trail eventually crosses the ridge, temporarily hiding the views of Mummy Range. Don't fret as the trail then crosses over the ridge again, keeping with the ascent, and bringing the mountain range back into scope. The trail continues slightly downward until it reaches another false summit that offers a 180-degree view of the park and the surrounding mountains. At this point the trail begins a steep climb as it switchbacks up the ascent. The trail will eventually flatten out ever so slightly as it leads southwest along the mountain. You'll have views of Longs Peak, Mount Meeker, and the Continental Divide. The switchbacks continue up the mountain, and your destination, Kruger Rock, comes into full view; however, another false summit dashes those dreams of glory. At this point there are two options: Turn around and head back the way you came, or put your game face on and make the trek up Kruger Rock. Routes through the middle or around the west side of Kruger Rock require some scrambling. When you're finished, turn around and head down the trail back to the parking lot. TAKE NOTE Dogs are allowed and must be leashed. The cabins here are really cute, and the tent campsites are top-notch. Stick around Hermit Park ( /naturalresources) if you want to try some of the other new trails or if you want to check out the cabins for a return overnight visit. You may reserve campsites or cabins by visiting or calling 800-397-7795. DIRECTIONS From Denver, take I-25 north to CO 66 and travel west on CO 66 for 16 miles to Lyons. Turn right onto West Main Street onto CO 36 west. Continue on CO 36 for 16.7 miles. The entrance to Hermit Park is on the left. Pay the $6 daily entrance fee per vehicle. Take the dirt road to the Kruger Rock Trail parking area near the Pavilion. GPS TRAILHEAD COORDINATES N40°20.195' W105°29.108' Excerpted from Day and Overnight Hikes: Rocky Mountain National Park by Kim Lipker All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.