dogs on leash
off road driving
The Roosevelt National Forest is a national forest located in north central Colorado. It is contiguous with the Colorado State Forest as well as the Arapaho National Forest. The forest is administered jointly with the Arapaho National Forest and the Pawnee National Grassland from offices in Fort Collins.
This was a fun trail - lots of good cardio (up up up!), but nothing too overwhelming.
Park at the Mountain Park Campground lot (or out on the road, if it's winter and closed, as was the case when we hiked it. There's plenty of space by the gate). Almost immediately after crossing the bridge, take the left fork and follow that up a short distance. The trailhead will be on your left, along with a nice map of the two loop options. We decided to take the shortest route (the Kreutzer nature trail to the Mount McConnel trail). According to the map it was about 4 miles and took us 2.5-3 hours with a nice stop at the top. There aren't too many trees up on the top, but the views are great!
I did this in conjunction with Lady Moon and a bit of Granite Ridge, making a solid 12 mile loop. Once you get a little ways back the trails aren't as well maintained or as visible as the sign at the trailhead would lead one to believe. Very isolated with a number of out and back spurs with improvised campsites to explore. Lots of sign, but didn't see anything other than birds and a good amount of bones. For solitude and peace, it's hard to beat.
Snowy conditions on entire trail, was trudging through ankle to knee deep snow all the way up to the boulder field. Crampons recommended. Incredible views of neighboring peaks and Longs. East side hike so you're well protected from wind until reaching the ridge. Last 1/4-1/2 mile of road to trailhead parking lot had ~1' snow, 4WD recommended if you plan to park at trailhead.
Nice trail, but some things to consider. A lot of the climb happens in the first mile or so. At least, you feel it more. Switchbacks and steep steps. Moderate-to-Difficult trail for sure. The mid-section of the trail has a TON downed trees blocking the trail at points. I counted 40+ as of 11/13/16. Be prepared to climb/step over them as needed. Hopefully we get out to cut some up next season.
Yesterday was warm-ish at the bottom, but ice/snow in spots at the top.
Great challenging hike.... Saw a handful of people definitely wouldn't say this was a crowded trail.
Took many breaks along the way so it was about three hours total round trip. Gorgous at the top. Will be doing this one again for sure.
It was very windy at the top so prepare for that. $6 parking was worth it to me.
Good trail for those who want to have a moderate workout to get to some awesome views- arrived around 10AM and didn't encounter anyone on the way up, despite pausing to admire scenery and catch my breath a few times. Trail does get rocky in parts and has trees across the path as you near the top, but I found a great spot on some rocks at the top for lunch and didn't see anyone up there, either! Met four different couples on their way up when I was on my way down, and there were far more vehicles parked when my pup and I departed around 1. If you're looking for quiet time in the woods, go earlier in the day and you're unlikely to meet anyone at all! Would definitely recommend.