Panorama Peak and The Notch

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Roosevelt National Forest

Panorama Peak and The Notch is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

ohv / off road driving

running

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

There is a gate at the trailhead that seasonally closes the trail to vehicular traffic.

hiking
3 days ago

Please be aware that parking is very limited at the trailhead. If the parking area is full, it is NOT OK to park on the residential streets. Try another time.

hiking
rocky
3 days ago

The road upto panorama peak is closed for some reason. Great for a sunset mtb experience. There was a humvee on the trail today but easily visible. Trail is dry & watch out for some steep portions. As others have said, the route isn’t completely accurate but easy to figure out. Cheers

hiking
4 days ago

The scenery off the trail was nice however, hiking on a 4x4 dirt road just isn't for me. We attempted to stay on the downloaded route at one point and there was somewhat of a clearing through a gate but no defined trail so we turned back after about a quarter mile and continued on the dirt road.

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

Tried a new to me hike. Not bad, but in my opinion, the only great thing about it are the views. The trail itself is mostly a road for off-road vehicles. The gate wasn't open to them yet, so that was a plus. If hiking with your dogs, please note there is NO water on this trail. No streams, no creeks, no lake. I packed in water for my dogs and still had to skip part of the trail due to the heat. Therefore, it is a must to carry enough water for them and you, especially in the heat. Lots of exposed trail, so lots of direct sun. Ran into a couple from out of state that had a dog, and no water for them or their dog! They were only in about a mile in and their dog was already overheating. I gave their dog some of my water. Hike is easy in my book. There is a bit of steep uphill to get to the point up by the tower. Overall, not a bad hike, but I wouldn't want to do it when it is open to off-roaders.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 days ago

Good stroll mainly among roads. Nice to do it before they allow ATV/ORVs. If you have dogs, bring a lot of water as there is no water on the journey. Great views of Longs Peak, Mt. Meeker and all of RMNP to the north. The All-Trails map does not match the actual trail/roads however not too big of an issues.

hiking
6 days ago

Did this hike yesterday (05/20), really good conditions and a decent amount of tree coverage along the trail. In my opinion, this hike shouldn’t have been rated as moderate; it’s pretty easy (not much elevation gain until the last .5 mile to the top which is pretty steep). Beautiful views on this hike the entire way!

hiking
no shade
7 days ago

Fun hike that is mostly on FS roads. Great views, especially at the "The Notch". Bring sunscreen, there is very little shade. I would also avoid walking on FDR 247D, it is very overgrown and swampy (it wasn't that bad, just an "off trail" experience).

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful views the whole hike, although alltrails doesn’t really match up with the trail signs so we got kind of lost but still worth it!

rocky
14 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

Great trail. Not yet open for motor traffic or off-roaders. But a good hiking trail. No snow on 5/8!

hiking
icy
muddy
off trail
18 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

Not all trail signs match what is marked on the map. I think 277 is actually 247 and the unmarked one south of it is 247A. It could be that some of the letters had come off, because most posts marked 247 did not have any other identifiers. 122 dead ended for us at the private raod. I never saw the jeep trail or that there was a way to continue on. We ended up going to panorama peak which was a steep climb, a little snowy. No views today because it was cloudy up there. Lower elevations were pretty dry. I'd call it a good day. Went 7 miles.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

We took right bank at road split and made our own loop using different parallels off the right fishbone.Roads were still snowy in some places, we did in light boots and trail runners, still low motor traffic so hurry! Saw bear tracks! Beautiful day and beat the rain! Great day.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

4/23 I couldn’t finish the hike due to the level of snow, had to turn around about 3/4 of the way out. I brought micro spikes but didn’t use them, it was more of a punching through problem than an ice problem. Gorgeous views anyways though!

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

Also from 4/23. Did the loop clockwise going to The Notch first. Quite interesting and trail had no snow issues to this point and slightly beyond. The segment marked FDR247D on the AllTrails map had not been tracked and had a lot of deep snow. Would have been a fine trip through there with snowshoes but we were not carrying them. However, we post-holed our way as far as that little dotted connector track just before segment FDR247B. Got onto FDR 277 (which had snowshoe tracks and hence was firmer footing) and took that 1.5 miles to the summit of Panorama Point. It's a stiff climb to the point from the closure gate but interesting. There is a lookout tower (locked) as well a "pavilion" nearby that, I believe, is used by some of the summer jeep and ORV tour groups. From Panorama, we backtracked on what the AllTrails map labels as FDR 277. It's really 247. Could also have taken 247A back (the dotted line on the AllTrails map) as it parallels 247 just higher up the mountain. Overall, our loop was 8 miles and close to 1800 feet of gain and took 5 hours. Would have taken less and been substantially easier if not for the snow. As the trails melt out, mud is also a factor.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
2 months ago

Given the fact that we were ill prepared.... Snowshoes, gators, poles, would have helped us accomplish Pole Hill Trail near Estes. Our bad! This is March in Colorado and dry Trail trip reports for the previous week mean nothing. Trudging through the ankle deep snow & laying fresh tracks for most of 4 miles... yes we turned around in the loop and went back early... it was a good work out at least. The day was beautiful and enjoyed the great company of our kids and niece. For sure coming back when the snow melts.

2 months ago

Very little snow, didn’t even need spikes, but snow is forecast for tomorrow. Amazing views!!! Great hike, with lots of rocks to climb along the way. 3/17/20

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
2 months ago

Amazing hike! Pretty snowy once you get further in, I did not complete it and felt I didn’t have the right gear to do so with ease. Recommend poles but if you’re an avid hiker you’d be fine. Amazing views that will take your breath away!

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