Escaping The Nutshell


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2019 Calendar

For planning star gazing and photography in the park, and for those long hikes that can extend into the night, we made a 2019 Solar and Lunar calendar for RMNP.

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Lefthand OHV Area Loop
2019-02-28 Point 7201 from northwest

2019-02-28 Point 7201 from northwest

Parking off Lefthand Canyon Drive where bicyclists often park, we hiked a 5.4 mile loop with an elevation gain of 1800 feet, on U.S. Forest Service roads and trails, in what the U.S. Forest Service calls the Lefthand OHV Area.

2019-02-28 Fairview Peak from high point of loop

2019-02-28 Fairview Peak from high point of loop

Since there's no bushwacking involved, this would be a nice loop for trail runners. We sometimes see people running up and down Mt Sanitas multiple times. The elevation gain on this one is 50% more than Sanitas, so it's a good one for staying in shape.

Note that on this loop there are so many Forest Service, as well as unofficial, roads and trail intersections that it's difficult to describe every turn to do the complete loop.

GPS tracking was slow to start, but it tracked to the end, showing where we parked.


Point 7201 from Lefthand Canyon Drive
2019-01-06 Fairview Peak from Point 7201

2019-01-06 Fairview Peak from Point 7201

On January 6, 2019 from Lefthand Canyon Drive, we hiked up Point 7201, about a mile away, with an altitude gain of about 1200 feet. The view near the top is an impressive panorama as you can see in the video.

Some prominent features in the video is the escarpment in the foreground with the plains behind at 13 seconds, and Fairview Peak at the center of the picture at 47 seconds.

2019-01-06 Escarpment from Point 7201

2019-01-06 Escarpment from Point 7201

Because the area had been closed to entry for years, we hadn't been here since before the flood in September 2013. It's now quieter than before because the nearby shooting area has been closed.

The GPS tracks are incomplete near the beginning and end because the GPS didn't start tracking well for a while, and we ran out of batteries near the end.


Dark Mtn from Lumpy Ridge Parking Area

On May 16, 2018 from the Lumpy Ridge parking area, we hiked to the summit of Dark Mountain, about 4.4 miles away, and an altitude gain of 10877-7876 = 3001 feet. The view at the top is a spectacular panorama as you can see on the video.

Some of the landmarks you can see on the summit video are: Signal Mtn, Mt Dickinson-Dunraven Ridge, Mummy Mtn, Hagues Peak, Mt Fairchild, Ypsilon Mtn, Chiquita Mtn, Mt Chapin, Bighorn Mtn, Trail Ridge Road, Longs Peak, and Twin Sisters. At the end, we zoom in on Mummy Mtn, Hagues Peak, Mt Fairchild, Ypsilon Mtn, and Chiquita Mtn.

GPS Tracks

2018-05-16 Dark Mtn from Black Canyon Trail

2018-05-16 Dark Mtn from Black Canyon Trail

2018-05-16 McGregor Mtn and Longs Peak from Dark Mtn summit

2018-05-16 McGregor Mtn and Longs Peak from Dark Mtn summit

2018-05-16 Estes Park with Stefan from just below Dark Mtn summit

2018-05-16 Estes Park with Stefan from just below Dark Mtn summit

GPS data
Place Name Elev [ft] Accuracy [ft] Position (lat,lon)
Lumpy Ridge parking area 7876 16 40.39648,-105.51255
High point on Dark Mtn - Lumpy Ridge saddle 9135 20 40.42243,-105.56127
Dark Mtn summit 10877 20 40.43269,-105.57376

Adams Tunnel East Portal - Wind River - Storm Pass Trail - Bierstadt Lake Loop
2018-08-27 Adams Tunnel East Portal Trailhead sign

2018-08-27 Adams Tunnel East Portal Trailhead sign

2018-08-27 On Storm Pass Trail

2018-08-27 On Storm Pass Trail

2018-08-27 Ascending Bierstadt Lake Trail

2018-08-27 Ascending Bierstadt Lake Trail

2018-08-27 Bierstadt Lake with mountains

2018-08-27 Bierstadt Lake with mountains

This is about an 8.5 mile hike, with an elevation gain from low (parking) to high (top of Bierstadt moraine) of about 1300 feet. There were patches of snow along the Storm Pass Trail to the Bierstadt Lake Trail, and persistent snow around Bierstadt Lake, but our low top hiking shoes worked just fine since the snow held us up.

Starting at the Adams Tunnel East Portal, we took the Wind River Trail to the Storm Pass Trail, then took that to the Bierstadt Lake Trailhead, then hiked up that trail to Bierstadt Lake. Finally, from Bierstadt Lake, we took the trail to the shuttle bus parking area (park and ride), then across the street to the Glacier Basin Campground. Took the YMCA Trail back to the Adams Tunnel East Portal.

GPS Tracks

GPS data
Place Name Elev [ft] Accuracy [ft] Position (lat,lon)
Adams Tunnel East Portal parking 8261 16 40.32818,-105.57581


© 2012-2019 Stefan Hollos and Richard Hollos