Saturday, June 30, 2019
Pole Hill - clockwise (most visits are counterclockwise), Pierson Park - North, Storm Mountain (some eastern trails )

To jump to a section of interest
1 Pole Hill
2 Pierson Park - North section
3 Storm Mountain - easterly trails

The 4x4 group met in Lyons with a 9:30a departure to visit Pole Hill. We decided to travel Pole Hill, which is generally two circular trails, in the opposite direction - a rare thing. There were others on the trail today but passing was generally of no concern (we didn't have any meet on a narrow section that didn't offer pull-off spots where one group would need to back up). After a nice visit to Pole Hill a couple in the group decided to call it a day and headed home.

The remaining four of us drove the short bit to Pierson Park - the north section. This is an easy trail with few nice views. It's goal is to get to see the 2013 landslide area.

The group again split up - a couple heading south for more trails and me heading north for more trails. I took a quick drive through downtown Estes Park to see how crowded it was - crowded but not grid-locked. When in the area I'll often make the stop for a snack at the General Store in Glen Haven - today would be much of the same deliciousness.

The Storm Mountain trail system is fairly extensive. The most traveled section is to the mountain area itself though today I wish to visit the "eastern" section of trails (of which there is more to visit).

Some stats for the day:

 8:32 a - Moving

10:22 a - Pole Hill - start
            7.2 miles with a few stops for photos
12:52 p - Pole Hill - end

 1:14 p - Pierson Park North - start
            4.3 miles - a walk to the 2013 slide
 2:14 p - Pierson Park North - end

 3:04 p - 3:22 - Cinnamon roll at the Glen Haven General Store

 3:30 p - Storm Mountain - pull off of the highway
            time to air down and drive from highway to trailhead
            through the Storm Mountain community

 4:00 p - Storm Mountain - east trails (partial) - start
            13.1 miles
 6:40 p - Storm Mountain - east trails (partial) - end
            trailhead, through the community, air up, back at the highway
 7:00 p - Storm Mountain - back on the highway with a gas stop in Loveland

 8:02 p - Home

136 Miles overall
12 mph - Avg speed
10.3 Gallons of fuel (to fill the 12 gallon tank)

At the meet spot in Lyons this old truck caught my eye

US-36 towards Estes - a busy road today

Pole Hill

We'll head in for the yellow highlighted trails and then transition to the red trails - clockwise travel for both loops.

Looking down at Lake Estes / Estes Park

Photos at "The Notch" on Pole Hill






...with his perfect paint F150

Rocky Mountain National Park with some white tipped peaks

The Notch

At the nice viewing stop

(Click for a much larger size)

Nice green at Pole Hill

`bit of a windshield shot

Sitting at an intersection for the red highlighted trails (we'll take the left route) awaiting the group to bunch up.




Driving US-36 towards Pierson Park North - the Estes Park photo snap wayside

Pierson Park North
a fairly easy in-and-out trail. Not much for good views as it's mostly in a pine tree canyon. Walking out to the landslide area is the goal.

The slide area from the "north" trail has better views than when coming from the "south" trail of trail. Where the jeep trail crossed the slide area and where we walk to the slide area are slightly different. The north trail comes to the slide area a bit up-hill and offers a wider view of the up-mountain slide.

A harvested area

Nearing the slide area - descending into the valley

The slide area on the mountainside

Where the north jeep trail ends we then walk about 300 yards out to the slide

Back in the jeep and nearing the trailhead for some photos to the west.

Taking a ride through Estes Park on a busy Saturday

The typical fare for when I pass through Glen Haven
The best cinnamon roll in the area!
(sorry Johnson's Corner - though you're in the running)

Storm Mountain trail area - looking at Longs Peak (right)

Storm Mountain trails

I wished to visit the "eastern" trails on Storm Mountain - a first for me.

There are several and they are long. I'm getting low on fuel and traveling solo (daylight is also a factor - some of the photos are a bit blurry with the camera moving to a long exposure (and I'm driving along on the trail)).  I'll wish to return to visit more of them.

I found the trails to be a nice mix of "in the trees" and "up with views".

Looking easterly over the plains with the afternoon sun at our backs

Looking at the fuel gauge, trip odometer (fuel gauge isn't calibrated - about 1/4 remaining really is about empty - on my ToDo list to calibrate it), amount of trail still available - I'm nearing a spot to turn back.... but then what's over the next rise / around the next corner - there's enough gas - let's see what we can see.

(Click for a much larger size)

The next two pix are close to the same - one taken with the digital camera and one with the phone

(Click for a much larger size)

(Click for a much larger size)

Peeking over the ridges is Loveland Colorado

The photo after this photo is zoomed in to the ridge above the steering wheel - I see a black plume of smoke - a fire?

While the area looks remote, we're only several miles west of town (Fort Collins) and thus have cell phone coverage. I'm on the phone with family while eating a late lunch.

Looking at the back side of Horsetooth Mountain (right), a landmark when in Fort Collins - specifically when heading west on Horsetooth Road (able to look through the gaps in the "teeth").

The singular plume of black smoke is the reason for the pic - lightning strike for the start of a fire?

A large four engine plane headed to Denver

Turned around and heading back to the trailhead - wrapping up trails for the day

(Click for a much larger size)

Much of this trail would be rated as easy

A reasonable bit or water was present on the trail - with top and doors off I'll drive slowly to not have muddy water flung upon me