Round Mountain Summit Adventure Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,764' 843 m
Descent: -2,764' -843 m
High: 8,331' 2,539 m
Low: 5,850' 1,783 m
GradeAvg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 47% (25°)
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“A long steady climb through foothills and Ponderosas.”— Jared Crockett
This is a long one, so be sure to pack plenty of water. There is an outhouse at the parking lot, and then no other facilities the rest of the way. You'll cross a small spring well into the run, but signs warn against drinking that water (I tend to follow what the signs say).
You'll wind your way up and across the side of the canyon with beautiful views of the river below along the way. After a mile or so the trail switches back providing even better views of the canyon that you are ascending. Before long, you leave the canyon views behind and are greeted with expansive views of the plains and communities to the east.
The trail continues up through forest and rock formations. Because Round Mountain is not very dramatic, this trail starts to feel like it is getting pretty long. There's not too much incline to tell you that you're reaching the end. Rather, you just continue to gradually climb, and gradually climb some more, then more. Eventually, you "break out" on the summit, which is marked by a very large rock cairn. Unfortunately, there are not many views to speak of here, as the summit is covered entirely with Ponderosa forest. You can, however, take a short walk to the north from the summit and get another great view of the canyon below and Palisade mountain on the other side of the canyon.
Note, you can also mountain bike this trail.
The Summit Adventure Trail portion of the Round Mountain National Recreational Trail is primarily maintained by hikers and the National Forest Service, due to the fact that it leaves the City of Loveland's property, and enters the Roosevelt National Forest.
Many people utilize this public trail each year, and others help to maintain it! Along with the City workers who maintain the lower portion of the trail known as the Foothills Nature Trail, there are also volunteers who help to patrol the upper portion of the trail known as the Round Mountain - Summit Adventure Trail through a program with the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers. The trail's beauty depends on you as well as nature. Please pack out any trash you see along the trail.
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Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes
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Land Manager: USFS - Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests Office