Beginning at the first major switchback, this hike is a great route that combines easy to navigate (though strenuous) terrain with a manageable distance to create an excellent outing with big time rewards at the end.
Features: Fall Colors — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Family Friendly: This is an easy and short outing. The fire tower at top is fun for kids, and there are great views and big sense of accomplishment of at the summit.
This route will lead you up a fire road, which starts near the Forest Service outdoor shooting range. Due to the proximity of the range, you'll likely hear shots fired at the beginning of this outing.
Follow the road up to the antennas and fire tower. Though you'll be navigating a road, this journey can still pack a punch. The grades are moderate and consistent from the parking area to the summit. There are amazing views of the Mt Evans area and the Indian peaks once you've reached the top.
For the second year (as of 2016) the Forest Service appears to be renting the fire tower for overnight stays, if you'd like to extend your stay.
Flora & Fauna
Wildflowers are abundant at various times, and mushrooms can be found in the fall. This can be Nordic skied and snowshoed in the winter.