Geological Significance · Wildflowers
Need to Know
This spot was given to Thermopolis by the Lewis Freudenthal family in his memory.
To find the trail, you must travel towards the golf course in Thermopolis and turn left at the top of the hill. The name of the street is called Round Top Drive. Follow the road until you see the turn and pull in the round parking area. There are no bathrooms or any facilities available. There is a monument at the bottom that tells the history of Round Top hill.
The trail starts at the base of the hill where you park. The trail starts with a vigorous climb and slowly morphs to a smaller singletrack that edges along the side of the hill, so you'll not want to be going up when someone is coming down. The trail has no room for passing or moving off of the trail.
The hill is mostly red dirt with granite rocks and fossilized mud. As this is a hot spring area, you'll smell the sulfur from the hot springs down the road. The ascent up the trail starts immediately, with the climb maintaining a steady rise along the side of the hill. The trail at the bottom has some loose slick soil, but further up and to the top, it is mostly solid rock with good footholds.
The trail does have some twists, but at this cutback when you come down, you could miss the trail to go down -- a flat rock covers the trail and makes it difficult to see as you are looking down on that area. There is one point where you'll need to climb/crawl up the side for about 5 feet.
The trail is well traveled, so finding and staying on the trail is fairly easy. If you have any fears of open, high places, this trail has one side on the hill with the other side open to the hill. As you get towards the top, you'll need to do a little rock climbing, but only for about 10 feet -- and the trail has been carved out, so reaching the top is fairly easy. The trail does have great natural hand and feet holds at this point, so it's not too difficult.
When you reach the top, you'll get a 360-degree view of Thermopolis and beyond. There are some geological survey medallions from 1906 placed on top as well, and finding the triangulation is a fun little activity. The area has some sagebrush and yucca plants. We did see some lizards and found a snake skin at the top of the hill.
Coming down is more work than going up because at points you'll need to sit to get down over some rock edges. This is a hike that would be good for fall and spring but not in the winter, as the trail would be slick and snow-covered. Overall, a good hike that should take about 30 minutes with exploring the top and enjoying the view of the area.
Flora & Fauna
On the trail and at the top, you might encounter a blue-belled lizard, and we spotted signs of bull snakes (harmless). There is sagebrush and yucca plants along the trail and at the top.
Shared By: Donna Hunter