Meadow Mountain

I heard about this "Nice little walk" at rmnpforums in a hike report by Bill 007 and SandyP.  It sounded like a great hike so off I went.  I wasn't sure how easy it would be to find the trailhead, which is off Ski Road south of Allenspark, but found it with no problem.  Most of this hike is just outside the southeast corner of the park.  The summit of Meadow Mountain is right on the park boundary.  I didn't see a single other person the whole day.

Be sure to click on these thumbnail photos for larger versions.

1. The hike begins with the trail winding through a stand of aspen.

2. Sego Lily

3. Much of the ground is shaded by the aspens but some patches of sunlight break through.

4. The trail enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

5. The trail.

6. A small stream.

7. Paintbrush.

8. The trail.

9. These pictures of bighorn sheep were actually taken on the way back down, but it was in this area where I saw them.  They were not very close and I wouldn't have noticed them at all except that one of them stumbled and knocked some rocks loose.  It was the falling rock that alerted me that they were there.

10. More bighorn sheep

11. More bighorn sheep

12. The view opens up and I wonder if that might be St Vrain Mountain peeking out over the trees.

13. I think this white flower is called Pearly Everlasting.

14. Lots of wildflowers on the hillside.

15. Is this an Aster or a Daisy?

16. Blue Columbine.

17. Chiming Bells.

18. This grouse was kind enough to pose for me.

19. Another of the grouse.

20. Another of the grouse.

21. Another of the grouse.

22. A grouse chick.

23. This is the trail, not too far from the saddle between Meadow Mountain and St Vrain Mountain.

24. Paintbrush along the trail.

25. Getting real close to the saddle now.  That is St Vrain Mountain.

26. When you reach the saddle, the peaks of Wild Basin suddenly and dramatically come into view.  This is also the boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park.

27. The panoramic view here is incredible.  Super Size It!  (274kB).

28. After spending some time in the saddle enjoying the view and taking a short break, I begin to climb Meadow Mountain.  This view is toward St Vrain Mountain and the trail leading in that direction.

29. I think this is Shrubby Cinquefoil, also known as Potentilla.

30. Another shot of the trail passing through the saddle.

31. I continue the climb toward the summit of Meadow Mountain.

32. I've reached the summit, and look at the view!  These are the St Vrain Glaciers.

33. More St Vrain Glaciers.

34. Ogalalla Peak.

35. Mount Alice.

36. Pagoda Mountain.

37. Longs Peak.

38. Twin Sisters

39. Here is a panoramic view from the summit.
Super Size It!  (561kB).  Photo only.
Super Size It!  (600kB)  With peak identification.

40. I just need to kick back and enjoy the view for a while.