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Hiking Lumpy Ridge with Will, RMNP, May 30, 2010

July 1, 2010


Will, my youngest son, and I did the Lumpy Ridge Loop on Sunday, May 30.  It’s turning into my annual “warm-up hike” (although, Conor, Will, and I sorta did a warm-up in Moab already : )  The day was extremely nice weather wise.  I decided to take Will the “no time/space portal” direction.  It cuts approximately 374 hours (no telling how many miles) off the hike if you go counterclockwise in the loop.  After the hike, Will agreed that it was much shorter.

Before I go any further in the trip’s description, here is my standard comment. Please check my photo galleries here for all the larger and higher quality photos for this trip. The photos in the gallery are a quantum leap in size and quality compared to the little teaser photos I put in this site’s trip narrative (and there are more of them). In addition, I have two other links that will help locate the area if you are interested in making the hike yourself. A Google Earth map can be found here. Use the scale bar on the left side of the Google map to help zoom in or out to help locate the area based on where you live. (If you want to see all my trips, this link will direct you to a Google map that shows ALL my trips.) In order to help you with the actual trail itself, you can use this link to view a topo map (care of the great National Geographic TOPO program( ) that one of my sons purchased for me : ) of the Lumpy Ridge loop trail. Please note that all links open a new browser window.


In addition to the Google map link above, below is a Microsoft Live map. The red tack shows the general location of the trail from Fort Collins, CO. You can click on the map to bring it up in a “live” mode and zoom in or out (and move the map around) to get more detail.

Map image

Ummmm, coming Dad?  Will is anxious to get going.  The day, as can be seen, was perfect hiking weather.


Ummm, ready to hike yet? (this is a fairly common situation : )  This is the bridge that crosses Cow Creek.  Which is around 3 miles after getting to Gem Lake.  So, roughly the halfway point of the hike.


Will checking to make sure I’m still walking.


The aspen leaves had the glowing green spring time look.  The grass was just coming up at this elevation.  Late spring.


We took a lunch break under the green canopy ahead.


Zoom.  While stopped for lunch a ranger stopped by to chat with us.  Nice person.  Said he was an “intern” and that he was the “back country” ranger for a lot of the eastern side of the park.  Boy, is he going to be in good shape at the end of the summer : )


A single remaining patch of snow.  Only a week or two ago, this was all under snow (late spring this year).


Climbers on the wall.  This is after dropping down into Black Canyon.  You hike along all the cool climbing rocks.  Lots of time you can hear, and sometimes spot, the climbers hanging from the walls.


Zoom (you can see them if you look; much easier to see on the photo at the web link above).  They are over and down in the right hand corner of the face (just below the upper shadow area).


Green pastures.  There are elk in the view.


Zoom.  Most of the time you see cattle out there instead of the elk.


Twin Sisters in the background.


Looking back up Black Canyon.


Longs Peak and the diamond.


Blue sky, white clouds, and green aspens.  It really looked prettier than this.  Tough combination for a camera.  You either blow the clouds, or, if you expose correctly for the clouds, the trees look too dark.  In this photo, the trees are just about right.  Clouds are a little over exposed.


Lots of snow in the high country still.




We made it back.  In record time, I might add : )


We went back to Fort Collins and, of course, hit the Rio for food and drink (cleaned up first : )
So, great day.  Lovely way to start off the summer.

– Geoff Weatherford

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2010 9:27 pm

    Beautiful shots, this blog is a good finding that a friend of mine found for me when I asked her hints of Colorado sights. My wife’s niece will be an exhange student for a year in Grand Junction and we planned to fly to Denver in May, rent a car & visit her and drive/hike/golf/photograph around the area.

    • July 3, 2010 6:32 pm

      There is some nice country around Grand Junction (Grand Mesa, etc.). Also, if you go down the highway from Grand Junction to Fruita (about 30 minutes or less), there are some great red rock canyons nearby. Of course, you could head over to Moab, Utah (probably around a 2-3 hour drive from Grand Junction) and see Arches National Park, Canyonlands, etc.

      Hmmm, too many places to see and not enough time : )

      Anyway, you should have a good time.

      Thanks for visiting.


      • July 12, 2010 9:42 pm

        Thanks for these tips – We probably head also to Grand Canyon and Las Vegas + California, so the most difficult thing is probably to try to choose most interesting parts and decide what to skip…

      • July 20, 2010 2:19 am

        So many trails, so little time : )

        Thanks and good luck.

        Geoff Weatherford

  2. Michal permalink
    August 26, 2010 9:41 pm

    Great website Geoff, Thanks for sharing!

    I plan on going that route with some friends from the midwest over labor day. My plan is to camp at the McGregor campsite, which is on the Black Canyon trail – up towards lawn lake.

    Have you ever taken that route, or have pictures of the campsite area?

    I am sure that the area is beautiful, but my concern is that we may not be able to see the stars/sunset/sunrise due to being in a forested canyon. (The reason for picking that spot is the fact that it is one of the few that allows campfires).

    I figure that my other option is to go to the dispersed camping by bridal veil falls, that might give us more flexibility as far as picking a spot with a view is concerned.

    Either way,
    Any comments you might have will be appreciated. Thanks to your website I already know what to expect on the hike – and will be weary of the time warp.

    • September 4, 2010 4:53 pm


      Got to this too late. I apologize for that.

      I have not been to the McGregor camp site (that I can remember). But, the Black Canyon, from what I’ve seen, is a deep forested canyon and not the best place to get great views (that may change further up the trail).

      The Bridal Veil campsites are in a more open valley. There are some very nice view of meadows, etc. And, you can see a lot of sky. Of course, I don’t think they allow campfires at those sites.

      Anyway, looks to be pretty nice weather for labor day (cooling off at night quite a bit : ) I’m sure you’ll have a good time no matter where you go in RMNP.

      Again, sorry I did not get to you sooner.

      Geoff Weatherford

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