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Shadow Mountain, CO

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Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CO > Northwest
4 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,381 feet
Elevation Gain 1,546 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,662 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4-5 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 18.11
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes
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10  2018-07-27 maryl
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, May, Aug
Seasons   Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:49am - 4:47pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
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Nearby Area Water
East Shore Trail
2.5 mi away
6.8 mi
466 ft
East Shore / Continental Divide Scenic Trail
3.1 mi away
3.0 mi
Adams Falls
3.2 mi away
0.2 mi
51 ft
East Inlet Trail - RMNP
East Inlet Trail - RMNP
3.2 mi away
8.5 mi
2,554 ft
Tonahutu Creek Trail
3.7 mi away
12.9 mi
3,933 ft
Tonahutu Creek to Big Meadows - RMNP
Tonahutu Creek to Big Meadows - RMNP
3.7 mi away
10.8 mi
1,000 ft
North Inlet Trail
3.8 mi away
11.7 mi
4,241 ft
Trail Ridge Road - Rocky Mountain National Par
4.0 mi away
48.0 mi
Cascade Falls
4.5 mi away
7.0 mi
Valley Trail - RMNP
4.9 mi away
2.6 mi
180 ft
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This short but moderately strenuous out and back is the perfect day hike. I believe its one of the less traveled hikes in the grand lake area because of the elevation gain. The day we hiked we passed just a handful of hikers and when we summited we were the only hikers at the fire tower.

The trailhead is easy to find, it begins at the Shadow Mountain Dam staging area and is also a small section of the CDT. Parking is ample at the trailhead.

The well marked & well traveled trail skirts Shadow Mountain lake for the first mile or so. After reaching a well marked trail junction the trail to summit Shadow Mountain is clearly marked. The uphill climb begins. This uphill climb is very distinctive. The trail to the summit travels entirely uphill at a good slope. You definitely know your traveling uphill but it doesn't feel like it. One knows in the annals of their hiking mind that your gaining elevation but the body doesn't feel the gain. Weird. Once you start gaining some good elevation you'll hike along a ridge with beautiful views of the Grand Lake area.

Soon after leaving the face of Shadow Mountain the trail heads through a huge blow down area. The wind was whipping at a good pace the day we hiked and you can hear the trees snapping. It is quite surreal.

The trail starts to switchback about 0.25 miles from the summit. The last push seemed the hardest. At the top you'll be faced with stunning views of the Grand Lake area and the Rocky Mountains. There is an old fire tower that was unacceptable due to construction. There were 2 small water sources along the trail. If your carrying a full reservoir of water one shouldn't need to filter and refill. After spending some time at the summit the weather started rolling in and we began the downhill trek. On our return hike we encountered some areas of fresh blow down we had to move or maneuver around.

This hike offers a bit of everything and some moose as well. There is an ample amount of wildlife in the area. The trail is well maintained but beware of blow down.

    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Rocky Mountain National Park
    $20 per vehicle, good for up to 7 days. It is free to hike but backpacking/camping permits are extra. View NPS Info

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Grand Lake head south on route 34 and turn left onto county road 66. Travel to the end and you'll wee the parking area by the Shadow Mountain Dam.
    page created by joebartels on Aug 23 2018 1:21 pm
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