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atoms, molecules & ions
The Crystal Point Trail is 1.1 miles long. It begins at FR 240 and ends at Trail End*.
* whodathunk, thanks Forest Service!
Looks like a nice little forest hike to Munds Tank. Not entirely sure...
This is a nice little hike for kids or if you are near Munds Park and have a quick hour to kill. The only downsides are that the views are always just out of reach and it can get pretty crowded. That said, almost everyone I’ve bumped into on the trail has been very pleasant and has had an interesting story to tell. Also, not many people seem to continue along an unnamed trail that continues down to Odell Lake. Maybe you could find solitude just a few hundred feet down that trail?
The trailhead is right at the boundary between Munds Park and the National Forest. The official parking area is the lot on the opposite side of the road, but there is enough room for 3 or 4 vehicles on the shoulder. You start in a relatively exposed flat, with sparse ponderosa pine, Gambel Oak, and alligator juniper. This is the only challenging part of the trail for young kids, as the volcanic rocks on the trail match the dirt. Watch your step and you’ll be fine.
After winding along the flat for a ½ mile, the trail enters the shade and begins to climb. Looking off to the right, you will catch glimpses of Oak Creek Canyon, Schnebly Hill?, and the Munds Park country club (the trail is smoother here, so you can hike and look at the same time). The trail follows a few shaded switchbacks for and then levels out again at the top. Another couple hundred yards and you’re there. The trail sign says 1.3 miles, but my GPS devices have shown between 1 and 1.3. There are re-purposed ammo boxes with trail registers going back nearly 15 years. Either return the way you came or continue down the unnamed trail to Odell Lake. I haven’t done this leg yet, but I can’t imagine that it’s strenuous.
July 2020 Update
Finally got around to completing the route to Odell Lake. This portion is by far the better trail. As suspected, the descent is not at all strenuous. The trail is well maintained, shaded, and uncrowded. Just a few hundred feet from the "summit" there is a Forest Service sign indicating there are ancient ruins or artifacts in there area. I poked around a little but didn't find anything (aside from a great campsite). Back on the trail, I hit nice switchbacks at about mile 1.4 and then got level and open at mile 2.6. There were some great specimens of ponderosa, oak, and alligator juniper along the way. At about 3.5 miles the trail splits into various options around the lake. I opted to hang a right to a dead-end street with parking and a gate.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.