Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:50 pm

Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby jibler » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:51 pm

Hello all,

I'm a board member with the Friends of Red Rocks, a volunteer organization that is working to preserve Red Rocks Park. I personally joined to, among other things, try to get a real trail built to the top of Mount Morrison. As it is, following the old furnicular line/trail up from above the Amphitheater, the trail washes out around 1/3rd of the way up. From there one you have to pretty much just bust straight up the mountain. Which I don't mind necessarily, but it has always seemed to me that this is a great area that could do better! Namely a series of switchbacks to make the hike a little more manageable and perhaps popular.


Are you a Denver-metro hiker? Do you like Mount Morrison? Would you like to see a more established trail to the top?

If you answer yes to any of these please speak up! As it is I seem to be the only person who cares about this, but I know there are more like me out there who know this mountain.

I'm in the earliest of phases here with this but some support/feedback/ideas is highly appreciated.

Jibler
"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken", Colonel Sanders

User avatar
Posts: 2457
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 3:59 pm
Location: Littleton, CO

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby MountainHiker » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:22 pm

We have hiked Mt Morrison on several occasions. This time of year we hike several of the hills close to the city when we don’t want to deal with winter up high. Not Mt Morrison though. Because of its lack of a trail I envision it being a mess when the snow is going through a melt - refreeze cycle. Yesterday we did S Boulder & Bear for the manyith time. We would welcome a shorter drive for another peak trail.
Red, Rugged, and Rotten: The Elk Range - Borneman & Lampert

User avatar
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:57 am
Location: Parker, Colorado

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby rking007 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:25 pm

Interesting, I'd be interested to see where a trail would lead to? The last time I was up there you could just walk right up to the large tower and building and the large propane tank on top. I'm assuming that's a radio tower of some kind? Anyhow, would there be an issue with that or would it be fenced off (if it's not already)? Any preliminary map to show where it would go in relation to the terrain? Good luck!
- Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

User avatar
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:07 pm

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby tlerunner » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:39 pm

There is already a decent social trail up the south ridge.

http://www.summitpost.org/mount-morrison-routes/22450

If any trail is improved, I think it should be this one. It already has some good switch backs. The routes from the amphitheater are very steep and loose.

User avatar
Posts: 1101
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 12:57 pm
Location: Littleton, CO

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby climbing_rob » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:19 pm

tlerunner wrote:There is already a decent social trail up the south ridge.

http://www.summitpost.org/mount-morrison-routes/22450

If any trail is improved, I think it should be this one. It already has some good switch backs. The routes from the amphitheater are very steep and loose.
Agreed; we just hiked this one today. Decent trail, only gets feint near the top. and maybe we just missed the best branch. Much better than the one that comes right down to the amphitheater (which we descended).

User avatar
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:17 pm
Location: Lakewood

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby JeffR » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:45 pm

My answer is "there is currently a real trail to the top". I do the south ridge 10-15 times a year and find that trail is perfectly fine. I appreciate your groups' concern with the preservation of Red Rocks, and feel that your focus may be better served discouraging people from the the myriad social trails leading from the amphitheater in favor of the already-established trail on the ridge.
To recognize the beauty in sadness, without playing host to the pain...
- Under the Sun, "Reflections"

User avatar
Posts: 2457
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 3:59 pm
Location: Littleton, CO

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby MountainHiker » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:53 pm

It sounds like we need to try the South Ridge. What are the parking options?
Red, Rugged, and Rotten: The Elk Range - Borneman & Lampert

User avatar
Posts: 1550
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 12:05 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby Kojones » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:12 pm

I have always hiked up the east slope about 20 or so times. The existing trail is decent, but could be improved on some areas to prevent washing. I've climbed down the south ridge a few times and that's a decent trail as well. I'd like to see both remain essentially the same, with upgrades to prevent washing. The higher difficulty is why I prefer the east slope on the way up, so I'd hate to see that get "closed off."

Kojones
Climbing partner: "Is this uphill the whole way?"
Kojones: "No, only half the hike is uphill."
Image

Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:36 am

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby MattK » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:10 am

MountainHiker wrote:It sounds like we need to try the South Ridge. What are the parking options?


To me the south route is the best route on the mountain--aside from hitting up the Dome for some scrambling/climbing. Parking for the south ridge: Use the western most entrance for Red Rocks and you will see two pull-offs just on the east side (right) of the road and the trail is marked next to the first pull-off. (Watch the speed just outside Morrison, it seems about every time I'm there the cops are either waiting to pull someone over, or already have someone pulled over!)

I too would also like to see a focus on the south ridge trail...it seems to be getting really eroded in some places.

Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:50 pm

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby jibler » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:19 am

Thanks for feedback!

Here's my reasoning for thinking that the east ridge is the place to try some improvements:

- South Ridge, which I've done many times myself, doesn't have any official starting point at the base (as far as I can tell), whereas the East Ridge goes up the furnicular line quite a ways and wouldn't need the same amount of resources dedicated to it as the South would in order to just delineate where the official trail starts. Does that make sense?

- The other thing about the South Ridge is that last quarter mile is fairly intense (i.e. vertical) and/or just plain rocky. I don't see a way to improve that. The east ridge on the other hand seems ripe for improvement.

- Technically, I'd love to see a series of trails that approaches from the peak from every current trail. But again is seems like the south ridge is more problematic in that sense than the east ridge.

- As far as the radio tower, propane tank and all that, that's why I haven't given much thought to the trail that starts around the geologic marker and goes up the middle of the canyon below the towers. I'm not sure what kind of private property issues and/or public safety issues (high frequency radio) exist around there. With the South and East Ridge trails you just get to the southern peak and don't deal with the tower at all.

- This whole endeavor is a bit weird, given that there are already "trails" to the top, obviously we all enjoy it. I guess I'm thinking that some improvements might get your more casual hiker up there. Could decrease the pressure on the park itself too, by giving folks a different option for hiking in the area.

- To JeffR's point, I too am concerned about social trails, throughout park really, and I am trying to steer the Friends of Red Rocks, which is currently mainly focused on monthly cleanups, native plant garden near the Trading Post, and concert cleanups/awareness campaigns, to a larger role in trail maintenance and perhaps construction of improvements.

Bottom line, I strongly believe that Mount Morrison is the most underutilized asset in the park. The views from the top are probably the best on the whole front range, other than Devil's Head maybe. If nothing else I'd just like to see a sign go up that says "Mount Morrison 2.5 miles this way" (or whatever the mileage is...).

Keep in touch on this one folks. I'm going to meet with Denver Mtn Parks soon, see what they're thinking, and I might be contacting you all to see more of what you think about all this. Ideally I'll be holding a public meeting on it within six months, but this whole thing has been an exercise in herding cats so far so it has been slow going.

Oh and I wouldn't be doing my part if I didn't say that anyone who's interested should come out for one of our end of month clean ups. Last Saturday of every month. We meet in the South lot next to the trading post.

Thanks again for feedback. Any further thoughts are welcomed!
"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken", Colonel Sanders

User avatar
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:47 am
Location: Lakewood

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby ztop » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:06 pm

I like the south ridge trail, too, and it doesn't seem like it would take much to establish a trailhead. That being said, the east ridge is the one most folks are going to see and decide to use. The washouts are pretty bad and an improved trail would really help slow erosion and make for a better experience for those who casually decide to climb. More power to you. Sounds like you're doing a great service by focusing FofRR on trails.

User avatar
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Denver/Boulder

Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby RestlessLegSyndrome » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:13 pm

Thanks for your concern about one of our prized natural resources. Like many others, I too am for leaving the south ridge trail as is. I personally enjoy the lack of a trailhead as it probably cuts down on crowds a little. Improvement on the east side though would be much welcomed and I think it would go a long ways towards getting your casual hiker on a great mountain such as this.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Cruiser and 3 guests