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

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Re: Mount Morrison - Would you like a "Real Trail" to the top?

Postby jibler » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:53 pm

As some may be aware, there has been a closure of many routes to the top of Mt Morrison.


Are you concerned?

If so please let me know. Friends of Red Rocks had a meeting last week w/ park staff, and it sounds like they don't like the furnicular trail and don't see it as a permanent trail to the top. Not being an expert in trail design or maintanence I don't have any reason to disagree outright, but I still believe that there should be as many routes open as are feasible to maintain.
Keep looking up - Jack Horkheimer

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

Postby gurlyclimber » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:29 pm

I've literally hiked/scrambled and run up Mt. Morrison close to 200 times so I'm pretty familiar. I really don't think there needs to be a "real trail" to the top as the routes are pretty well beaten down. The very last push towards the summit from the east face could use a little maintenance as could several other spots on the hill. It's safe as it is and easy enough to follow but it could be easier to follow with just a little trail work. Constructing a real trail just seems excessive to me. With that being said, it's a been a gem of a training mountain for me and I'd be happy to put in some time to help with some maintenance and path building.

Why don't they like the furnicular trail?
There are some trips you never fully come back from.

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

Postby rickinco123 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:36 pm

Thanks for introducing me to this awesome Mountain gurlyclimber, I got a tour from an expert.

After reading a PM jibler sent me I can see this is almost useless as Denver Mountain Parks are some of the most unreasonable land managers I have ever seen. It occurs to me that if they ever allow official access to this climb it will be for my grandchildren. They own land all over the front range that they won't even allow people to set foot on, they say its to preserve the view. If they owned Yosemite you would be able to look at the falls and that would be it. After someone died on Halfdome they wouldn't even let you get out of your car for fear you might get hurt. Fortunately they don't own more land than they do.

I am willing to help for future users but I agree that there is nothing wrong with the route. The bottom is severely eroded but this is caused precisely by Denver Mtn Parks not creating an official way to access this obviously popular and very historic hike. A bottom access trail is all that is needed. It sounds like they are not interested in anything that is not a smooth trail so some of us will just have to risk arrest, imprisonment and fines because Denver doesn't have more serious problems they could be working on.

....... that felt good.

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

Postby jibler » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:39 pm

yeah I should start a new thread since the "real trail" idea is languishing anyway. I'm more concerned now with this closure and just trying to maintain as much access as possible


The angle of the furnicular trail is too steep to keep up, apparently. they like a more gentle grade. seems to me that it is a pretty good route and given some better signage at the bottom and few switchbacks in the mid section we might be able to come up with something.

But there's also issues with a large portion of mt morrison being in Jeffco. Denver and Jeffco aren't exactly partners, yet, in developing a mutual system of trails on mt morrison.

also, I would have been fine with everything the way it is too, except that there are more and more people using the trails now and the park staff has been forced to respond. and if the rest of red rocks in any indication....we'd better speak up about the kind of park we want or someone else (or the bottom line) will.
Keep looking up - Jack Horkheimer

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

Postby Brian Thomas » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:48 pm

Regarding the south ridge trail, be careful where you park and what you leave in your vehicle. Mine fell victim to smash-and-grab on a weekday evening this spring. All they got was a laptop bag and backpack that while both empty, probably looked full of goodies.

Now I park on the main road and hike the extra 100 yards to the Red Rocks entrance 4 TH. Still waiting to hear back from the JeffCo Sheriff's about this...

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

Postby rickinco123 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:51 pm

jibler, can you point me to a map that clearly shows the Denver Jeffco Boudaries? Is the south ridge trail all on Jeffco land?

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

Postby gurlyclimber » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:05 pm

jibler wrote:seems to me that it is a pretty good route and given some better signage at the bottom and few switchbacks in the mid section we might be able to come up with something.


If the goal here is to make the mountain more accessible and to curtail the incessant bushwhacking that takes place around the unofficial trail, I think you have a great solution here and nothing more is needed. The trails up Mt. Morrison do not appeal to typical visitors to the park like the Red Rocks Trail, among others. The mountain has been getting more attention lately but still not enough to justify a ton of work in my opinion.

In addition, the only closure signs that I have seen are just to the south of the start of the funicular route. There are several random trails heading up the mountain over there from stray hikers but I believe, mostly from concert goers heading up the hill for a lil sumpin sumpin. Oh yeah. :twisted:

Thx Rick!
There are some trips you never fully come back from.

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

Postby jibler » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:34 pm

rickinco123 wrote:jibler, can you point me to a map that clearly shows the Denver Jeffco Boudaries? Is the south ridge trail all on Jeffco land?


good question. I haven't seen it. I only heard about it in the meeting w/ park people last week.

I'd found a map prior to that that had me thinking that it was mainly all denver mtn parks.

but from what they said...a vast majority is jeffco
Keep looking up - Jack Horkheimer

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

Postby rickinco123 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:42 pm

I wonder if a better approach is working with Jeffco Open Space and then maybe they would be willing to work with Denver if necessary. I would love to be able to do this hike without risking a potential court summons. Better yet, get Denver Mountain Parks to sell or give their land to Jeffco.

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

Postby climbing_rob » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:58 pm

I could have sworn a lot of the mountain, including the south-ridge trail (the best IMHO) is actually federal BLM land??? I tried to google this to find out, but failed. Does someone have a jurisdiction map to share? I climb/run/walk this just about every week, no signs/restrictions on the S. ridge trail. Hopefully this won't change. I can see "closing" the trail from the amphitheater; yes eroded, ambiguous, steep, gravelly, no fun at all.

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

Postby jibler » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:27 am

Park Mgmt likes the south ridge trail. For now that is the only approved access to the top.


I do need to get my hands to better maps....but for now as much as I'm interested I got nothing....
Keep looking up - Jack Horkheimer

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

Postby rijaca » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:32 pm

The south ridge trail is the most sustainable.
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

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