Shoshone Loop | Ramsay-Shockey Open Space
Loveland, CO | 03/24/20 | 2.91 miles | 351′ gain
After a quick hike at Carter Lake, I made the 20 minute drive to Ramsay-Shockey Open Space. Ramsay-Shockey Open Space and Pinewood Reservoir County Park are directly adjacent and it’s difficult to determine where one ends and the other begins. I didn’t have time to do the trails in both parks (I had to work afterwards), so I picked the shorter of the two options. The Shoshone Trail is the only trail in Ramsay-Shockey and would be an easy way to check off a new park.
Pinewood Reservoir has a number of trailheads along its eastern shore but the northernmost trailhead is the main access to Ramsay-Shockey Open Space. I followed the Besant Point Trail west across Pinewood Reservoir’s dam and spillway. The Besant Point Trail wraps around the entire reservoir, but I was just following it for a short ways to access the Shoshone Trail.
At the pit toilet west of the dam, the Shoshone Trail branches off the Besant Point Trail. It travels 1.5 miles through the foothills and then reconnects with the Besant Point Trail 0.6 miles south, creating a loop. I decided to walk clockwise around the loop so I continued along the Besant Point Trail until I reached the southern connection with the Shoshone Trail. In this 0.6 mile section, there is an alternate trail called the Fisherman’s Trail that gets a little closer to the water. I decided to take this because I wanted to get a closer view of the inlet.
Here I found my first snow of the day, a short slippery section above the water. I really didn’t want to fall in! Soon after hiking around the inlet, I reconnected with the Besant Point Trail and followed that for a few minutes before reaching the Shoshone Trail.
I let Otis play in the water for a few minutes before turning onto the Shoshone Trail. So far we’d been on a completely flat trail but now we were gaining some elevation. The Shoshone Trail heads up into the mountains and will eventually provide a view of Pinewood Reservoir.
The Shoshone Trail is named for a Native American Tribe (the Shoshone) who once lived in this area. There are numbered posts along the trail that correspond with an interpretive brochure, but unfortunately the trailhead was out when I visited. (This brochure can be downloaded and printed ahead of time!)
Near the high point of the Shoshone Trail, there is an unmarked side trail that leads to a rocky overlook. This was fun to climb on but the views weren’t really any different than from the main trail.
After the overlook, the Shoshone Trail descends back to the Besant Point Trail and connects near the pit toilet. From there it is an easy walk back over the dam and spillway to the trailhead.
On the way home, I made a quick stop at Flatiron Reservoir County Park. This park is mostly for camping and fishing and doesn’t have any designated hiking trails, but I couldn’t pass up the cool view.