Foothills Nature Trail | Colorado | 05/10/20

Foothills Nature Trail | Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park

Loveland, CO | 07/10/20| 2.34 miles | 458′ gain


Kyle and I set out for a quick and easy morning hike near home. I’d done this hike before but I didn’t blog about it. It seemed worthy of a repeat (and a blog post). The Round Mountain Nature Trail follows an access road for an old waterline that has recently been removed. (You can see the waterline – labeled aqueduct – on my map.)

The trail is wide and gradual as it heads up to a CCC-built stone shelter. We moseyed through a forest teeming with wildflowers and stopped to admire an occasional view through the trees.

Palisade Mountain (8,264′)
Lanceleaf Chiming Bells (Mertensia lanceolata)
Wavyleaf Dandelion (Nothocalais cuspidata)
Western Wallflower (Erysimum asperum)
A good view of the Big Thompson Canyon.

A steep and narrow side trail leaves the road and heads up to the stone shelter, located on a small “summit”. The trees have grown up around the shelter so the views are somewhat obscured but it’s still a fun spot to take a quick break.

CCC-built stone shelter

The hike out was just as easy as the hike in, though by then the late-morning crowds had arrived. It’s always a pleasure to get an early morning start!

Sand Lily (Leucocrinum montanum)

An interpretive brochure for this trail can be found here. Many of the numbered markers were removed during the waterline removal, but you can still follow along pretty well!


4 thoughts on “Foothills Nature Trail | Colorado | 05/10/20

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