Mount McConnel Trail
Mt. McConnel Trail actually consists of two overlapping trails: The William
R. Kreutzer Nature Trail and the Mt McConnel Summit Trail. The Nature Trail
is 2.1 miles long and requires about three hours to complete. It is moderately
steep and climbs 575 feet above the trailhead. Rest stops are provided along
the way. There are 26 interpretive signs at various points on the trail that
provide information about the things you will see along the way. The Summit
Trail leaves the Nature Trail at its highest point, makes a loop over the
top of the ridge, and rejoins the Nature Trail on its descent. This loop adds
about 2 miles and 735 feet to your hike.
for the trail is located in the day use area below Mountain Park Campground.
The trail begins at the east end of the campground and gradually climbs the
south face of Poudre Canyon through a forest of ponderosa pine and douglas
fir trees. The trail here is wide and well maintained. There is a nice view
point about .25 miles up the trail that overlooks Poudre Canyon and the campground.
In another half mile the trail reaches the junction of the Nature and Summit
trails. There is a spectacular view of Poudre Canyon at this point. The Nature
Trail continues to the east for about .3 miles until it meets the Summit Trail
again. This section of the trail can be steep in spots and traverses south
facing slopes with juniper trees, yucca plants, and prickly pear cactus.
Summit Trail leaves the Nature Trail and continues up the canyon face to a
point near the summit of Mt. McConnel. The trail is steeper than the Nature
Trail in places but still only moderately difficult. There are spectacular
views of Poudre Canyon and the snow covered Mummy Range all along its path.
Most of this trail winds through the Cache la Poudre Wilderness. Youíll encounter
a fork in the trail a short distance from the wilderness boundary. The left
fork is the continuation of the Summit Trail. The right fork leads to the
summit of Mt. McConnel. It is only about .17 miles to the summit. The trail
ends at the base of some large rocks. Itís an easy cliimb to the top where
the views are breathtaking.
the fork in the trail the Summit Trail climbs slightly before beginning its
descent back down into Poudre Canyon. There are a few places where the trail
is less distinct, but rock cairns mark the way. As you make the descent you
will experience spectacular panoramic views of Poudre Canyon in almost every
direction. This portion of the trail can be quite difficult in spots where
it is rocky and rquires you to step down a lot. The section of trail just
above where it rejoins the Nature Trail is the most difficult. From this junction
the trail makes its way down a gulch to a point above the Cache la Poudre
River. It then parallels the river back to the campground. The trail ends
at the south end of the bridge into Mountain Park Campground. It is a short
walk along the paved road back to the parking area.
||4.2 miles (6.8 kilometers) - Summit
2.1 miles (3.4 kilometers) - Nature
||6,658' - 7,963'
||2,620 feet (1,150 feet for nature trail)
||June 1 - Oct 30
||Pets must be on a leash
|Suitable for mountain bikes:
|Suitable for horses:
Highway 287 north from Fort Collins to Laporte. Continue on Highway 287 to Highway
14. Travel west on 14 for 21 miles to the Mountain Park campground. The campground
is on the left side of the highway. The trailhead is located in the dayuse area
of the campground.
Copyright © 1999-2003 Resource Analysis
All rights reserved