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Trip Details

Date Saturday  6/3/2017
End Date Saturday  6/3/2017
Group Denver
Event Title Lumpy Ridge Circuit Rocky Mountain N.P. Estes Park, CO
Start Time 5:00 AM
Status Complete
Leader Terry Ploski
Member Price Free
Available Participants 7
Type Trip
Trip Type Hike
Pace Moderate
Classification Difficult C
Trail Mileage 13
Elevation Gain 2475
Driving Distance 120


Meet at the Colorado Mountain Club, Golden, CO at 5:00a.m. for a 5:15a.m. carpool departure for Estes Park, CO.

For more info Contact

Terry Ploski, (303) 748-3748,


BOOTSTRAP SERIES TRAINING HIKE: I welcome those club members without a "C" or "D" rating to expand your hiking horizons. This hike will provide us with a full day hiking experience similar to the requirements to enjoy a Colorado 14er.

We will remain on trail from the start of the day through the conclusion. From the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead, we will proceed west on the Black Canyon Trail through McGregor Ranch. Transition to Cow Creek Trail below the Needles rock formation. OPTION: Bridal Veil Falls depending on group conditioning, stamina, speed and preparation. Proceed east on the Cow Creek Trail and make a sharp ascent to Gem Lake before the steep descent to the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead. This is a clockwise circuit of the Lumpy Ridge area.


We enjoyed an excellent day on the Lumpy Ridge circuit trek. We met at the Colorado Mountain Club, formed a carpool, and departed at 5:05am. We arrived at McDonalds, Estes Park, CO at 6:15am, and arrived at the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead at 6:30am. We began at 6:45am underclear blue skies and a local temperature of ~37 degrees. 

We transited the gentle clope of the Black Canyon trail as it passed through McGregor Ranch. We saw approximately 20 elk, wild turkeys, and a handful of domesticated livestock. The Black Canyon Trail began a more challenging ascent after passing through the boundary gate between McGregor Ranch and Rocky Mountain National Park. We spent some time demonstrating and explaining the effective use of trekking poles and the rest step. We soon put these skills to use as we passed by the Twin Owls, The Book, The Pear, Sundance climber trails. The trail began a steep ascent as we approached The Needles rock formation. The Black Canyon trail began to curve from a westerly direction to a northerly direction. We enjoyed a break at the Black Canyon and Cow Creek trail junctions. We rapidly descended from the pass on a snow-free and dry trail to the Bridal Veil Falls trail junction. We enjoyed another brief break and then began our mile hike to Bridal Veil Falls. The falls had a robust appearance and spectacle as the water was flowing over 500 cubic feet per second. We had an extended lunch break. Most of the trip participants chose to cross the stream and hike to the top of Bridal Veil Falls. 

We descended the Bridal Veil Falls trail and regrouped at the junction with Cow Creek Trail. We enjoyed the gently descending trail to the junction of the Gem Lake Trail. We enjoyed a snack and beverage break in preparation for the crux of the outing, the ascent to Gem Lake. I invited all the trip participants to travel at their own rate and speedwith sufficient breaks to Gem Lake. I swept the rear of the group to ensure everyone had a safe and enjoyable outing. The group took less than an hour to arrive at the Balancing Rock trail junction and then less than another hour to Gem Lake. This trail was hot and water free. We regrouped at Gem Lake before descending to the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead.

The biggest challanges were: (1) Ensuring everyone had sufficient liquids and consumed those beverages in a regular fashion; and, (2) The heavier foot traffic on the Cow Creek and Bridal Veil Trails (arising from the Cow Creek Trailhead). We returned to the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead at 3:00pm in good spirits and excellent esprit de corps. I heartily recommend to all trip leaders to allow new and experienced CMC members to reach beyond the self imposed limitations and restrictions in allowing everyone to learn more about their inner resources, competencies and capabilities.

Sorry it is past the registration deadline for this event.