The Ten Essentials

1. Navigation: relevant map(s) and a compass (+ GPS unit) – DON’T GET LOST

Overview

Wilderness
One Way Length
Beginning Elevation
Peak Elevation
Gain/Loss/Net Gain
Ratings
USFS Regulations
Trails Illustrated
Quadrangle
None
4.7 miles (trailhead to summit of Sheep Mountain)
5,777
8,456
2,679/0/+2,679
Hikers – Moderate to Strenuous;    Stock – Not Recommended
National Forest
#101 Cache La Poudre, Big Thompson
Drake

Location

From the Dam Store at the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon, drive 4 miles up US-34. Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park will be on your right. Directly across the highway on your left, a short dirt road will take you to the Round Mountain Trail parking lot. Facilities are located in the parking lot. Riders: No trailer parking. The drop off along the lower section is very steep, so this trail is not recommended for inexperienced stock or riders.

GPS Coordinates
Trailhead
Jct. Nature Trail
Sheep Mtn. summit

N40°25.211’ W105°17.115’ Open lightbox
N40°25.273’ W105°17.193’
N40°24.737’ W105°18.657’
Round Mountain Trail elevation profile

Description

Because of its location, Round Mountain Trail offers hiking year around and is heavily used. The first section is owned by the City of Loveland. From the trailhead the trail follows an old road heading up and above the Big Thompson River. After about 0.25 mile, the main trail to Sheep Mountain heads to the left and the City of Loveland nature trail heads to the right for about 1 mile. This trail offers great views of the Big Thompson Canyon. The Round Mountain National Recreational Trail (which is an interpretive trail) climbs to the east then turns steeply uphill to the southwest. After about 2 miles the trail levels out somewhat, and traverses the right side of a canyon, passing through some granite rock formations. From here the trail loses some elevation until it crosses a draw. After crossing the draw the trail climbs steeply through sparsely growing ponderosa pine to the top of Sheep Mountain. From the summit, snow-capped peaks can be seen to the west, and the plains to the east.

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