Meeker Park - Lookout Mountain - Sandbeach Lake Trail Loop, 06/07/2008
Lookout Mtn from Meeker Park Trail, 06/07/08
Estes Cone from Lookout Mtn summit, 06/07/08
Lookout Mountain (10,715 ft) is ranked S4 in Gerry Roach's Boulder County Peaks List.
You can see the GPS tracks for this entire hike. There are some gaps, due to the GPS not tracking.
On the Peak to Peak Highway at Meeker Park, we turned onto County Road 113N across the street from the Meeker Park Lodge. Driving about 1 mile to the end of CR-113N, we parked and started hiking at 9:54.
Following the trail that starts at the end of the road, it took 5 minutes to reach the intersection of the Horsetooth Peak Trail and the Meeker Park Trail. This is where we would eventually close the loop.
Taking the Horsetooth Peak Trail, we reached the Lookout-Meeker saddle at 11:27, with the gps odometer reading 2.26 miles. The gps had a hard time tracking due to the dense forest, so the actual distance traveled is surely more than 2.26 miles. For at least the last 1/2 way up to the saddle, the snow was knee deep or more. Sometimes we sank in, other times we could walk on top. On the way to the saddle, we met two people, who seemed to have had enough, and were sitting beside the trail, snacking.
We were surprised that the saddle also had a lot of snow on it, since we were there a year ago, and there wasn't any snow at that point. Heading south toward the Lookout Mtn summit, there was also lots of snow. From our previous experience on this mountain, we headed more to the west side, where the snow was greatly reduced, and we ascended to the summit. Reaching the summit of Lookout Mtn at 11:46, the odometer showed 2.58 miles.
From the summit, there are impressive views of Mt Meeker, Twin Sisters, Estes Cone, Horsetooth Peak, Copeland Mtn, Saint Vrain Mtn, and Meadow Mountain. We also enjoyed a very dynamic show of clouds forming overhead, which resembled water swirling in a tempestuous sea. Mt Meeker also appeared to be generating clouds, flowing off its eastern side.
We descended Lookout Mtn via its southwest ridge. For about the first 1/2 of the way down, the terrain was very rugged, characterized by rock and limber pine. But the terrain finally became much easier, and we were able to travel faster, getting down to the Sandbeach Lake Trail.
Heading east on the Sandbeach Lake Trail, we hiked about 1/2 mile, then stopped for lunch at the Hole-in-the-Wall campsite. We then continued on to the intersection of the Sandbeach Lake Trail (right) and the Meeker Park Trail (left), where we turned left, and headed back toward Meeker Park. The odometer showed 5.68 miles at this intersection.
Heading back along the Meeker Park Trail, we returned to our parking place at 15:48, where the odometer showed 8.0 miles.
This hike took 5 hours, 54 minutes. The elevation difference from lowest (parking) to highest (Lookout summit) was 1,975 feet.
|Place name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Lat/Lon|
|Parking near Meeker Park||8777||20||40.23709 -105.54063|
|Meeker-Lookout Mtn saddle||10328||45||40.22893 -105.56738|
|Lookout Mtn summit||10752||15||40.22696 -105.56470|