Round Mountain Trail, 01/25/2003
With snow showers forecast for the high country today, we decided to do something in the foothills. There were plenty of parking spaces left at the parking lot of the trailhead, just west of Loveland, this Saturday morning, with only three other cars. Started hiking from the trailhead (elevation 5743 feet) at 9:15. We only met 3 people on the way up, all of whom were going down. Reached the summit of Sheep Mountain (elevation 8450 feet) at 11:18, after 4.5 miles and an elevation gain of 2707 feet. The summit is very anticlimactic being in a sparse forest on very flat ground, but there is a large summit cairn with a summit register tube inside. Stefan tried his cell phone and surprisingly was able to connect, so we phoned home. I don't know why they call this the Round Mountain Trail, since it ends on the top of Sheep Mountain, and the neighboring mountain, connected by a saddle, is Stone Mountain. On our return we did not follow the trail back, since we wanted to see if there was a nice view from somewhere near the summit. So from the summit we hiked southeast, and soon came upon a nice view. Following in same direction down we met several rock outcroppings that provided very nice views, and we took some pictures of the views along with some weird eroded rocks. We sat down on one and had some water and wish sandwiches. From there we headed southwest for a short distance until we came upon the trail which we returned by. Got back to the truck at about 15:05.