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Monday, July 26, 2010

Crown Peak & Crown Point

Saturday we bagged a few peaks up Poudre Canyon. We started at the Browns Lake Trailhead and climbed Crown Point and Crown Peak. The trailhead is 12 miles up the Crown Point Road, which is 4 miles up the Pingree Park Road from the main highway. It's a good dirt road and easily accessible with low clearance vehicles. The trailhead has space for about 20 cars, and we were surprised at how full it was when we got there.
The trail goes to Browns Lake, but there are two peaks which are slightly off trail. You can see a lower summit of Crown Point from the parking lot, but the higher peak is slightly further. The trail passes within a couple hundred yards of it. We had lunch at the peak.
Our original destination was just Crown Point, but then we checked the time, and decided to go on to Crown Peak since we weren't in a rush to get back to Fort Collins.

We're glad we pressed on. We hiked back down to the trail, then followed it and crossed the wilderness boundary to the Comanche Peak Wilderness as we decended into a small valley. From the top of the other side, we could see Crown Peak again, so we left the trail again to hike cross country to the peak. There's not a trail to the peak, so you just go wherever.

About 1/4 mile from the peak, we watched as a horse came over the rise. The horse had a halter, but nothing else. Apparently someone lost a horse up here and it found itself at home above timberline on the high tundra. The horse walked to within 50 yards of us, and continued on down the slope.

We continued on to the peak. We summited out at 11,711 feet. It was fun to enjoy the summit and look all around at the amazing views.
After about 10 minutes of resting at the summit, we turned around and headed back down the mountain.

We hiked about 5 miles and gained about 1500 feet in elevation in about 4 hours. It was a great little hike.

Nearest City: Laporte, Co
GPS Coordinates: N 40° 38.990 W 105° 41.894
Time Needed: 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Kid Friendly: Doable with kids. It may take additional effort on your part though.
Additional Info: After we made it back, I heard that there is a crash site of an old bomber in the vicinity of Crown Peak. You may want to find additional information and go check it out.

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