Round Mountain Nature Trail

Difficulty
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Very Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1-1.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
3.1 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
129 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

If you are seeking a short hike to let the kids burn off some energy, then the Round Mountain Nature Trail is your goldmine. Hike along an old service road through striking ponderosa pine trees before culminating at an impressive rock hut that overlooks Big Thompson Canyon. Kids will love exploring the rock hut and you will love the stunning scenery. This trail is a win-win.

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Route Description for Round Mountain Nature Trail

Enjoy a relaxing hike through Colorado’s wilderness as you travel up the Round Mountain Nature Trail. Hike along the old service road and back in the vista of the large granite outcrops. The nature trail is a connector to the much longer, and more strenuous Summit Adventure Trail, so it can often be quite crowded. The parking lot at the trailhead can hold about 20 vehicles, but if you would like to ensure you get a spot, we recommend arriving early, especially on weekends! The landscape is fragile in this area, the city of Loveland asks that those who hike the trails please remain on the marked paths. This plea is to safeguard the environment, but also those adventuring the trail. The end of the path lookout is quite steep, make sure you and your company stay away from the cliffs edge.

Embark on your adventure on the Round Mountain Nature Trail from the parking lot. From the parking lot hook onto the Round Mountain Nature Trail and track north. This path will guide you into the pine forest as you begin your gradual ascent to the lookout. The trail will begin to curve west, and you will encounter a junction. Stay right and maintain on the Round Mountain Nature Trail. Trek along the path through the dense pine wilderness.

Walk along the path and enjoy sights of vibrant wildflowers in the summer months and keep an eye out for deer! Cross a small stream and continue hiking west along the dirt road. The climb will slightly pick up in intensity as you near the lookout. Enjoy the sights of the valley below peeking through the pine trees and admire the grandeur of the large granite boulders that line the path. You will eventually meet another well marked intersection. At this point you will want to turn right and head northeast to the lookout.

Hike the trail to the lookout and revel in the sights of the forested Big Thompson River valley below. Explore the rock hut that sits atop the ridge. The stone shelter was built by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC’s) in the 1930’s out of riverbed rocks. Government employed workers built these overlook huts across the country and they all have a similar architecture, making them easy to link to one another.

Adventure around the lookout and admire the expansive views before heading back. TO get back to the parking lot simply retrace your steps back along the trail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you camp along the Round Mountain Nature Trail?

No, you cannot camp along the Round Mountain Nature Trail because it is on city-owned property.

Are dogs permitted on the Round Mountain Nature Trail?

Yes, dogs are permitted on the Round Mountain Nature Trail as long as they are on-leash.

Insider Hints for Round Mountain Nature Trail

  • After the hike, head into Loveland and grab a brew at the Verboten Brewing & Barrel Project
  • Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch at the overlook.
  • The trail is usually clear of snow year around, so it is a great off-season trek for the whole family.

Getting to the Round Mountain Nature Trail Trailhead

The Round Mountain Nature Trail departs from the Round Mountain Trailhead off of Highway 34.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    May-October

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Round Mountain Nature Trail Elevation Graph

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