Triangle Mountain (WØ/FR-Ø82) is part of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and within a one hour drive from my home QTH.
The summit is located within the Roosevelt National Forest and ranked 147th tallest peak in Larimer County. There is no established trail that goes all the way to the top (so don’t look for one on a map), but it seems to be climbed regularly by visitors from nearby Estes Park (a popular gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park [RMNP]). A clearly visible trail goes about about half-way up the mountain, before it fades out. Be prepared to use your map and compass. I certainly needed my navigation equipment on my way down. There are some steep cliffs on the south-west side of the summit which you should definitely avoid. The summit provides some very scenic views into the nearby Mummy Range and some impressive 14ers in the heart of the Rockies.
Trailhead: 7020 ft. / 2140 m
Summit: 8415 ft. / 2565 m
Elev gain: 1987 ft. / 606 m
Roundtrip: 3.5 mi / 5.6 km
The trail-head is a very close to a picnic area at the north-fork of Big Thompson River. The drive up the canyon from Loveland is quite scenic.
How to get there:
Take US34 from Loveland towards Estes Park through Big Thompson Canyon. When you pass through Drake, take a right on CR43 along the north-fork. Park at the Lower North Fork picnic area on the left side of the road. There is space to park about five cars.
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The east side of Triangle Mountain is private property. The trail follows the fence line closely at some points. Since you have to bushwhack part of the way, you will find out that most of the flora has some sort of poky, prickly and/or thorny part. Make sure to stay away from the steep cliffs on the south-west side.
Look directly across the street from the picnic area where a faint trail leads up the steep hillside. The trail becomes more prominent until a grassy area where the trail becomes faint but marked with some stone cairns. Follow the ridge line and climb across the rock outcroppings. The south-west side is private property and your route might get very close to it.
The summit is on a nice rock-outcropping and gives you unobstructed views in all directions. Most spectacular are the views into the nearby RMNP and Crosier Mountain (another SOTA summit). Is is a rather small area and a larger group cannot setup on the summit. More space is available a few feet below the actual summit (without the breathtaking views).
Basically you go back the same way, following the ridge. Unfortunately I made some unplanned detours, exploring the cliffs on the south-west side – not recommended. Map and compass brought me back to the ridge and finally to the trail-head.
Some video impressions:
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