The start of this hike was from the Matthews Winter Park parking lot. The trails I used to access Mount Morrison were the Village Walk and Red Rocks Trail. These were very hard packed and well used trails. It reminded me of the use of Tablerock Trail in Boise, ID. Switchbacks start up the base of Morrison, on about the 6th turn I got off trail and started up the north ridge.
There were great views along this route. This climb gave me the best views I have had yet. I could clearly see all the way to the divide and down in to the city at the same time. I also got my most challenging climb yet. Mostly class 2, but there was a nice little rock ridge high on the mountain that presented a few good obstacles.
I've heard much about the wildlife in Colorado, but had yet to see much that was very exciting. Today, I finally had something noteworthy. A small heard of deer were about 500 vertical feet below the summit. There was about three or four good sized bucks in the group. I spent a bit of time just observing them and taking a few pictures. After a bit, I let them be and headed up the incline towards the rock ridge.
There is a large false summit you see most of the way. This is where all the radio towers are. My cell didn't work up here, probably because of the interference. After a good trudge I made it across this area and to the true summit. It was a really cold day with a chili wind, so I didn't spend a whole lot of time on top. I took in great views of Pikes Peak to the south and the Evans group to the West all the way to the Flat Irons up north. I wish I could have stayed up there longer, but I like heat.
On the way down I ran across my four legged friends again. Said my hello's and kept walking down the hill. The Red Rocks were beautiful, but there were a lot of people when I made it back to the trail. The lower half definitely had the city feel, which I didn't care much for. I was glad I went, the views made it worth it on the summit.
Starting Elevation: 6,320 Ft
Summit Elevation: 7,877 Ft
Distance: 5.5 Miles