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More Trails in Hermit Park (Estes Park, CO)

My favorite trail in Hermit Park remains Homestead Meadows, but there are several other great options in this Larimer County Park.

Last summer, I hiked the Limber Pine Trail to Kruger Rock via the Saddle Trailhead. I took the dogs with me, and helped them to scramble to the top. I am virtually certain that it was on this hike that Mica first injured his leg. He had some soft tissue problem that took months to heal! I took these photos at the summit. I made sure all of the dogs STAYED in a down-stay, as I had visions of someone chasing a chipmunk off of the cliff. The summit is not a very big piece of real estate…

Photos from my hike in 2020

Obviously, Alan and I didn’t do the last scramble this year. We were, of course, wearing our ever-present cowboy boots and there was no way we were going to attempt it this year. Just getting the horses to the base of the scramble was enough. There was a large rock that was quite vertical that presented enough of a challenge.

The last vertical rock to reach the base of the final scramble.

The view at the top is amazing, with multiple opportunities on the way up to appreciate the environment. We watered Kara (we just took her this time) and watched the other hikers reach the summit. Many folks were impressed that we got the horses that far!

Hermit Park

We climbed about 1300 feet and covered a little less than 8 miles. Our total time for this ride was about 3.5 hours and the weather was amazing, as usual! As mentioned in my post about Homestead Meadows, there is a $9 daily park use fee unless you have a yearly pass.

On a previous ride in Hermit Park, we parked at a large, mostly empty parking lot called Saddle Trailhead. On the Larimer County website, it was listed as horse friendly. So you can imagine our surprise when we returned to the trailer to find a warning ticket on our windshield!

I stopped at the park office on the way out to find out where we had gone wrong… I ended up talking with the young ranger who wrote the ticket. She appeared to be about 15 years old but was very pleasant! She readily acknowledged that there was nothing on the website that really documented appropriate places for trucks with trailers to park. It was because of the ambiguity that she only gave us a warning. She showed us on their map where we were allowed to park. Therefore, even though horses can leave from the Saddle Trailhead, there isn’t a very convenient place to park nearby.

So for this ride, we parked at a large lot across from the Kruger Rock Trailhead where horse trailers were allowed. After we retraced our steps on the Kruger Rock trail, we continued following Limber Pine all the way down and around, back to the Krueger Rock Trailhead. There was a very brief period on the road, but no traffic.

As I write this, we are on a trip to a wedding and not at home. We have two awesome ladies we found on Trusted Homesitters watching our critters. At my suggestion, they just hiked Homestead Meadows and loved it. I highly recommend checking out this Larimer County Park. I also highly recommend Trusted Homesitters!!!

New tags are ready for shipment. Are you ready for whatever comes your way this fall? Unlike a product I learned about recently, our tags do not present any safety hazard. They will not melt in high heat. They don’t create any kind of hazard as far as catching on something… we all know that horses can get hurt in a rubber room. And yet, they will stay put and be readily visible to First Responders, especially with the recently added reflective strips. Be ready for anything!

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