Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Estes Cone.

While still enjoying some nicer weather, last week I set out for Estes Cone.  I arrived at the Longs Peak trail head around seven, and set out up the trail. 
On the way you pass Eugenia Mine, which as you can see, produced more dreams than gold.
I had read that one could follow the stream here up the hill to find the actual mine, now closed by the park.  I did find the rusting boiler used to drive machinery, and after wandering around in a good bit of avalanche dead fall and two or so feet of powder, I decided to head back down.
While I was walking down, I came upon a very odd looking erosion, and upon looking up the mine when I got home, discovered this was actually one of the abandoned shafts.  Of course there was not much to see, and I'll have to get back to it in the summer.

On the trail, which was mostly packed snow with a touch of ice and bare soil here and there.  I used traction devices on the way up, but nothing on the way back. 
After passing through Moore Park, the trail takes a hard left and starts heading up hill.  The total gain for the hike is around 1500 ft, with the vast majority of that gained near the end.
You'll arrive at a junction with the trail from Glacier Basin.  A sign marks the way to the top of the cone.  You'll gain over 500 feet in the next .7 mile, so prepare!
It took me a few minutes to actually find the high point when I got the the top.  To save you some time, continue to head south.  The true summit is the southern most block of stone. 
If you click to embiggen, you can see the Longs Peak parking lot above the larger empty space in the middle. 
It wasn't too sunny, in fact I was in cloud cover most of the day.  These lower clouds were engulfing the high peaks of the park.
Zoomed out to see it all- Meeker, Longs, Mt. Lady Washington, Storm Peak, Battle Mountain
Looking north to some of the peaks in the park. 
Again, cool to see the low clouds playing with the summits.
Mummy range.
Twin Sisters as seen from Estes Cone.
Points east.
Clouds finally take Meeker and Longs away from us. 
Love you too Rocky Mountain National Park!
Well, above I'd captured the parking lot from Estes Cone, here is the opposite view.
And a little more zoom in.  The cliffs on the south and eastern faces sure look intimidating.  I was back to the truck in around four hours, which included the time spent wandering around looking for a mine.   No gold was found.
I thought this was a pretty mellow hike overall, something good for those who want to do something easier, shorter, or less technical and still get a good view from the top, as well as the feel the reward of summitting a pretty cool peak.
Estes Cone via Longs Peak TH:
3.3 miles one way, 1606 foot gain.  Second class.  Moderate.
Other destinations you'll encounter along the way:
Eugenia Mine:
1.4 miles one way, 508 foot gain.  Moderate-.
Moore Park:
1.8 miles each way, 360 foot gain.  As you can see, you do gain and then loose some elevation to get here.  Moderate-.

No comments:

Post a Comment