|It's always nice to start a hike by knowing, for sure, that you're on the trail you think you should be on.|
|It's not far from the trailhead to the boundary of the Indian Peaks Wilderness.|
Most of what I carry on a hike like this, by weight, is liquid -- 3 liters of water and a liter of Cytomax. Since I did this hike alone, I threw in my full first-aid kit as well as some survival gear. I think smartphones have reached the point where I can carry less technology. I'm sure a few years ago on a climb like this I would have carried a phone, a camera, a GPS receiver, a GPS tracker for later geotagging photos, and an mp3 player. Now the phone is also my GPS, geotagging camera, and my mp3 player. (Tip: Turn on airplane mode to save your battery, which otherwise will drain quickly in the mountain if your phone stays busy looking for a signal.) I took my hiking GPS just in case, although I'm sure I would have been fine without it.
|There was a little snow across various parts of the trail, but it looked more like July 4th conditions than June 4th.|
|Looking back down valley, you get a reminder that you're really just at the edge of the mountains, with the plains beyond.|
|The sign said Rocky Mountain National Park, but I looked everywhere for a visitor's center and found nothing. I think somebody was playing a trick on me.|
|To reach the summit of St. Vrain Mountain you leave the trail and head pretty much straight up the hill along the RMNP and Indian Peaks Wilderness boundary. The familiar flat-topped summit of Longs dominates the northern view.|
There's nothing particularly spectacular about St. Vrain Mountain itself, but the views from the summit are pretty good. Surprisingly, I didn't spend much time looking west, as all the best views were either north into RMNP or south into the IPW.
|This panorama looks south on the left into the Indian Peaks Wilderness and north to the right into Rocky Mountain National Park.|
|My last shot from the summit looks into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. I think I've only ever hiked there once, but given its proximity to Boulder I'm likely to return.|
I was back at the car just before 2 pm. Total distance traveled was 8.7 miles with 3683 feet of climbing. Total time on the trail was 5:27 with a moving average of 2.2 mph. Click on the map endpoint marker for additional stats.
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