Friday, December 13, 2013
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The Parker Ridge Trail on Weld’s Tumbledown Mountain is a steep climb, but the views of the east and north peaks, with their dramatic cliffs, make it worth the effort.
Josh Christie photos
The Tumbledown Ridge Trail offers a fine view of Tumbledown Pond, a unique Alpine pond where hikers can enjoy a swim, cast for fish or just relax shoreside.
All three trails lead to Tumbledown Pond, which is destination enough for most hikers. Bare ground on the shores provides popular spots for travelers with tents, and if you hike early enough you're likely to see campers taking a morning swim. The pond is also a haven for fishermen, and you may encounter folks headed down the trail with their day's catch. I'll admit to hiking with a book and a can or two of beer from Baxter Brewing before spending the day beside the unique Alpine pond.
If you'd like to reach the summits surrounding the water, the short Tumbledown Ridge trail connects the East and West peaks. It's only about a mile from one to the other, so if you're planning on bagging peaks it's worth the effort to hit both. The North peak is a bit harder to reach, as there's no maintained trail to the summit. The easiest route is from the East peak, where you can hack your way through the saddle separating the peaks up to its summit.
All the routes up Tumbledown are short and easily manageable day hikes, and they're well worth the effort to visit the mountain's unique features. Just don't forget to bring your Gazetteer.
Josh Christie is a freelance writer and lifetime outdoors enthusiast. He shares column space in Outdoors with his father, John Christie. Josh can be reached at: