There is no better way to enjoy the natural beauty of Northern Colorado than with a trip to Oldman Mountain. As the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, it is no surprise to learn that Estes Park is also home to the famous Oldman Mountain. With an elevation of over 8,300 feet, Oldman Mountain is one of the top peaks in the Estes Park area. Here is what you need to know before you head out to explore this majestic beauty.
Oldman Mountain Details: This Estes Park landmark towers near the junction of U.S. 34 and U.S. 36 directly to the west of town. Most travelers will find Oldman Mountain coming from the University of Northern Colorado Oldman Mountain Retreat Center, located just to the south of the summit. Although the mountain itself is located on private property, the owners are typically tolerant of visitors heading out to explore its environs. However, it is always recommended to be respectful of the locals who call this area home. This means being intentional about keeping your voice down when passing homes and picking up all signs of trash on your way out.
The mountain is accessible all year long. However, it is important to note that the frequent snow and ice storms of winter make the scrambling parts of the hike challenging for most hikers. Only experienced hikers are advised to head up during these conditions.
History of Oldman Peak: The peak is distinguished as being one of the most ancient and largest Native American sites in the state, boasting a history of over 5,000 years. It is also one of just three official Colorado “vision-quest” sites, making it a popular pilgrimage site for Native Americans coming to sit on its sacred land. Many visitors travel to this peak for spiritual reasons, making it important that all travelers are respectful of this pilgrimage.
Summiting the Peak: You will reach the peak of Oldman Mountain by heading northward on the gully. From here, you will need to scramble to the northwest, navigating through the various slabs and boulders along the way. The roundtrip distance is only 1/2 mile with an elevation gain of slightly under 900 vertical feet. You will need some class 3 scrambling skills to reach the top of this peak.
Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with sweeping views of some of the most spectacular mountains in Colorado, including the Twin Sisters, Castle Mountain, Mount Meeker, and Longs Peak. You will also have a great view of downtown Estes Park.
Do not miss out on your chance to explore one of the best things to do in Estes Park. A trip to Oldman Mountain definitely belongs on your Estes Park bucket list.