Mount Morrison Trail

A tough ascent to the highpoint over Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Hiking Severe

Distance
5.2 km
Ascent
596 m
Descent
596 m
Low Point
1.8 km
High Point
2.4 km
Gradient
20˚
VIEW ON MAP
Mount Morrison Trail Map

Description

This trail punches more or less straight up a ridgeline to the summit of Mount Morrison, the high point over the town of Morrison and Red Rocks. It’s a challenge, but well worth it for the workout and the views on top. The trailhead is in Red Rocks Park, near the world-famous amphitheater where concerts are held almost every evening in the summer. You may hear the bands start to play down below if you hike in the cool of the evening.

Unlike most trails in the area, this one is closed to mountain bikes. Right away, you’ll encounter the steep grades that are suitable for hikers only. The beginning is strenuous, but it gives way to easier terrain in the middle section.

You must go up and over some tantalizing false summits before the real objective becomes apparent. You’ll know you’re on the final push when the trail becomes especially rocky and steep. You may even have to use your hands for support in a place or two, but the fall risk is minimal.

Finally, the trail leaves the rocks and returns to a dirt path at the top of the mountain. Relax and enjoy this beautiful, often windy, and rarely crowded summit. On a clear day, you can see a lot of prominent Rocky Mountain peaks, including 14ers like Evans and Longs.

Return the way you came, using special caution on the steep sections. The views are arguably even better on the way down, because the expansive view is before you the whole time, instead of over your shoulder like on the way up.

Sources: https://www.summitpost.org/mount-morrison/790630 http://www.gohikecolorado.com/mt-morrison.html

Difficulty

Severe

Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area