Never Summer Wilderness Trails
Easily among the most poetically named of Colorado’s wilderness areas, the Never Summer Wilderness graces the northwest corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. For once, those selecting names for a range chose ones that stir the imagination: Static Peak (can’t you feel the hairs on your arms rising as the black thunderclouds build?); the mysteriousNokhu Crags; and, to the everlasting delight of cloud watchers, Mounts Cirrus, Cumulus, Nimbus, and Stratus. The alpine core of the Never Summer Range gained wilderness protection in the 1980 Colorado Wilderness Act, but much of the lush, low-lying forests surrounding the range, particularly those to the south, fell through the legislative cracks. Thus the stage was set for one of Colorado’s most acrimonious battles over wilderness preservation. Because of an oddity of geography and climate, the Never Summer Range receives unusually large amounts of precipitation. Lying on the windward slope of the northern Front Range, these mountains push storms sweeping across the state upward, and this so-called orographic lifting causes air masses to cool and dump their moisture in the form of rain or snow. For whatever reason, the precipitation and moist soil create conditions favorable for producing trees of exceedingly large size and great age. In fact, the forests of Bowen Gulch in the area’s southern portion are some 600 years old and contain trees as large as 4 feet in diameter. At 10,500 feet in elevation, this type of old-growth forest is exceptionally uncommon. This trail guide includes descriptions of Baker Pass via South Fork Trail, Mount Richthofen, Bowen Gulch, Baker Gulch/Bowen Gulch, and Thunder Pass to Lake Agnes to Baker Gulch.
We cannot find this location: please try again.
Directions to: Never Summer Wilderness Trailsprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Season||Best Spring through Fall|
|Trailhead Elevation||8,900 ft|
|Top Elevation||12,900 ft|
REI MEMBERS: SAVE $20 on a Trails.com Subscription
Subscribe to Trails.com for just $29.95 a year and gain full access to over 49,000 professional trail guides, high-res USGS topo maps & much more!