Round Mountain Trail, also known as Summit Trail, is part of the Round Mountain Recreational Trail System. This trail is a long, steady hike through foothills and ponderosas, eventually reaching the summit of Sheep Mountain. It’s conveniently located just a 25 minute drive west of Loveland, Colorado, and a great way to explore a piece of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest with your canine companion.
The trailhead is located west from Loveland along U.S. Highway 34, or Big Thompson Road, about 4 miles past the mouth of Big Thompson Canyon. At the trailhead, you will find free parking for 20 cars, and restrooms. From here, your adventure with your furry pal begins!
From the trailhead, there are two different trails. They both have the same start, but the featured Round Mountain Trail, or Summit Trail, branches off to the left about one quarter mile in. The Foothills Nature Trail continues right for about 1 mile, with an scenic overlook of the Big Thompson Canyon.
From here, the trail heads steeply uphill towards the summit of Sheep Mountain, adorned with views of the snow-capped rocky mountains and the Big Thompson River. It will be a satisfying challenge to complete, and you’re guaranteed a tuckered out pup by the end of the day! The summit itself isn’t particularly dramatic, as it’s mostly covered with ponderosa forests, but it’s the views along the way that keep people coming.
Roundtrip, this trail can take over 7 hours, so plan to spend your whole day here. Be sure to bring plenty of water for you and your pup, as signs warn against drinking the water found along the trail. Don’t forget to bring a lunch, including something for your faithful adventure buddy. Dogs are more than welcome here, as long as they stay leashed and leave behind only paw prints on the trail.
All in all, the Round Mountain Trail is a pawrific way to spend some quality time outside with your dog!