The 7-mile Zimmerman Trail ambles through the Comanche Peak Wilderness from its trailhead and parking lot at the end of Crown Point Road, to its end at an intersection with Black Hollow Road. It’s divided into 2 distinct sections, north and south. The southern section travels about 2.5 miles and intersects with the Flowers Trail after climbing about 600 feet. From this point, the northern end of the trail descends about 1000 feet over 3 miles to an open meadow, crosses Sheep Creek and meets with the Sheep Creek Cutoff Trail. From here it’s a climb back up to Forest Road 142 (Black Hollow Road) and trail’s end.
While the southern segment is well-marked and easy to follow, the more primitive northern end challenges hikers to keep track of the trail through masses of downed lodgepole pines strewn on the path, as well as an obscure 90-degree left turn that’s easily missed. The dense forest floor you walk on will testify to the trail’s light traffic and its overgrown nature. Some boulders along the way may slow you and your fur-pup down a little, but they don’t require poles or scrambling to get through.
The trail is broken up a bit by grassy, reedy meadows that are replete with wildflowers in the spring and summer seasons. In a few spots, you may find the creek crossing areas are mucky at times, so be sure to wear or carry boots. The wooded parts of the trail limit the view of the surrounding area, but there are furtastic views of the Medicine Bow Range from the 19-mile approach to the trailhead on Crown Point Road. If you’re in the mood to climb a bit more at the end, you can try Peak 9980 where the trees are less dense.
Whether you depart from the Zimmerman Trail at the end of the southern segment at Flowers Trail, or continue along the challenging north segment, this will be an enjoyable hike for both you and your wing-dog, so give it a try!