A big chunk of North Park’s OUTSIDE recreational lure lies INSIDE the 71,000 acre Colorado State Forest State Park. With high country elevations ranging from 8,500 to 13,000 feet, the park stretches along the west side of the Medicine Bow Mountains into the north end of the Never Summer Range, and offers memorable experiences in abundance. For detailed information, regulations, and fees, contact park offices at 970-723-8366, email: email@example.com, 56750 Hwy 14, Walden, CO 80480. Or, better yet, visit the park’s Visitor Center, located one mile east of Gould on Hwy 14.
Some of what’s inside . . .
WILDLIFE – In 1995, the Colorado State Legislature designated North Park as the Moose Capital of Colorado. Approximately one third of the moose in North Park are located in the State Forest State Park and are often viewed along CR 41. Other wildlife within park boundaries include elk, mule deer, beaver, fox, eagles, river otter and black bear.
VEGETATION – Most of the park’s forest is made up of lodgepole pine, spruce, fir, and aspen. Native grasses, sagebrush, willows, and colorful wildflowers in mid-summer, cover the park’s multi-level terrain. Tundra and alpine meadows are found above 11,000 feet.
CABINS & YURTS – Historic cabins can be rented at North Michigan Reservoir year-round by calling 1-800-678-2267 or 303-470-1144 for reservations. Yurts within the park and Nokhu Hut and Agnes Creek Cabin, part of the Backcountry Hut System, can be reserved and more information obtained at www.neversummernordic.com or by calling 970-723-4070.
Backcountry Hut System:
Grass Creek Yurt – near North Michigan Reservoir, easy hike or ski in, trails right behind yurt for skiing, hiking, biking.
Ruby Jewel Yurt – Halfway to Ruby Jewel Lake, unlimited access to alpine bowls in winter and advanced hiking trails in summer.
Lower & Upper Montgomery Pass Yurts – About a quarter mile up west side Montgomery Pass, lower yurt has view of Diamond Peak, Nokhu Crags, Mt. Richthofen, and Seven Utes from deck. Upper yurt has views of Zirkels and Medicine Bow Range, and is “the best” for sunsets.
North Fork Canadian Yurt – Remote, peaceful, great view of Never Summer Range. Moose frequently visit meadow just yards from deck.
Medicine Bow Yurt – Panoramic view of entire Medicine Bow Range, close to hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and snowshoeing trails.
Dancing Moose Yurt – Wheelchair accessible with a little help! Driving to any trailhead easy. Close to reservoir, canoeing, and kayaking.
Clark Peak Yurt – Only 100 yards from Ruby Jewel Yurt, sits next to a mountain stream with view of the south ridge of Clark Peak.
Nokhu Hut & Agnes Creek Cabin – Both excellent for backcountry skiing and hiking in Colorado State Forest State Park. Quiet stream just off of decks.
HIKING – Trails lead to Ruby Jewel, Kelly, Clear, Agnes and American lakes. Some popular hikes/climbs include the following, with stated trail length and elevation gain/loss one-way, not roundtrip.
Clark Peak – 12,951 ft. (Moderate/Difficult) – Length: 4.75 miles from car parking along Ruby Jewell Rd.; 2.1 miles from 4×4 parking at trailhead. Season of use: June-September. Amount of use: Low. Elevation Gain: 8864 ft. (9750 ft. Ruby Jewel Road to 12,951 ft. summit) Notes: High point of Medicine Bow Mountains, within Colorado State Forest. Nice trail with steep grassy
Here is a great video of the Nokhu Crags and surrounding area by Mikey G. Photography: