Rocky Mountain Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

Parkview Mountain.
Parkview Mountain. Photo by Heather Westfahl.

Wildflowers typically found in the Parkview Mountain Area.
Wildflowers typically found in the Parkview Mountain Area. Photo by Heather Westfahl.

Enjoying a walk among the wildflowers.
Enjoying a walk among the wildflowers. Photo by Heather Westfahl.

Park View Mountain

Forest: Routt National Forest

District: Parks Ranger District

Description: This four square mile area encompasses diverse habitats within the Rabbit Ears Range of the Rocky Mountains. The elevation ranges from 6,700 feet at Willow Creek Pass to 12,298 at the summit of Parkview Mountain. The area offers spectacular views of the North Park valley and the Willow Creek drainage.

Viewing Information: Because of the high elevation of the Parkview Mountain Area, the viewing season for wildflowers is compressed, and they are best seen from late June to early August. Common species found along this area include: common yarrow (Achillea millefolium), pussytoes (Antennaria spp.), Colorado columbine (Aquilegia coerulea), hairy arnica (Arnica mollis), bluebell bellflower (Campanula rotundifolia), paintbrush (Castilleja spp.), alumroot (Heuchera sp.), purple marshlocks (Comarum palustre), fleabane (Erigeron spp.), lousewort (Pedicularis racemosa), Whipple’s penstemon (Penstemon whippleanus), silky phacelia (Phacelia sericea), American bistort (Polygonum bistortoides), and creeping sibbaldia (Sibbaldia procumbens).

Safety First: As with most high elevation areas, be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions. Lightning storms often form in early afternoon, so be prepared for a quick departure, if necessary. Sunscreen is a good idea in the thin air at high elevation. The elevation itself can cause discomfort in some people. Be cautious of hazard trees on and outside of the road corridor. Dead trees can and do fall without warning and with little or no help from the wind. Everyone who visits the national forest needs to be very aware of his or her surroundings. More and more trees are expected to fall over the next several years. In addition, as always, be aware of other vehicles on the road and in parking areas. For current safety information go to the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests' Outdoor Safety & Ethics web page.

Directions: The Park View Mountain Area is located to the west of Willow Creek Pass on State Highway 125 between Walden and Granby. Two roads access the area: FS 730 on the north side of the pass (Parks Ranger District) and FS 266 on the south side of the pass (Sulfur Ranger District). Both roads are 4-wheel drive, but can also be hiked or biked. The area can also be accessed from the Continental Divide Trail at the top of Willow Creek Pass. Visitors are strongly encouraged to call ahead for road conditions, possible closure information, and more detailed directions for accessing the Continental Divide Trail.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Routt National Forest, Parks Ranger District, and Arapaho National Forest, Sulfur Ranger District.

Closest Town: Approximately equidistant from Walden and Granby, Colorado.

For More Information: Routt National Forest maps are available from any district office for a small fee. Most offices also carry 7.5 min USGS topography maps, which cover broad areas accurately. Call the Parks Ranger District (970-723-2700) or Sulfur Ranger District (970-887-4100) for more information.