It seems like we do a bit of Larimer County every year because it's low in elevation, so trails are open earlier than the rest of Colorado's trails, and they close earlier. How was it possible we'd never been on Deadman Road? We knew about it, of course, but it just never ended up in our plan. We still had many, many trails to do in Red Feather Lakes, but this was a start.
We came off of Manhattan Road and made the two, quick left turns to get to Deadman Road. We just followed signs to the lookout tower. We passed one open gate, and we knew that they'd opened the entirety of Deadman Road the day before so we were good to go.
We took note of the picnic tables between the first set of switchbacks. That would be a good place for another lunch on another day. It was tough driving by Killpecker, another trail we haven't done. It's on our To Do List.
There were lots and lots of people on the trail. They were driving on it, camping next to it, and exploring all over the place. When we got to the boundary between Upper and Lower Deadman Road, the number of people dropped off considerably. Our guess is that they got there before the trail was fully opened. It made the rest of the trail much nicer, though.
We wanted to check out the tower, so we took that spur. The sign said that we were there during open hours, which was good. We found out later than they open on the 4th of July, though, so we were two days early. That meant that no one was there and everything was closed. It was good to get out and stretch our legs, though, and the scenery was nice.
Once we were back on the trail we just kept on going without breaks. Everyone's jaws dropped when we came out of some trees and saw the Laramie River Valley below us. It was gorgeous, and we were all snapping pictures. All of the recent rain made the area very green -- for Colorado, anyway. It was a really good drive to the end.
When we were at the end we briefly discussed turning left and heading for Highway 14. No one likes that highway when caught in holiday traffic, though, so we kept with the plan to take Cherokee Park Road. We turned right and kept going.