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Specimen Mountain

Specimen Mountain

Specimen Mountain

Page Type: Album

Object Title: Specimen Mountain

Image Type(s): Hiking


Page By: CSUMarmot

Created/Edited: Aug 28, 2011 / Aug 28, 2011

Object ID: 741628

Hits: 1503 

Page Score: 75.79% - 6 Votes 

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Climbing Specimen Mountain

Specimen Mountain consists of three separate summits, South Specimen, Specimen and North Specimen mountains, and are often climbed together. The three lie inside of 'Specimen Mountain Natural Research Area' and do not have public access. Yeah, what a joke right?! Well supposedly the NPS wants the bighorn sheep in the area to have a nice little human-free zone where they can go undisturbed. They don't do that for the sheep crossing 34 between Sheep Lakes and Bighorn Mountain do they? Or on Bighorn Flats? Well, you're not supposed to climb past the Crater, but there's a perfectly good trail going up Specimen Mountain I intended to use, and felt no remorse in doing so. There aren't rangers sitting at the Crater watching for climbers to make their move, and there aren't researchers stationed at the summits radioing HQ to impound your vehicle. The place is deserted. Enjoy the summits people.



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cftbqGood for you


Hasn't voted

...for having a healthy disdain for idiotic, arbitrary rules. I note that over on LoJ, 25 people (including the Roaches) have noted climbs. Nice photos, too.
Posted Sep 12, 2013 5:58 pm

txnccoRe: Good for you

Voted 1/10

I know right? I mean, it's not like they are professional land managers with degrees in wildlife biology and ecology or anything... but I'm sure you know better than they do.
These areas are set aside for a reason. They are meant to protect sensitive species and provide opportunities for scientific research where natural processes can be observed without interference by man. The closures are far from arbitrary.
Posted Jun 5, 2014 11:56 am

txnccoRespect our natural resources

Voted 1/10

The author of this page bemoans the fact that this trail is closed to hikers due to sensitive bighorn sheep herds. He notes that since other places aren't closed to access, this one shouldn't be either. Apparently he didn't stop to think that perhaps it is precisely BECAUSE the other areas are not protected that Specimen Mountain is off limits.

The NPS does not have the resources to patrol all of these sensitive areas all the time. They rely on visitors to respect and preserve our national parks so that they can be cherished for generations to come.

There are plenty of other beautiful hikes to do in RMNP. Hiking through this sensitive area when it is closed is just selfish, plain and simple.
Posted Jun 5, 2014 12:05 pm

CSUMarmotRe: Respect our natural resources


Hasn't voted

What an insightful comment, this is just like something you'd read in the newspaper the rangers hand out to tourists at the gate. That is, as if they'd dare draw any attention to the Specimens. Ever wonder why it's called Specimen Mountain? The west side of the ridgeline has highly exposed regions of volcanic strata containing topaz, opal, onyx, agates and many other collector quality minerals and gemstones.

Specimen Mountain isn't like Paradise Park and West Creek, the mountain was a popular destination and gained plenty of attention in the 70's before it was closed off. Paradise Park and West Creek have been barely touched by man, Specimen had enough attention to carve out a trail that can still clearly be seen 40 years later. Yet the other two allow public access, as do other CNAP locations besides those on private property. The only thing that makes Specimen unique from the other peaks in the area with almost identical ecologic conditions is the geology underneath it.

The NPS shouldn't be nearly as concerned about harmless hikers disturbing sheep as they should be about people taking out packs full of collector grade minerals. And maybe that's the whole reason it's closed to the public, don't you think? The NPS doesn't have the resources to patrol every potential problem area, you're right. Anyways, why pay someone to watch over the area when you can close it all together and wait for their secrets to become secrets again?

I hope you learned something from all of this. Save your time replying as well, I will have no further comment since there isn't anything profound left to say. You can take the moral high ground of this subject all you want, but a comment on the internet is far less effective than the signs that say to turn around at The Crater anyways. People are going to break the rules, enjoy several beautiful summits, see some things that the NPS would rather you didn't see, hopefully not take any rocks, and all the while impose such a minor impact on the ecology that it really isn't even worth getting all huffy about in the first place.
Posted Jun 5, 2014 10:15 pm

Viewing: 1-4 of 4