West Glacier Knob and East Glacier Knob from the North Slope of Half Mountain.
As throngs of tourists tromp their way to The Loch or Mills Lake each year, few are even aware of the presence of these special rock formations that rise right over their heads.
West Glacier Knob and East Glacier Knob are the names given to two lumps of metamorphic and igneous rock that sit at the junction of Loch Vale and Glacier Gorge in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Although not as glamorous a destination as nearby Longs Peak or the peaks of the Continental Divide, these little chunks of stone hold a unique charm all their own. And since no trails lead to the summits, you are likely to have the experience all to yourself. From the summits you will be rewarded with rare vantage points from which to view two of the most beautiful valleys in the park.
West Glacier Knob is the higher of the two knobs. The coordinates and elevation on this page are for West Glacier Knob.
The coordinates for East Glacier Knob are 40.29898°N / 105.64295°W
. Its elevation is 10225 ft (3117 m). East Glacier Knob lies 2100 feet (0.4 miles) to the east of West Glacier Knob.
East Glacier Knob ranks as the 82nd highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park according to Gerry Roach's Rocky Mountain National Park Summits List
. East Glacier Knob has 445 feet of prominence over the saddle with with its parent, Otis Peak, 2.0 miles to the southwest. On that same list, West Glacier Knob does not rank because it has only 160 feet of prominence over the saddle with its parent, also Otis Peak.
On Mountain Jim's Summits of Rocky Mountain National Park
list, West Glacier Knob and East Glacier Knob are the 116th and 117th highest peaks in the park, respectively.
In actuality there are more "knobs" than just these two. The most notable of these unnamed knobs are the 10,300 foot knob that resides 900 feet to the southwest of West Glacier Knob and the 10,300 foot knob that resides at the end of the northwest shoulder of Half Mountain, 1800 feet south of East Glacier Knob.
It is estimated these knobs formed at the end of the last ice age as the last large glaciers receded down their respsective valleys.
The easiest approach to the Glacier Knobs involves starting at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead
The Glacier Knobs are within Rocky Mountain National Park
. Daily as well as annual passes are available.
are available in the Park, some of which allow reservations. Backcountry camping
is allowed in the Park in pre-defined backcountry campsites. Reservations are recommended, as some backcountry sites become reserved for the entire summer by March.
The Glacier Knobs can be ascended in all seasons.