The valley below Pierson Mountain is known as Pierson Park. Pierson Park Road South travels through the backcountry south of Estes Park, Colorado. Along the trail, you will find several opportunities to view the iconic 14er, Longs Peak, which is only a few miles to the west. With an abundance of dispersed camping along the road, Pierson Park is a popular destination for those visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, Colorado.
In 2013, heavy rainfall created havoc on the landscape of the surrounding area. The excessive rain caused a significant landslide from the Twin Sisters Mountain that borders the western edge of Pierson Park Road. The landslide was deemed unstable by the US Forest Service and the Pierson Park Road was basically cut in half by the natural disaster. Today, the once-through road is open as an out-and-back from the north and from the south. Remnants of the landslide are still clearly visible on the eastern slope of Twin Sisters Mountain.
Pierson Park Road South begins just east of Colorado Highway 7 south of Estes Park, Colorado. The road is well marked by US Forest Service road signs. There are multiple dispersed camping locations between the first two waypoints.
Take Colorado Highway 7 south out of Estes Park for 9.9 miles. Turn east/left onto Big Owl Road for 1.8 miles. Keep to the left as Big Owl Road turns into Boulder County Road 82E (Also known as Cabin Creek Road). Continue for an additional 1 mile where you will find the Pierson Park South trailhead on your left/north. The road is marked.
Land Use Issues
Pierson Park Road was once a through road. In 2013, heavy rains and flooding caused a landslide of rocks and trees from the Twin Sisters peaks. The debris from the event crossed Pierson Park Road near the halfway point. The US Forest Service has advised that the ground is too unstable to repair and reopen the road. There are currently no plans to reopen the closed section of the Pierson Park Road.
Due to the Cameron Peak forest fire, The USFS has closed the entire Canyon Lakes Ranger District in the Roosevelt National Forest. This trail will likely be closed for the remainder of the 2020 season. A copy of the map for the closure area can be found here.
Pierson Park South had a few others jeeps on the trail. It seemed that most were combining Johnny Park Road with Pierson Park South for a day of wheeling. I ran out of time to get Johnny Park Road done today. Guess I'll have to make another trip to Estes Park, oh darn! Great weather, great views.
Tim lives and works in Northern Colorado. He has owned and driven 4X4 vehicles his entire adult life including Jeeps, pick ups, ATVs and UTVs. After high school, Tim's first 4X4 was a 47 Willy's CJ-2A with a flat 4 and a 6-volt electrical system. Typically wheeling in Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming, Tim loves being in the mountains and the back country. Because of a desire to enjoy and promote responsible off-roading and to keep it available for the future, he belongs to a local 4X4 off-road club. Being part of the Trailsoffroad.com community furthers that goal as well.
A love for off-road adventures, camping, fishing, and hunting keeps Tim away from pavement and always exploring. While his wife likes the comfort of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Tim prefers the ruggedness of the Jeep Wrangler. Although most off-road time is spent in Colorado and Wyoming, an occasional trip to the Moab area is common. Tim will spend the summer going topless and enjoying the value of the great outdoors. Amateur Radio Technician license call sign: ke0npg