Prospect Mountain (8,900'), Estes Park
Prospect Mtn is an urban mountain: surrounded by Estes Park homes, golf course, tramway, night-lit crucifix, Stanley Park, scads of com towers at the summit, service road...get the idea? But Prospect Mountain is a monolith that rises out of the Park, and is a very prominent feature of Estes Park. It nagged me every time I passed it on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park, and felt it was a feature that I had to summit. The highest point on Prospect is near the com towers, and not the USGS indicated summit. This is probably because of construction and clearing for the com towers that raised the rock pile a few feet...enough to eclipse the USGS summit. I confirmed this with a hand sight-level, shooting in both directions. An interesting feature of Prospect Mountain, is that a tunnel passes directly under the summit, carrying water from Marys Lake to Lake Estes. The water carried in the Prospect Mtn Tunnel has been diverted from the West Slope, to satisfy the thirst of the Front Range. If you have a 1961 Longs Peak Quad, you can trace the path of the tunnel. The mountain is on private land, but with all the commercialization nearby, and the rock climbing that is done on some of it's faces, hiking to summit by way of the sketchy trail on the south side was not an issue. In fact we talked to the tramway operator near the top, and promised to bring our grandchildren for a ride in exchange for permission to hike.