Fishers Peak State Park near Trinidad opens this weekend

Coloradans can get a glimpse of Colorado’s newest park this weekend when Fishers Peak State Park opens following a ribbon cutting on Friday by Gov. Jared Polis.

Although the new park eventually will encompass 19,200 acres (30 square miles), only 250 acres will open this weekend. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials wanted to give the public the opportunity to get a sense of the hiking, hunting and wildlife opportunities the park offer when fully open.

The Fishers Peak mountain rises to 9,633 feet and is located six miles southeast of Trinidad and seven miles north of the New Mexico border.

According to a CPW journal post written by Fishers Peak/Trinidad Lake Park manager Crystal Dreiling, hiking options will be limited this weekend to what she called the “Sneak peek area,” but the short First Look Trail will offer “spectacular” views of Fishers Peak. Visitors will have to wait for hiking trails to the summit of that distinctive peak, an outcrop of ancient lava flows from the Raton Mesa.

Another option that will open this week is called the Challenge Trail, and apparently for good reason.

“We want to offer a glimpse of the extreme backcountry hiking challenges Fishers Peak will offer when fully developed,” Dreiling wrote of the Challenge Trail. “Our volunteers helped convert an existing ranch road route into an aggressive (a nice way of saying “steep”) 1.5-mile hiking trail. How aggressive? Most professionally-designed trails don’t exceed 8 to 10 percent grades. Our Challenge Trail will have you feeling the burn on stretches that exceed 30 percent grade. The payoff for all the work is a spectacular view of Fishers Peak and the valley below.”

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