Back to index Lovers Leap from LL Campground hike
Trip Date:  11/11/2014

Distance
: 5.1 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1000'

Group Size: 3

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Lovers Leap from campground route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Lovers Leap Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 47.963, W 120 08.432     End Coordinates:   Same as starting coordinates
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 50 to Strawberry Lane, just to the east of the Strawberry Lodge.  Follow the road to the Lovers Leap campground area, and park in the day use spots.  There is a $5 fee (as of 2014) for parking in this location.
Hazards of Note:   Steep dropoffs at the top.  Keep young children away from the edges. Crowd Factor:   Moderate.  This is a popular area for rock climbing, and the hike to Lovers Leap peak is fairly popular with all ages.
General Notes:
From the parking area, find the trail information sign about the Pony Express "Swan-Henry Toll Road," which is the start of the hike.  You will travel for the first mile along a very rocky trail, requiring careful footing to not twist an ankle on the sometimes loose and rocky road surface.  Once past the rocks the trail turns to dirt, and is easy going for the entire length of the Pony Express route.  As the trail climbs once you pass by the face of Lovers Leap, you will look for a trail junction to the right.  Do not mistake an old forest road for the trail.  When you get to this stay on your current trail, and look for the junction in the next quarter of a mile.  A vertical plastic stake with "XP" on it will verify that you are in the correct location when you get to the actual trail junction.  Turn right, and head on up to the top of Lovers Leap along this easy to follow trail.

My daughter, Sierra at the first information sign near the Pony Express trailhead from the campground.   First information sign
Checking out the historical location known as Monk Rock not too far from the start of today's hike. Horsetail Canyon
A little bit of detail about Monk Rock, along with a background shot of Lovers Leap towering high above this early part of the trail. Monk Rock details
Parts of the first mile of trail are extremely rocky.  Must not have been much fun to be on this during the Pony Express days. Rocky Trail
One for information sign along the trail, this one talking about Slippery Ford just a few hundred feet up the way. Slippery Ford information
Along the way are markers tagged with "XP," for Pony Express which point the correct direction at junction spots.Pony Express trail markers
No idea what this was the remains of, but it was very interesting to check out along the way. Interesting building
Making our way up the trail as it started to get a little steeper, with Rocky Canyon and Pyramid Peak in the background.
Looking at the view
The view along the trail toward Freel Peak in the distance.  Mt. Ralston can just be seen at the top left of the picture. View toward Freel
Sign marking the top of Lovers Leap along with some helpful advice for visitors to the location. At the top of Lovers Leap
Views to the north from the top of Lovers Leap.
Views to the north
Our lunch spot looking down at Strawberry and further west had a pretty great view of the highway 50 area. Lunch spot
My daughter was pretty excited to find out there would be no more uphill the rest of the trip. No more uphills!
The preservation society has painted some of the original graffiti from the pony express riders found on a rock along the way. Pony Express graffiti
The trail on the way back offers this great view of the rock face of Lovers Leap towering high above you. Lovers Leap face
Lots of leaves on the ground as we neared the end of the hike. Fall
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike