On Tuesday, June 13th we conquered the Mt Royal hike, above Frisco. It was a warm day, and once you reach Masontown and continue up to the Summit, the hike gets steep, so we were feeling the temperature!
Heading to the Summit
It is a bit of a slog up the hill for a while, but once you reach the Mt Royal summit turnoff, it eases up a bit. If you continue on the trail without turning off, you will go to the top of Mt Victoria, or possibly even Peak One. At the top of the Mt Royal trail you will find a large cairn. After you add your rock to the pile and admire the view, follow the trail to the right past a couple of old limber pines down the hill for a little bit. To really be able to say that you have hiked Mt Royal you need to go to the second summit. The trail will go uphill again to what seems to be a big rockpile. It is actually the rock outcropping that is so visible from Frisco. Here you can rest and admire the fabulous view of the lake and the Continental Divide.
The Way Back Down
Once you are rested and think about your return, follow the trail back the way you came. Taking what looks like the “easy way” downhill, will take you to some precarious spots. People get cliffed out and have even died when straying from the trail. The little uphill back to the first summit makes you appreciate the rest of the hike, which is downhill all the way. We did the Mt Royal hike in about 3 and a half hours for the four miles roundtrip. We are not the fastest hikers in the world, but for four women over 50, we did ok! What we lack in speed we make up for in stamina.