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COUNTY: Larimer County
LOCATION DETAILS: If you drive the Trail Ridge scenic byway you can enter the green mountain trail.
NEAREST TOWN: Estes Park
OBSERVED: My family was hiking in RMNP and came across a footprint on Green Mountain trail. We have a picture.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Early morning, about 65° cloudy
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest in the mountains
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Ellen Wick:
The witness was interviewed by telephone as she lives out of state. In the summer of 2015 the witness, her husband and their two sons were on vacation in Colorado. They had been staying in Estes Park and had been exploring the area surrounding the town. They were trying to combine learning along with the vacation experience. The night before this particular hike they had purchased a book for their boys on scat and tracks.
The morning of July 5th they started hiking the Green Mountain Trail, or so they thought. They inadvertently had taken the wrong trail out of the parking lot and were actually on Onahu Trail. This trail does connect with the Green Mountain Trail after looping back. The family had been moving along the trail identifying tracks of various animals, including moose and bear. They had been moving on and off trail while exploring. Had they not been doing this they would not have seen the track which is the subject of this report. They were in a forested area and the husband had gone off trail looking for more animal tracks. He discovered a single track. It measured approximately 13.5-14 inches long and exhibited possible toe prints. It was approximately a 1/2 inch deep.
Witness said that they looked around but only found the one track. They did a couple of tree knocks and heard no response. She indicated that they did get a creeped out feeling and made the decision to continue on. She did not observe any unusual sounds nor did they see anything as to the originator of the track.
The track was perpendicular to the trail and the maker of the track crossed the trail rather than following it. The husband is 6'7" tall and weighs 220 pounds. He attempted to leave a track in the same vicinity but with no success. The track looked to be a few days old, but there had been no rain that week. They surmised that it would take something large and heavy to leave such a track. They sent us the photo and unfortunately not much detail could be seen and although interesting, the print was not conclusive enough to be verified.
Photos of the track and boot for size reference:
About BFRO Investigator Ellen Wick:
Ellen is originally from New Mexico however, has called Colorado home since 1996. Her education is in anthropology but professionally she is involved in the criminal justice field. Ellen prefers to spend her time outdoors involved in research. She has attended expeditions in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, East Texas and Kentucky.