Thumb Open Space

The Thumb

Intermittent Trail Closure in Spring & Summer 2024

Please note that the Thumb Open Space will have intermittent closure dates in spring and summer 2024 due to the Prospect Mountain Water Distribution System Construction Project. For details about this project, please contact Jacqui Wesley, Project Manager, at jwesley@estes.org  or 970-577-3611.

Thumb Open Space officially opened to public access in July 2022. This newest Town-owned recreation area is named for the large, thumb-like rock outcrop on the southeastern side of the property. Users are reminded to please respect private property and refrain from leaving the marked public trail; further guidelines are provided under the User Information and Rules tab below.  

For decades this property was a popular but privately owned hiking and climbing destination. First climbed by the legendary Tom Hornbein in the late 1940s, the Thumb Open Space features were later used by professional climber Tommy Caldwell as a training ground. The property contains nearly 50 climbing routes with pitch ratings ranging from 5.0 to 5.13, as well as high-quality bouldering. The area is also known for its great hiking, trail running and dog walking—with Longs Peak, Mount Meeker, and Twin Sisters in view from nearly the entire trail.

As a Town purchase, the Thumb Open Space will remain undeveloped and open for wildlife and public enjoyment. The Town of Estes Park and its partners are committed to balancing the use of the open space for recreational purposes, ecological considerations, and the quality of life for residents of the neighborhood and community.

The purchase was made possible through the dedication of partners including the previous owner of the open space, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Access Fund, Estes Valley Land Trust, Rocky Mountain Conservancy and the Town of Estes Park. For additional information, please contact Parks Supervisor Brian Berg at 970-577-3783 or thumb@estes.org.


User Information and Rules

The Town of Estes Park welcomes all residents and visitors to enjoy the Thumb Open Space.

The public access trailhead can be reached by traveling west one mile on Peak View Drive from the intersection of Peak View Drive and Colorado Highway 7. Parking is available in the unimproved gravel parking area on the north side of Peak View Drive in front of the existing green water pumphouse. The public access trail to climbing features begins on the north side of the pumphouse and follows an access easement through private property before entering the open space. 

Please follow the rules provided below to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all users. 

User Information and Rules

Application for Guided Climbing Services

Development History of the Thumb Open Space

The Estes Park Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Thumb Open Space Management Plan during their regular board meeting on February 8, 2022. 

In preparation for the plan's adoption, the Parks Division staff provided a project update to the Town Board of Trustees during their Study Session on January 11, 2022. Supervisor Berg also provided a copy of the draft Management Plan and informed the Board about next steps. Access the recorded session by selecting Watch Meeting Videos at estes.gov/boardsandmeetings

The Community Conversation was held as a virtual meeting on December 8, 2021. Input from participants was incorporated into the draft Management Plan. You may view the video recording of the meeting's general sessions (not the breakout sessions), listen to the audio only recording, or read the Discussion Guide that was provided to participants.

Thanks to all who participated in this Community Conversation, and to Restorative Justice for helping to plan this event and provide facilitators and the note-takers. 

Review the final plan and supporting documents:

Thumb Open Space Management Plan

Conservation Easement

Baseline Documentation

Environmental Site Assessment

Baseline Biological Report

Minerals Report

Rock Fall Study