Thumb Open Space

The Thumb

Background on the Thumb Open Space

On May 26, 2021, the Town of Estes Park officially purchased 65 acres on the south side of Prospect Mountain for the Town’s newest publicly accessible open space, known as the Thumb Open Space. The name refers to the large rock outcrop on the southeastern side of the property.

For decades this property has been 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 Tommy Caldwell as a training ground. The property now offers nearly 50 routes 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.

The purchase ensures the property will remain undeveloped and open for wildlife and future public access after completion of a scientifically developed and community-driven management plan. 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 existing trail remains open for hiking and is accessible from Peak View Drive. The remainder of the property is closed to all other uses, including climbing, until the Management Plan is complete. Users are reminded to please respect private property and refrain from leaving the marked public trail. 

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 bberg@estes.org

Thumb Open Space Management Plan

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

How we got to the final adopted version.

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. A recording of this session can be found on the Town website

The Community Conversation was held as a virtual meeting on December 8, 2021. Input from participants were incorporated in to 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. 

Here is 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

User Information and Rules

The Town of Estes Park welcomes you to use the Thumb Open Space. Please follow the rules for this space to be safe and so this space can be enjoyed by others. Thank you.

User Information and Rules