Travelers stopping to view the beauty and have their pictures taken by the sign that proclaims Loveland Pass – Elevation 11,990 Ft. – Continental Divide, may have been surprised at the large gathering of well-prepared hikers assembling at the West Ridge trail head one Saturday morning in July. Over twenty members of Rotary Clubs, families, and friends walked the trail leading to what is becoming known locally as “Rotary Peak.” This 12,479’ peak is located on the Continental Divide Trail 1.5 miles west of Loveland Pass.
Dave Muller, a well-known Denver author of 8 Colorado trail guide books, had long wondered why such a popular hiking destination didn’t have a name. Being named, it would be easier for the public to alert first responders of their location should an emergency arise, or simply to describe their outdoor adventures to friends. Dave wanted the peak to be named for a significant Colorado group that’s had a long and positive history improving local communities and championing the preservation of our outdoor resources.
On learning of the 105 year history of Rotary clubs throughout Colorado and the countless community service projects performed, Dave contacted a Rotary club member about his idea and it was an immediate hit, receiving broad support from Rotarians as well as local towns, counties, and many others. Rotary clubs in communities throughout the mountains and along the Front Range envisioned creation of local youth programs focused on bringing young people up to “Rotary Peak” to encourage appreciation of our Colorado Rockies. There are also many possibilities for engaging youth and Rotarians in supervised trail restorations, trail steward programs, and other related activities.