The name “stroll” is a little misleading. When I think of a stroll, I think of a flat, leisurely walk. Sullivan’s Stroll is not that. It isn’t a very long hike, coming in at just about one mile each way, but it gains close to 1,000 feet of elevation over that distance.
The trailhead for Sullivan’s Stroll is located near Drake, Colorado, between Loveland and Estes Park. It’s just west of Waltonia Road on the north side of Route 34. The trailhead and trail aren’t very well marked. This makes the trailhead a little hard to find, but it does keep a lot of traffic off of the path. Today was a pretty day and I only saw one other person along the trail.
Head north from Route 34 up the gulch and into Roosevelt National Forest. The trail starts out on the right side of what looks to be a dry creek bed and heads uphill. Pink ribbons tied to tree branches do mark a few spots where the trail crosses the creek bed. If you just keep heading uphill along the creek bed, the trail eventually becomes more visible.
The path is rocky and steadily gains elevation. there are a few spots where the trail flattens out for a little break, but not many. The first 3/4 of Sullivan’s Stroll is shaded by pine trees. The top is mostly open and unprotected. You’ll know you’re close to the top when the trail switches back to the left and then continues uphill.
There are great views from the top of the trail. Long’s Peak and Mount Meeker to the west are the highlight, but there’s almost a 360 degree view.