Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Keeper: Andrew Schelling
Status: Letterbox removed or stolen.
Start at Baseline Rd. and Ninth St. Follow Baseline west into the mountains.
Almost immediately on your left you will see a sign, “Entering Boulder
Mountain Parks.” At the one mile marker is a self-service fee station.
If your car is not registered in Boulder County you may want to get a
day permit ($3) so you won’t get ticketed if a ranger sees your
parked car. Follow the road another 2.5 miles. It will take you through
five hairpin turns as you ascend, before following Gregory Canyon to where
Flagstaff Summit Road cuts off to the right. To your left is a gap in
the trees that drops onto a dirt road. Enter the gap and park anywhere.
You will see a fire gate with a sign, “Green Mountain Lodge.”
You are at 7000’ elevation, so bring water and appropriate clothing.
Walk through the gate, & follow the track downhill a few minutes until
it bears right & joins the Ranger Trail. About five minutes farther,
after crossing a small creek, you’ll spot a Park Service message
box with a small toilet-building reached by a wooden bridge. A notice
in the box announces “You Are In A Mountain Lion’s Home.”
Here the trail forks, with the stone Mountain Lodge visible through some
brush in the middle. Take the right-hand trail, across another light wooden
bridge, into Long Canyon. From the end of the bridge count fifteen paces
up Long Canyon Trail. Turn ninety degrees to your right and pick out a
solitary lodgepole pine, twenty-five paces off. Go to it and look straight
up the canyon side. There is a rough outcropping of pink and gray granite,
about forty-five paces uphill, mottled with chartreuse lichen, studded
with white quartz crystals. A small pine tree stands atop the jagged rock,
with the hulk of a dead pine, partially charred, its roots exposed, lying
behind. The letterbox is on the back-side of this downed tree.
After getting your stamp you can continue up Long Canyon. The first steep
ravine that appears on your left – about ten minutes – is
Panther Canyon (panther = mountain lion).
Note from the Letterbox Keeper:
October through May the box could be covered by snow. I do not know, but
the ink pad could be frozen too.
Second Note from the Letterbox Keeper:
Feb. 12, 2005, the day I selected the letterbox site: up Long Canyon trail
a few hundred yards through the snow, some hiker had hung on a branch
at face level the fresh leg of a mule deer. The hip and thigh were stripped
of skin, flesh, and meat. The nearly meatless lower leg and hoof were
intact. It is common for dogs to find a lion’s kill site and bring
a trophy down to the trail.
Couple days ago I was up on Green Mtn. The letterbox is gone. I ran into
a Park Service employee who said they have been mapping undocumented trails,
so I'm suspecting someone found it & removed it. A ranger might remove
it as an unwanted man-made object in a region designated wild. I thought
it far enough off any frequented trail that it was not
going to be found by anyone without a map. But rangers, or Park employees,
be ranging farther afield than I expected, so it is a matter of luck or
someone to happen on it.