Derek’s 12 Mile Hike to a B-17 That Crashed in the Rocky Mountains [PHOTOS]
This past weekend I went on an adventure up the Poudre Canyon to find a crashed B-17.
Back in 1944 a training mission went wrong. A B-17 bomber flew out of South Dakota and ended up crashing after it got lost. Of the 10 crewman on board the plane, six survived.
I am not going to go into the story, you can read about it here if you’d like. I am just here to share some photos and tell you how to get there if you’d like to see it for yourself.
It is pretty much an all-day hike and plenty of water and snacks are needed, at least in my opinion, for this trip.
Drive up Poudre Canyon, to the Pingree Park Road. Then go four miles up Pingree Park Road to Crown Point Road. Turn right and drive 12 miles the Browns Lake trailhead parking lot. The parking lot is on the right side of road, and the trailhead is across the road on the south side. From there you begin your 12-mile hike.
You will hike three miles to Old Flowers Road and then turn left and head about another three miles to the crash. It is a tough hike with very steep grades, plenty of rocks and parts of heavily wooded areas. There are some amazing views on the way to the bomber, but I wouldn’t really recommend this hike for the casual hiker. There are cairns to mark the trail and let you know that you are still on a trail and going in the right direction. When you get close to where the bomber is you will see a giant man-made arrow in the ground pointing to where you need to go. When I saw it, I celebrated and I felt like a Goonie that had just discovered a clue!
There is another way to the bomber that may be easier, but I am not sure how much as I have not taken it.
The bomber itself is in pieces, not because of the crash, but because they blew it up with dynamite. I am assuming since WWII was going on they didn’t want people back there picking the thing apart for parts to try and sell. Or maybe they didn’t want the computer system to fall into the wrong hands? Who knows? Even though it is in pieces, it is still an amazing sight to see.
Check out the scenery and the bomber below.