Imagine if you will, taking a leisurely hike up into the mountains and then, without warning, stumbling upon the site of a tragic accident.

Well, that has likely happened to numerous Coloradans as a fairly well-known hiking trail takes hikers right to the wreckage of an old plane from World War II that tragically crashed many years ago.

Colorado Hiking Trail Leads to Plane Crash Site

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The aforementioned hiking trail that leads to the plane crash site is known as the Flowers Trail and is about 30 miles west of Fort Collins, Colorado.

However, let's head back first and learn what happened to the plane.

WWII Plane Crashes in the Colorado Mountains

On June 13th, 1944, a small plane, known as a Boeing B17F Flying Fortress,  was returning from night training in Rapid City, South Dakota when it veered off course. Unfortunately and tragically, after the pilot attempted to save the plane, it crashed into a mountain in Colorado, instantly killing the two pilots as well as the navigator.

The following day, two of the survivors of the crash hiked for an estimated 14 hours to search for help, despite being severely injured, until finding a phone in Fort Collins. However, the damage had been done, lives had been lost, and the wreckage still sits atop the same mountain the plane crashed into.

The Colorado Plane Crash Site Today

Today, you can hike up the Flowers Trail all the way up to the wreckage, much of which is still there. Over the years, visitors have left memorials in the forms of flags and patches to pay respect and if you take the hike to visit the crash site yourself, you'll notice these memorials right away.

In the meantime, take a virtual hike up the trail and see the wreckage for yourself:

Wreckage from a WWII Plane Crash Sits atop a Colorado Hike

A Colorado hiking trail leads to the wreckage of a military plane crash that dates back to 1943.

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