Category Archives: Hiking

Mt Falcon

We have done this hike a few times and it’s definitely a butt kicker and a strenuous up hill adventure!

Generally I pick turkey trot to go up just to avoid the bikes! Lucky for me it was a rather chilly day, well it started out that way, overcast and chilly and everything that was mud was ice.

Turkey trot is a nice uphill, up up up! When you meet up with the castle trail, keep on truckin up to the castle. When you get to the pavillion, go left to the castle, right to another ruin.

It was a nice solo hike i got to have, early morning, coffee in hand and huffin and puffin all the way!

Verdict:

6.7 miles, 1600 ft elevation gain

Great views, wonderful history

Pro tip: parking can be tight, go early, or on off days

Red Rocks Trail – Matthew Winters Park

This is a nice, close to Denver hike! Parking lot is decent but can still fill up quickly.

Very little, as in no shade. Plan accordingly

5.8 miles ( or more if you forget to stop once you hit red rocks amphitheater)

1100 foot elevation gain.

Suman and I decided to try this trail on a post snow saturday! We waited till about 10am for the sun to come out and clear the ice from the roads and then headed out to enjoy the views of denver sprinkled in white.

The parking lot was pretty bare, which was great, we put on our spikes and headed out!

The trail has some nice options for looping to not always repeat what you did.

We enjoyed the views of denver, of red rocks and we got some mileage on our boots! I learned that I will throw away the socks I used and only go with full wool for hiking and skip the inserts!

The hike was interesting in the snow as some of the paths were not clear, but you can’t really get lost here! Next time we will add on and do the full loop across on dinosaur ridge!

By the time we returned most of the paths were pure red mud, so bring something to put your boots in if you go when it is wet!

Mt Galbraith

This trail has been in and out of my life since I first moved to Colorado. As I learn more about the area, the views and terrain seems to change and mean more each time!

The parking is quite limited, so the best times is weekdays or early, really early. Or really off season, but in Colorado that is a trick, isn’t it.

There is very little shade, so plan accordingly.

I have done the trail left and right at the lolly pop. Left seems to have a bit more of a heart pumping assent, but both are fine.

Pro tip: The “top” can be tricky. If you are not taking a trail to the top, do not expect to reach the tippy top. If you are going counter clockwise, when you reach a point where you climb over some rocks and see an up trail and a down trail – you missed the rock steps to descend!

Verdict: Great after work hike! Or mid winter!

Mt Sanitas

Close to home, kick your butt with a 1200 foot elevation gain in under a mile

Mt Sanitas

I’ve done this trail many times over the years! The latest was this morning to get our uphill incline action in preparation for Kilimanjaro!

Pro tip – if it’s nice at all, parking will be a pain.

You can park prior,near the church, or after when the edge parking after you enter sunshine canyon.

It’s a great hike and the strenuous part really makes you remember how your lungs work!

Barr Lake

We are prepping for next year and our climb of kilimanjaro! That means, hiking, miles, feet on the move.

We decided to take a jaunt around Barr Lake

Hubby and I had done this trail on bikes, and they scared us with threats of goat heads everywhere!

We came for the miles and didn’t realize how cold it could be. It was sunny in denver, but not up there!

It was a beautiful walk, the lake was gorgeous! The only draw back was not being able to do the full circle with a pet. The far end is an animal preserve and dogs are not allowed

It took us about 4 hours, which seems silly since it’s a flat walk. We talked and enjoyed each other’s company and the quiet.

The gals enjoying the lake

Verdict:

Great for mileage, great off season! Don’t go at high sun!

Straight Creek Trail

I’ve been wanting to do this hike for a while, because 1, you get to climb over the Eisenhower tunnel and 2 because of the wild flowers!

The mulitple different descriptions had a number of different nileages… turns out it actually is really about 4.9 vs 4.2 and if you do go all the way you get to see the Loveland Ski Lift and slopes!

Difficulty: Moderate/Hard

Time: 3 hours

Mileage: 4.9

Verdict: Definitely again, and next time bring a snack to enjoy at the top

The pups were a might tuckered, it does start at 11k and is about a 2200 foot elevation gain.

Winston eventaully said no more and demanded a ride in the baby bjorn!

The flowers! Oh the flowers, such a wonderful sight, one whole swath of Columbine and tons and tons of other that i couldn’t even name!

The trail starts off on the westbound side of the 70.

Pavement eventually moves into single track – and up you go!

The trails has lots to look at, and quickly loses the ability to hear the 70 for a good while.

The green grass, mountain tops and more!

After the first big turn the trail is a little less stressfull, but still up!

Since it was overcast it tricked us into thinking that is was not as hard as it was.

We made it the 2.2 mile mark thinking it was almost done… it was a bit more, Risa and I made it to the top but only stopped for just a smidge!

Definitely an amazing hike! Can’t wait to go back!

 

 

Sleepy Lion Trail

Sleepy Lion Trail

My friend suman is prepping for a Camino in Spain and needs to get in her miles every day and each weekend. On a recent weekend i joined her on this one – the Sleep Lion Trail .

Difficulty – easy

Time – 2hours – my friend like to take her time, enjoy the scenery, take breaks

Miles – 5.4

Rating – not again

Verdict: It was an interesting hike and close to home-ish.

Lots to sea, some shade.

This portion of the hike is dog off leash – alas – some people thing it’s ok to let their dogs run wild. Luckily my “kids” were not there or some random dog running up and getting all in their business would not have gone well.

You start off and end up on a fire road

 

Eventually you get to the sign, and pop off the main road.

Thus begins the off leash and if you have a sensitive animal the heart break…

 

Then we enter the trees, meander the trails, see the reservoir – basically the good part of the hike.

     

Near the end of the trail portion as it returns to the dirt road you get to see the power of the water!

  

Along the dirt road is the river and a fun water fall portion!

Toby enjoyed the adventure too!

Mount Galbraith Park

Decided to do a hike after work with a co-worker and wanted to escape the 100 degree day that was in Denver!

We found this one and as luck would have it, the clouds came in and brought the temps down to 85! Sounds crazy to think that was good, but it was!

I had done this one back in 2007 and the trail signage was terrible. This time, it was so much better!

We took the suggestion of go left at the split! We enjoyed the views, although there were a number that were of Golden and the Coors Plant – but it was still wonderful to me. Once you got on the backside it was all green and lush for as far as the eye could see!

We started at the parking lot at the Cedar Gulch Trail start and the the left circle of the Mount Galbraith trail. We did it in 2 hours, we took a couple breaks and we enjoyed getting our sweat on!

 

Mount Grayrock

This hike has been on the list for about 7 or 8 years!

Mt Grayrock is up off the poudre river, west of ft collins. It was in my loop hike book that we got shortly after we arrived colorado.

We attempted it this summer – but the temps in the poudre river area are about the same as denver, so august…  not amazing for starting a hike around 8am.  By 2 miles in, i was out of water and the boys laid down and said no more, and the hubby was ready to file for divorce…

Next up – enter Suman – I tapped her after returning home to hit this up in october – she was game!

The day finally arrived, a high of 55, overcast, ok let’s go!

Suman brought me a “Standard Bagel” from Rosenburgs! I ate half on the jaunt to the trail head!

After that we headed up, up, up and up! The sun was out, but I still had 3 layers on with 1 more in the backpack for the top.

The beginning follows the river and the sides of the trail reach in for you. They say there is poison ivy, so keep those ankles covered!

It was interesting to see the hillsides decimated by beetle kill. We imaged what the colors would have been like for fall if they were all still standing.

We continued up enjoying getting peaks of the hills in all directions. We had yet to see greyrock mt…

Finally we reached some manner of top and also found the wind we had heard blasting through the trees and valleys…. Brrr! For me i had not thought to bring a hat or gloves (also they are packed in storage, so i wouldn’t have ad them any way!) But my wonder woman buff was good enough to cover my ears!

As we meandered over the top we finally got a view of GrayRock and the meadow between us.

The views continued to be stunning!

We eventually got to the “base” of the summit. Then it got really hard. Ugh!

The trail was basically just giant boulders… up and up.

Then the trail was just not really there and you had to take care to watch for the next cairn or sometimes a mini hiker sign..

Then we watched the snow come for us! We thought it disappears and then the next time we looked it had us completely surrounded! On we went…

Final destination – the summit – totally worth it! The hidden lake was beautiful.

I scrambled to just below the top – the wind was too intense for me to risk the top (yup – chicken!)

 Notice my hair blowing sideways…

The views back out toward the hills and ft collins were fabulous! You could see where the sun was and the clouds stopped!

Then it was time to escape the freezing winds and get down to the car! Of course, then the sun came out and the clouds went away – Grayrock looked much more spectacular!

Longest part of the hike – i’m sure of it! My feet were boycotting – all the walking on rocks were just too much for them – but there were still miles to go!

In the end we did the loop including the summit in 6 hours. We rewarded ourselves with a margaritas and some mexican food!

Fabulous day, amazing view, great hiking buddy! Super glad we made it – no need to do that again!

 

 

 

Camping on the Poudre

Yup – it looks french, but here in Colorado we call it – the “Pooder”

Whatever you call it, it’s a great river that runs from the rockies out toward Fort Collins and Beyond.

We have camped at different places over the years and this year I decided to get us closer to a hike I wanted – Gray Mountain. So I picked a spot that had just a few spots and a walk in site to use our new fold up cart! It was early august and our official last camping for the season.

This thing was amazing! We watched families take about 85 trips back and forth to their cars, we took, maybe 4! Woot! And putting away things at the end of the day – food smells etc – was def easier too!

We got to our campsite early enough, and got everything set up and had time to relax and enjoy my new fav beverage cherry rum and coke!

The view was toward the rest room, but if you overlooked that, being in a canyon was pretty cool. We couldn’t really the see the river, but we were close enough to hear the roar and relax.

The camp hosts stopped by, they were located 5 miles the other direction down the road, and that is where the camp fire wood was. And they were kind enough to let us know that this camp ground was known to have rattle snakes. WTF? So i spent a bit of time watching the boys on their tethers and being worried about them finding one! Arg!

Our dinner was another attempt at the “pizza roll”. It was slightly more successful but still not a keeper as far as camping cuisine goes. This time it did not stick to the foil, but it also was raw in the middle and burned on the outside. Boo.

I like the idea, but think pocket pies or calzones are going to be more successful!

Next day was an attempt to climb Mt Greylock. It was not successful. I always forget how hot that valley is. I (probably not we) shall return in the fall and do a successful summit!

Pro tip:

There is a parking lot across the road, but you can also park on the road in a pullout that puts you on the same side of the road as the beginning of the hike.

There  is a switchback early on that can be missed and you can end up scrambling to find the trail, when you think you lost the trail, you probably did! Look behind you!

After that failure, we took the rest of the day to relax, enjoy the campsite, rest and read!

 

The final day hubby finally got his camping pancakes. I hate pancakes because they are so messy, but i was reminded we have 2 furry roombas to take care of the plates prior to packing them!

The morning was a little lazy and slow, but eventually we did as winston wanted and left the dirt and grime behind and headed on home!

Definitely an interesting camp site. Not sure if we would want to be close to the water, people tended to stop at this camp ground even though the signs said no day use, they would meander through the camp sites closer to the water, and either hang out or meander back. We liked where we were, we had shade and close enough to the rest room and our car!