About me, Colorado, Lists, Travels

A Year in Review: #52HikeChallenge 2019

Historically, I’ve wrapped up each year with a summary of our annual highlights. I’m going to do the same this year, but with a little twist. In 2019, for the first time ever, I participated in the 52 Hike Challenge. This is exactly what it sounds like: the challenge of completing 52 hikes in 52 weeks. The only guidelines are that the hike should be at least 1 mile (1.6 km) long, you can complete a maximum of 1 hike per day (on the few days I did multiple hikes, I lumped the mileage together and counted it as 1 hike), and repeat hikes are acceptable.

I ended the year with 63 hikes totaling 304.9 miles (491 km) and 61,312 feet (18,688 m) elevation gain, marking a successful completion of the challenge. So, as a summary of 2019, I’ve decided to post 1 photo from each hike. A handful of these hikes were completed twice, which is why the numbering on the list below doesn’t match the total number of hikes listed above.

NOTE: I don’t live track my hikes, so distances and elevation gains are from trail signs, maps, or AllTrails, and may not be exact.

  1. Palisade Falls + Grotto Falls, Hyalite Canyon, Montana | 5 miles (8 km) | 515 feet (160 m) elevation gain
    IMG_5937-1
  2. Tower/Castle/Walkers Dream Loop, Mount Falcon Park, Colorado | 3.5 miles (5.6 km) | 640 feet (195 m) elevation gain
    IMG_6020
  3. Golden Cliffs Loop, North Table Mountain Park, Colorado | 2.5 miles (4 km) | 600 feet (185 m) elevation gain
    IMG_6157
  4. Snowshoe Trail, Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Colorado | 6 miles (9.6 km) | 500 feet (150 m) elevation gain
    IMG_6174-1
  5. Mayflower Gulch, White River National Forest, Colorado | 5 miles (8 km) | 1000 feet (305 m) elevation gain
    IMG_6236-1
  6. Mills Lake/Loch Vale, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | 4.8-6.8 miles (7.7-10.9 km) depending on route | 1250 feet (380 m) elevation gain | completed twice
    IMG_6328-1
  7. Nymph/Dream/Emerald Lakes, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | 3.6 miles (5.8 km) | 705 feet (215 m) elevation gain | completed twice
    IMG_6422-1
  8. Lake Haiyaha, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | 4.4 miles (7.1 km) | 840 feet (255 m) elevation gain | completed twice
    IMG_8246
  9. Sand Canyon Trail, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Colorado | 2 miles (3.2 km) | 420 feet (130 m) elevation gain
    IMG_6566-1
  10. Evergreen Mountain Loop, Alderfer/Three Sisters Park, Colorado | 6.8 miles (10.9 km) | 1070 feet (325 m) elevation gain
    IMG_6742
  11. Mountain Lion Trail, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Colorado | 6.8 miles (10.9 km) | 1585 feet (485 m) elevation gain
    IMG_6748
  12. Eldorado Canyon Trail, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Colorado | 6.5 miles (10.5 km) | 1945 feet (595 m) elevation gain | completed twice
    IMG_6807-1
  13. Wetlands Trail, Clear Creek Natural Area, Texas | 3 miles (4.8 km) | 60 feet (18 m) elevation gain
    IMG_7009-1
  14. Maxwell Falls Trail, Arapaho National Forest, Colorado | 3 miles (4.8 km) | 515 feet (155 m) elevation gain
    IMG_7125-1
  15. Chief Mountain, Arapaho National Forest, Colorado | 4 miles (6.4 km) | 985 feet (300 m) elevation gain
    IMG_7209-1
  16. Pope Trail, Cherry Creek State Park, Colorado | 1.9 miles (3.1 km) | 50 feet (15 m) elevation gain | completed twice
    IMG_7303-1
  17. Sykes Mountain + Sullivan’s Knob, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Wyoming/Montana | 6 miles (9.7 km) | 990 feet (300 m) elevation gain
    IMG_7595
  18. Bergen Peak, Elk Meadow Park, Colorado | 10 miles (16 km) | 2280 feet (695 m) elevation gain
    IMG_7801
  19. Royal Arch, Chautauqua Park, Colorado | 3.4 miles (5.5 km) | 1490 feet (455 m) | completed twice
    IMG_7864
  20. Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado | hiked 2 different sections on 2 different days for a total of 6.5 miles (10.5 km) | 450 feet (135 m) elevation gain
    IMG_3079-1
  21. Crater Rim + Crater Vent + Lava Flow Trails, Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico | 2.4 miles (3.9 km) | 465 feet (140 m) elevation gain
    IMG_8033
  22. Forsythe Canyon Trail, Arapaho National Forest, Colorado | 3 miles (4.8 km) | 480 feet (145 m) elevation gain
    IMG_8091-1
  23. Mount Sanitas, Boulder, Colorado | 3.2 miles (5.1 km) | 1255 feet (380 m) elevation gain
    IMG_8129-1
  24. Browns Creek Falls + Colorado Trail, San Isabel National Forest, Colorado | 8 miles (12.9 km) | 1020 feet (310 m) elevation gain | completed as a 2 day backpacking trip, which counts as 2 separate hikes
    IMG_8186
  25. Mills/Jewel/Black Lakes, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | 11 miles (17.7 km) | 1640 feet (500 m) elevation gain
    IMG_8321-1
  26. Gem Lake + Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | 4.1 miles (6.6 km) | 1020 feet (310 m) elevation gain
    IMG_2915-1
  27. Chasm Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | 8.4 miles (13.5 km) | 2600 feet (790 m) elevation gain
    IMG_8512
  28. Mount Sniktau, Arapaho National Forest, Colorado | 3.5 miles (5.6 km) | 1530 feet (465 m) elevation gain
    IMG_8699-1
  29. Soda Creek Trail, Keystone, Colorado | 2 miles (3.2 km) | 100 feet (30 m) elevation gain
    IMG_8802-1
  30. Cliff Palace + Balcony House + Soda Canyon + Petroglyph Point, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado | 4.7 miles (7.6 miles) | 685 feet (210 m) elevation gain
    IMG_8996-1
  31. Long House Loop + Step House + Cedar Farm Loop + Far View Sites, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado | 6.5 miles (10.5 km) | 595 feet (180 m) elevation gain
    IMG_9078-1
  32. Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride, Colorado | 2.4 miles (3.9 km) | 850 feet (260 m) elevation gain
    IMG_9337-1
  33. Ouray Perimeter Trail, Ouray, Colorado | 5.8 miles (9.3 km) | 1510 feet (460 m) elevation gain
    IMG_9455
  34. Sprague Lake + Adams Falls + Alberta Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | 2.9 miles (4.7 km) | 330 feet (100 m) elevation gain
    IMG_8431
  35. Turret Arch/The Windows + Double Arch, Arches National Park, Utah | 1.5 miles (2.4 km) | 200 feet (60 m) elevation gain
    IMG_9994-1
  36. Fiery Furnace + Landscape Arch + Sand Dune/Tapestry/Broken Arches, Arches National Park, Utah | 5.7 miles (9.2 km) | 995 feet (305 m) elevation gain
    IMG_0141-1
  37. Crater Lake, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Colorado | 3.6 miles (5.8 km) | 690 feet (210 m) elevation gain
    IMG_0272
  38. Exclamation Point, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado | 3 miles (4.8 km) | 365 feet (110 m) elevation gain
    IMG_0487-1
  39. Warner Point, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado | 1.5 miles (2.4 km) | 405 feet (125 m) elevation gain
    IMG_0611-1
  40. Pine Creek Trail + Dillon Pinnacles, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Colorado | 5.5 miles (8.9 km) | 770 feet (235 m) elevation gain
    IMG_0808-1
  41. North Tenmile Creek Trail, White River National Forest, Colorado | 6.8 miles (10.9 km) | 890 feet (270 m) elevation gain
    IMG_1114
  42. Mount Chapin, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | 3.9 miles (6.3 km) | 1465 feet (445 m) elevation gain
    IMG_1167-1
  43. Thunder Lake/Lake of Many Winds/Boulder Grand Pass, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | 16.6 miles (26.7 km) | 3750 feet (1145 m) elevation gain | completed as a 2 day backpacking trip, which counts as 2 separate hikes
    IMG_1325
  44. Medicine Bow Peak, Snowy Range Scenic Byway, Wyoming | 7 miles (11.3 km) | 1710 feet (520 m) elevation gain
    IMG_1604
  45. Square Top Lakes, Guanella Pass, Colorado | 4.3 miles (6.9 km) | 920 feet (280 m) elevation gain
    IMG_1704-1
  46. Helms Lake, Guanella Pass, Colorado | 12 miles (19.3 km) | 2405 feet (735 m) elevation gain
    IMG_1792-1
  47. Eccles Pass, Eagles Nest Wilderness, Colorado | 10.2 miles (16.4 km) | 2960 feet (900 m) elevation gain | also… the place where this happened!!!
    IMG_1886
  48. Upslope Backcountry Taproom, Winter Park, Colorado | 5 miles (8 km) | 500 feet (150 m) elevation gain
    IMG_2040-1
  49. Wild Loop + Blue Sky Loop, Devil’s Backbone Open Space, Colorado | 7.3 miles (11.7 km) | 715 feet (220 m) elevation gain
    IMG_2265
  50. Bierstadt Lake + Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado | 4 miles (6.4 km) | 655 feet (200 m) elevation gain
    IMG_2407-1
  51. Spruce Mountain Loop, Spruce Mountain Open Space, Colorado | 5.5 miles (8.9 km) | 565 feet (170 m) elevation gain
    IMG_2493-1
  52. Panorama Point + Independence Mountain, Evergreen, Colorado | 4.3 miles (6.9 km) | 1410 feet (430 m) elevation gain
    IMG_2597-1
  53. Eagle’s View Loop Trail, Reynolds Ranch Park, Colorado | 5.6 miles (9 km) | 1100 feet (335 m) elevation gain
    IMG_2682-1
  54. Cedar Gulch Trail to Galbraith Loop, Mount Galbraith Park, Colorado | 4.1 miles (6.6 km) | 930 feet (285 m) elevation gain
    IMG_2850
  55. Petrified Forest Loop, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado | 1 mile (1.6 km) | 80 feet (25 m) elevation gain
    IMG_3941-1

29 thoughts on “A Year in Review: #52HikeChallenge 2019”

  1. Congrats on rocking the 52 Hikes Challenge! This challenge sounds like it is great motivation to get out on the trail and spend more time outdoors. I think I might attempt this for 2020. I already have 1 hike done! And congrats on the engagement! I’m sure that makes this challenge even more memorable for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The 52 Hike Challenge sounds like a great way to expand your hiking horizons and explore some new trails 🙂 I especially like the snowy scenes, and the reflections in #26. Congratulations on your engagement, and hope 2020 is off to a good start for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on completing your challenge. I used to do that in NC with the NC 100 challenge,100 miles on the trails of NC….. but I usually hit about 300 miles in a year. Here in Texas time and distance makes it harder to find trails without repeating some of them over and over. I am in a Texas hiking Facebook group that has a 1000 mile challenge………………..

    Like

    1. Thank you! It’s funny that you mention #28 because it was actually a gorgeous sunny day in July that we did that hike… although it still looked very much like winter at that elevation!

      Like

    1. Not entirely sure. I’m not going to do the 52 hike challenge again this year because I want to focus a little less on hiking and expand my adventure horizons (paddleboarding, maybe some kayaking, XC skiing are my ideas so far). But we definitely still have plans to camp and hike and do some backpacking!

      Liked by 1 person

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