For our final day in eastern Utah, Pat and I headed into the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands. This is the one you’ve probably all seen pictures of, as it’s the easiest to access and therefore the most popular. It’s only about a 40 minute drive from Moab, down a very scenic stretch… Continue reading Island in the Sky – Canyonlands National Park, Utah (part II)
Eleven years ago I set foot in Canyonlands for the first time, a stop on our annual family summer national parks road trip. We spent a full day in the park, seeing as much as we could. But we knew we’d barely scratched the surface. This time around, I was determined to see more of… Continue reading Exploring the Needles – Canyonlands National Park, Utah (part I)
Delicate Arch is inarguably the most iconic sight in all of Utah. It’s on the license plate, the state quarter, signs all over the state, and numerous other things. But none of these can prepare you for the majesty of the arch itself. The first time I saw it 11 years ago, I was completely… Continue reading Iconic Utah – Hiking to Delicate Arch
Are you singing the Loch Lomond song in your head now? Me too. In fact, it was stuck in my head the rest of the day after doing this hike. It’s in my head again now as I’m writing this. But despite the Scottish origin of the song, today’s hike is not located in Scotland.… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Loch Lomond
The Spruce Creek Trail to Mohawk Lakes is one of the most popular hikes near Breckenridge, Colorado. Generally, we try to avoid extremely busy trails such as this one. But some hikes are pretty enough that you just have to suck it up and brace yourself for the crowds. We hoped that arriving by 7:45am… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Mohawk Lakes
2020 was a rough year for all of us, Rocky included. First, the park was closed for weeks in the spring due to the pandemic. Then it closed again for 15 days in October and November due to forest fires. In all, nearly 30,000 acres of the park burned. It was absolutely devastating to watch… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Twin Sisters Peak
Above tree line is one of my favorite places to be. I love the panoramic views and the tiny plants and the beautiful desolation of the tundra. Tree line here in Colorado is around 11,600-11,800 feet; above that elevation, you can generally expect to find either an endless jumble of rocks or a vast expanse of tundra. As there are well over 1200 mountains that exceed this elevation, there is quite a bit of tundra!
Judging by the name, one might assume this hike would pass by Missouri Lakes en route to Fancy Pass before looping back to the trailhead… which is somewhat accurate. You do hike past the Missouri Lakes. And you do climb Fancy Pass. And also Missouri Pass. Plus, you hike to Fancy Lake and Treasure Vault… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Missouri Lakes-Fancy Pass Loop
No matter where you are in the Colorado Rockies, there’s always that one person who manages to make it up a terribly rough dirt road in their sedan. My Colorado readers can verify this. Wherever you go, the trailhead parking lot will be filled with trucks and SUVs … and either a Prius or a Corolla.
Autumn in Colorado is never going to be the same as autumn on the east coast. We just don’t have as many trees that turn so many vibrant shades of color. But we do have cottonwoods and aspens and willows, all of which turn yellow… usually some time around mid-September. As we probably should have expected, given the utter chaos that was 2020, the status of Colorado’s fall colors was thrown into question when the mountains got a dusting of snow at the end of August. And then another storm rolled in immediately after Labor Day weekend and dumped up to 14 inches of snow. The cold and snow – coupled with the previous two months of drought – meant we were now at risk of the trees turning from green straight to brown. But all hope was not lost.