I debated with myself about whether to share this hike with all of you, because this wasn’t exactly a typical excursion. Reaching Harmonica Arch required quite a lot of navigation. We climbed very steep hills… and then had to hike back down them, which was extremely slippery. We walked across large rock slabs that were… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Harmonica Arch
I’ve been hiking since I was too young to remember, and in that time I’ve accumulated quite a few hiking accomplishments. But one thing I’d never done in all 32 years of my life was go hiking alone. In general, I don’t consider myself an anxious person. Sure, I have my moments of anxiety when… Continue reading Colorado 14er #2: Mount Bierstadt
As I’ve spent more time in Colorado and gained more knowledge and confidence in my winter hiking abilities, I’ve begun to push myself harder. I’ve tackled longer and more challenging hikes, and been rewarded with gorgeous snow-covered views and relative solitude. But I’ve also established some limits on just how much I’m willing to challenge… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Helms Lake (the winter version)
The Guanella Pass area is moose territory. So when Pat and I headed up Burning Bear Trail one January morning, adjacent to an expanse of willows, I was on the lookout. Just a few minutes up the trail we encountered a fellow hiker who informed us there were four of them just ahead in the… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Burning Bear Trail
Have you ever walked along a trail mere minutes before a car went flying off the road and landed on said trail, right where you’d just walked? No? Me neither… until December 2020. My friend Savannah and I set out early one Saturday morning, the landscape beautifully dusted with snow from an overnight storm. The… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Chair Rocks
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!
My Colorado readers can verify this: no matter where you are in the state, there’s always that one person who somehow manages to make it up a terribly rough dirt road in their low clearance car. Trailhead parking lots will inevitably be filled with trucks and SUVs… and a Toyota sedan. The very first thing we did when we moved to Colorado was purchase a Subaru… mainly so we didn’t have to attempt to maneuver my Corolla up these kinds of roads. And also because Pat’s old car wouldn’t have made it to Denver in one piece. Nearly three years in, we’re still pleased with our decision. Though there are a handful of roads in the state that are too rough to navigate even with a Forester, we’ve so far been able to get everywhere we’ve wanted to go without issue. This hike was one such example.
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.
Welcome to the first post of our 2020 adventures! For us, the decade began with a winter hike along the Colorado Trail at Kenosha Pass. And while both Kenosha Pass and a hike on the Colorado Trail were things I’d been wanting to check off the list for a while, the biggest excitement of this… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Kenosha Pass
I feel very fortunate to be a member of the Colorado branch of Women Who Hike, as it’s the most active one. There are always people looking for hiking buddies and, because there are multiple ambassadors, hosted group hikes occur very frequently. I’ve been lucky enough to secure spots in a few of these hikes,… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Helms Lake