Colorado, Travels

Colorado Day Hikes: Heart Lake

Summer 2020 hiking season was abruptly and heartbreakingly interrupted in mid-August, thanks to four large, rapidly spreading wildfires that prompted many closures and blanketed Colorado with thick smoke. Just as firefighters began to make significant progress, the west coast caught fire and the smoke from those states was blown all the way to Colorado and… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Heart Lake

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Lion and Snowbank Lakes

Pat and I could stay in Colorado for the rest of our lives (personally, I have few objections to this!) and probably never run out of places to backpack in Rocky. There are so many options. I haven’t actually counted, but I’m fairly certain that at least ¾ of the trails in the park extend… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Lion and Snowbank Lakes

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Colorado Summits: Lily Mountain

Due to the pandemic, entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park was a little more complicated in 2020. In addition to a fee or pass, one needed to reserve a timed entry permit. This allowed the park to reduce the number of visitors and spread them evenly throughout the day to better facilitate social distancing. Plenty… Continue reading Colorado Summits: Lily Mountain

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Mount Ida

Summiting Mount Ida turned out to be a ‘third time is the charm’ type situation for us. We wanted to climb it our first summer in Denver, but forest fire smoke severely limited visibility for much of the summer and we weren’t about to walk along the Continental Divide and not be able to see… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Mount Ida

Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park: Skiing Trail Ridge Road

In the summer, Trail Ridge Road is one of the absolute highlights of Rocky. This paved highway ascends to the top of Trail Ridge, rising to an elevation of just over 12,000 feet (3660 m) and providing unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape. It’s also quite a driving adventure, especially for those who have never… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park: Skiing Trail Ridge Road

Colorado, Travels

Colorado Destinations: Snow Mountain Ranch

February is always a risky time of year to make partially-non-refundable reservations for anywhere in the Colorado Rockies. Weather can change in an instant, closing mountain passes and rendering travel downright dangerous. But our anniversary is in February, so we made the reservation and crossed our fingers and ended up getting pretty lucky. At the… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Snow Mountain Ranch

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Bierstadt Lake

The first time we did this hike, I hated it. In retrospect, I may have overreacted. It’s not my favorite hike in Rocky, but it’s still pretty nice. I’m sure the fact that I was asking my tired legs – which had hiked 10 miles (16 km) the day before – to climb a bunch… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Bierstadt Lake

Travels

Fifty Lakes and a 12,000 Foot Summit – Snowy Range Scenic Byway, Wyoming

If you read the title of this post and assumed the “fifty lakes” is an exaggeration, let me begin by assuring you that it's not. If anything, it’s an underestimation. At one point, from where I was standing on the Medicine Bow Peak trail, I could see 32 lakes! At an elevation of 12,013 feet… Continue reading Fifty Lakes and a 12,000 Foot Summit – Snowy Range Scenic Byway, Wyoming

Colorado, Southwestern US, Travels

Colorado Bucket List: Driving the Million Dollar Highway

It only takes a few minutes of researching “best things to do in Colorado” – or some form of that sentence – before the Million Dollar Highway turns up. This 23 mile (37 km) section of Highway 550 stretches from Ouray to Silverton, and it’s iconic for a reason. The views are indescribable, the steep… Continue reading Colorado Bucket List: Driving the Million Dollar Highway

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Mills, Jewel, and Black Lakes

What strange times these are. I don't know about you all, but I'm definitely missing the mountains and my usual weekend warrior adventure schedule. I know I'm doing a lot of vicarious living right now through everyone else's adventure posts, and I hope that I can provide the same for all of you. I have… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Mills, Jewel, and Black Lakes