May 5, 2016
Doudy Draw Trail to Spring Brook Loop North
Elevation: 5,600-7,300 feet
Distance: 5.4 miles
With a few time constraints facing us, Tanya, Diana, Ann, Belinda and I carpooled to Doudy Draw located a few miles west of Highway 93 on El Dorado Springs Dr. Having driven by the area in the past, I didn’t expect the hike to be terribly exciting as from the parking lot it appeared we’d be walking along the prairie.
Much to my surprise, I found the scenery rather enjoyable for a hike within an hour drive of Denver. We followed the red dirt path past a small picnic area and bathroom which was once a historic Indian homesite. Soon we crossed a creek and spotted ducks on the small pond. To the west, the dark rocky flatirons towered over the rolling hills that were particularly green from the wet spring.
Most of the path was dry, though occasionally we side stepped a few muddy areas from the snow melt of a recent storm. 70-80 million years ago this sticky clay soil used to be 600 feet under the ocean. Now, we were heading into an evergreen forest. We stopped here for a short lunch beneath the shade as the birds chirped on this 80 degree day. It was nice to pass by a handful of wild flowers along the way…finally a sign that summer might be coming.
Stiff dog regulations kept us from following the loop trail, but the out and back trail was approximately the same distance and we wanted Molli and Deacon with us! They had fun trotting along the easy path. Upon our return to the parking area, we even spotted a deer! I just love seeing the wildlife. The five mile hike that only gained about 700 feet was an enjoyable stroll on weekday with few mountain bikers to dodge. I’m anxious to get to higher elevation soon! ETB