October 20, 2016
Beaver Brook/Chavez Trail
Website: http://www.gohikeco.com/2012/03/beaver-brookchavez-loop-genesee-park.htmlElevation: 8,605-10,744 feet (below treeline)
Distance: 3.9 miles
Elevation: 6,552 to 7,641ft
Today Tanya and I went for a hike in Genessee Park. What I love most about Genessee Park is how close it is to Denver, yet all the views are of the mountains and none are of the City. I feel like I have driven a few hours into the mountains instead of 30 minutes.
We opted for a short hike this week and tried out the 3.9 mile Beaver Brook/Chavez Trail Loop. I had read that the Chavez Trail was marked with braille signs for the blind, so I made the poor assumption that the path would relatively flat. It was not! I had brought along Toby, a beautiful Great Dane/Lab mix, and with his steady pull on the leash, I didn’t feel that safe climbing down the steep, rocky terrain, so I let him off the leash.
He went wild! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dog go so bonkers on a trail. Generally, if they need to get some energy out, they run back and forth on the trail. Toby, however, ran in loops while going up and down the mountain (way off the trail). He leapt over fallen trees like a deer and splashed through the creek. Most of the time I could hear or see him, but sometimes I wondered if was coming back! Fortunately, there wasn’t in the parking lot on this chilly morning, so he had the freedom to run.
Speaking of chilly, when we driving up to the trail, my outside thermometer suggested it was 36 degrees outside. What?!? We didn’t gain that much altitude. Both of us were in denial thinking something was wrong with my car, but we didn’t even make it to the trailhead before we added layers, a hat, and gloves! It was our first cold morning of fall I think.
Our hike was absolutely lovely. We followed the path all the way down through the conifer forest to a quaint creek. We were happy to be hiking this trail at the end of the season as several places required creek crossings without a bridge. The water was low enough that we could walk across beaver dams and rocks without getting our feet wet.
Not long after we made it to the bottom of the canyon, we had to climb back up. This was good because I could finally put Toby on the leash (and get a little help ascending). It was warming up a bit, so we expected to see fellow hikers soon, and we did. We also saw a nice waterfall and enjoyed expansive views through the trees.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Beaver Brook/Chavez Trail Loop. For place to go near Denver, this hike might be one of the prettiest. I highly recommend it! ETB