ranger lakes near walden

Five Hikes Near Walden

The town of Walden is located off Highway 14 in Jackson County.  The town of a little over 1,000 has two gas stations, a Family Dollar, a handful of restaurants, a beautiful courthouse, an interesting museum, and many motel type places to stay. 

It sits on a glacial plain called North Park, also known as the moose viewing capital of Colorado.  Nearly 80% of the surrounding land is public.  As a result, hiking, hunting, and fishing opportunities abound.

HAPPY HIKING!
leopard in south luangwa national park

Kenya vs. Zambia

Many people ask me, “What’s my favorite trip?”

To a degree, that is hard to answer, but in the end, I prefer trips with wildlife.  As a result, I have now been on three safaris. My first was to Tanzania over ten years ago. 

At the time, as much as I wanted to go to Africa, I was frozen like a deer in headlights.  I asked everyone I knew that had been on safari about their experience and where they went.  Each said, “It was the best!  You have to go to ____.”  Fill in the blank: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa.  I couldn’t pick, and I was so afraid I’d be disappointed with my high expectations and wish to see a kill.

GO ON SAFARI!

South Luangwa National Park

For my third safari, I scheduled a trip with friends to Zambia.  We spent a week in South Luangwa National Park.

South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa Natioinal Park is located in Eastern Zambia, with the closest airport being in Mfuwe.  Known to locals as “the South Park” it was established in 1904 as Luangwa Game Park.  It was converted to a game reserve in 1938 and declared a national park in 1972.

South Luangwa National Park is approximately 9,000 square kilometers, and its natural borders include the Luangwa River and the Muchinga Escarpment.  Inside the park, the topography varies from grassy plains to mature woodlands.

WATCH THE WILDLIFE!

Flatdogs

Some of my readers may be wondering what the heck is a flatdog?  A squished mutt? Others that have been Zambia, however, may know that it is the local nickname for crocodiles.  Both the protective dogs and crocodiles in Zambia can be aggressive, and of course, crocodiles are relatively flat, thus the name.

GO ON SAFARI

Getting to Africa During COVID!

To my readers, I’m making this post about international travel to Africa because I found myself anxious and reluctant to travel based on all the chaos the politicians and media create around COVID.  If it weren’t for my friend Ruth who organized the trip and was bound to go, I wouldn’t have ended up on a fantastic safari in 2021.  Anyone who is on the fence about international travel with connecting flights and long distances because they don’t know what to expect, this post if for you. I hope I can provide some clarity.

AFRICA BOUND!
sunset cruise on the zambezi

Things to Do in Livingstone, Zambia

History of Zambia

Zambia was once known as Northern Rhodesia and was an English Colony.  It gained its independence in 1964 and struggled through single-party rule for many years.  After 20 years of unrest, a new constitution was written, multiple parties were established, and elections were held.

While Zambia now operates more democratically, its economy still struggles.  A new president was elected while we visited in August of 2021 and celebrations could be heard nightly for a week!  It will be interesting to see what the future holds in Zambia.

While in Zambia, we spent a few days in Livingstone and then went on safari in South Luangwa National Park.  While in Livingstone, though slightly unorganized, we found a variety of activities.

FIND OUT MORE!
victoria falls

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia in the Victoria Falls National Park and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.  Listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Victoria Falls is a site to see.

The falls were discovered by Scottish missionary and explore, David Livingstone, who named them after Queen Victoria. It’s local name from the Sotho Language is Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning the smoke that thunders.  The World Heritage List recognizes both names.

EXPLORE!

Things to Do in Twin Lakes

History of Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes was settled in 1865 and was then called Dayton.  It became an important transportation town between Leadville and Aspen, where silver and gold were discovered, and a rough toll road was established over Independence Pass.

 Additionally, a hotel was constructed on the south shores of the natural Twin Lakes, now dammed to augment its water storage.  The hotel only lasted 25 years, but at the time Interlaken was known for its deluxe accommodations and Twin Lakes was described as the most charming summer mountain resort in Colorado.

EXPLORE!

Things to Do in Leadville

History of Leadville

Leadville was once a silver mining town with a population only second to Denver in the 19th Century!  It was laden with mines and smelters.  When the USA turned to gold as its standard, however, Leadville’s economy faultered.

Today, Leadville, situated between San Isabel National Forest, the Mount Massive Wilderness, the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness, and Collegiate Peaks Wilderness is a gateway to Colorado’s outdoor recreation.

Perched at 10,152 feet, Leadville is the highest city in the United States.  While its population has dwindled to 2,742 from its height during the silver rush, this historic city offers many things to do for both outdoor enthusiasts and visitors in general. 

EXPLORE MORE!
annie at timberline lake

Hikes in Leadville

Leadville is a historic mining town surrounded by national forest. It is a hiking mecca and attracts many to the Colorado Trail and surrounding 14ers. There are also many other hikes in Leadville, that don’t require as big a commitment. If you like wildflowers and lakes, see the list below:

HAPPY HIKING!