Rifle Falls State Park

Back on the road again, I planned on meeting some friends in Moab on Wednesday.  There was a brief break in the rainy and snowy weather nearby Denver on Tuesday, so I headed out early and made a few detours along the way.  The first place I visited was Rifle Falls State Park.

Rifle Falls State Park, operated by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife, is located near Rifle, Colorado, on hour east of Grand Junction.  The park includes a three hiking trails, a picnic area, and both drive-in and walk-in campgrounds along with wedding facilities.

HAPPY HIKING!
camping on Willow springs road

Moab: Willow Springs Road

There are lots of things to do in Moab, but most the time I am here, I hike in or nearby the National Parks.  As a result, I have plenty of posts about different visits to Moab.

This time, however, while I still hiked in order to tire out Annie, it wasn’t the main focus of my camping trip on Willow Springs Road.  This trip was organized by friends from Winter Park, and I joined them and several others for a more leisurely experience.

WHEELS UP!
On the summit of Gros Piton

Hiking the Gros Piton in St. Lucia

For my 50th birthday, a group of friends and I visited St. Lucia for a week, minus one day, thanks to American Airlines.  While most of our trip was focused around water sports and enjoying the amazing food and accommodations at Anse Chastenet, I really wanted to hike the Gros Piton.

With the COVID outbreak in St. Lucia, the regulations consistently changed.  About a month before our arrival, the rules kept the guests from leaving the resort.  Fortunately, the restrictions lightened up, and we could be escorted from Anse Chastenet to the Gros Piton by an official driver from the property. Of course, I suspect our excursion cost a lot more than if we did it ourselves, but at least we got to take the guided hike up the Gros Piton.

HAPPY HIKING!
view from copper canyon loop trail #504

Happy Hiking: Copper Canyon Loop

Having lots of flexibility has spoiled me, and I do my best to skip weekend hiking and only go during the week when it is more peaceful.  The exception is when I hike with friends who only have the weekend off.

With two days of bad weather this week, however, I had an itch to get outside.  After having hiked near Camp Verde and near Sedona, I noticed the crowds didn’t exist in Camp Verde.  As a result, I took a weekend hike at Copper Canyon Loop Trail #504 that I found on the AllTrails app.

HAPPY HIKING!

Happy Hiking: Big Park to Bell Rock Path Loop

The Vortexes

Sedona, Arizona is known for its healing earth vortexes.  Yes, they say vortexes, not vortices.  Anyway, a vortex is believed to be a special spot on earth where energy is entering it or exiting it.  Sedona has four vortexes, one of which is Bell Rock.

As a result, Bell Rock, located just north of the Village of Oak Creek, is an extremely popular hiking destination and easily reachable off scenic Highway 179.  With spring break in full swing for many states and the popularity of Bell Rock, I arrived to the large, paved parking lot by 7:15am on a weekday.  Fortunately, I had a prime selection of spots with only a few cars in the parking lot.

HAPPY HIKING!
brins mesa

Happy Hiking: Seven Sacred Pools

A very popular hiking destination in Sedona is called the Seven Sacred Pools.  It is located in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness and may be reached by the Soldier Pass Trailhead or Jordan/Cibola Pass/Brins Mesa Trailhead.

Getting to Seven Sacred Pools

It is very hard to find parking at the Soldier Pass location, thus I started my hike at the Jordan/Cibola Pass/ Brins Mesa Trailhead.

This is a fee area ($5 daily, $15 weekly), and the machine takes credit cards if you do not have a National Parks Pass.  Do not park on the side of the dirt road, or you will be ticketed! I heard you can pay a local to shuttle you to the trailhead, but I didn’t try this.  I just got up early.

HAPPY HIKING!

Happy Hiking: Bell Trail

As I mentioned in my previous post, I arrived in the Sedona area Sunday afternoon in hopes of finding some nice, dispersed camping after the weekenders left.  Surprisingly, tons of spots were taken and as a resulted I squeezed into the only option left on Forest Road 689 and shared it with a large 5th wheel.  Little did I know, I selected a campsite just minutes from Bell Trail, one of the hikes I saved on the AllTrails app.

HAPPY HIKING!
little tot on the trail

Travel Photo Challenge Day 6 – Petra

I’ve been nominated by some fellow bloggers, Tony and Margie with Back Roads and Other Stories as well as Jyothi with Travel Explore Enjoy, to post one favorite travel picture a day for ten days without explanation, then to nominate someone else to participate.  That’s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations.  It is my understanding that the idea behind the challenge is to expose audiences to new bloggers and vice versa.  I’m always up for helping fellow bloggers, so I have accepted the challenge. 

That said, my rule following self is going to follow Tony and Margie’s lead and break a handful of them.  First, while a picture paints a 1,000 words, I’m incapable of posting a photo without some explanation.  Sometimes the story makes the image that much more special.  Second, though not specified, I think the intent is to post 10 days in a row.  I’ll be lucky if I post 10 weeks in a row. I also may post more than one photo at times.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE
John Frazer Cabin

Happy Hiking: John Frazer Cabin

Today I hiked to John Frazer Cabin via Blue Grouse and Mule Deer Trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park.  The park is located 35 miles west of Denver, is very large, and has several entrances.  A day pass to a Colorado State Park costs $10 and may be purchased at a variety of kiosks with exact change.  An affixed annual pass to all Colorado State Parks costs $80 while a hang tag is $120.  It seems a little pricy, but the trails are well marked and well maintained.

Getting There

The parking area to Blue Grouse Trail is located off Golden Gate Canyon Road and does not include a kiosk for paying, so be sure to plan for this in another location.  The nearby Mountain Base Road to Reverend’s Ridge Campground where there is a pay station was closed for the winter.  As a result, it might be best to stop in at the Visitor Center before continuing to the trailhead. The AllTrails app provides perfect directions to the trailhead, and the Colorado State Park website provides good park maps.

HAPPY HIKING!
windmill by sign to Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

I broke up my road trip from Texas to Colorado into two days.  As a result, I had a chance to visit Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site which was sort of on the way.  The site is located 23 miles East of Eads.

Of all the times I’ve driven from Texas to Colorado and back, I’ve rarely even taken Highway 287, so the drive was relatively new to me.  I veered off the highway near Eads and followed many dirt roads as I made my way to the Sand Creek Massacre Historic Site.

As I weaved along the roads through the plains, I hoped my GPS was right, as I was in the middle of nowhere.  I had some degree of confidence since the Sand Creek Massacre site is a National Historic Site.

EXPLORE!