Roadtrip to the Rockies: Green Mountain Trail

Another day of the long holiday weekend equals another hike!  Danelle was game to hike with me on Sunday too, and we decided on Green Mountain Trail in Pike National Forest.

Strangely, we’ve hiked all over this area, including miles of the Colorado Trail, and didn’t know it was here.  We were the first to arrive in the dirt parking lot off Forest Road 550 at 8:30 am.  The trailhead parking is near Buffalo Creek Campground and has pit toilets.

Being July 4th weekend, the area was loaded with campers, so we weren’t sure how busy the normally lightly trafficked trail would be. 

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Mount Galbraith Loop

Roadtrip to the Rockies: Mount Galbraith Loop

Mount Galbraith Park is part of Jeffco Open space and is a convenient place to hike near Denver, Colorado. The park includes 5 miles of trails and provides views of Golden and the Rocky Mountains.

The most common route taken at the park is Mount Galbraith Loop via Cedar Gulch Trail. We changed it up a bit and hiked Mount Galbraith Loop via Nightbird Gulch Trail.

The trailhead to Nightbird Gulch Trail is located in a residential area. As such, we arrived early since parking was along the street. We thought our start might be a little cold, but the immediate incline in beneath sunny skies with no shade, made for a perfect temperature.

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view from the deck at Colorado State Capitol

Staycation: Colorado State Capitol

Outside the Colorado State Capitol

The Colorado State Capitol building was opened in 1894 in Denver, Colorado.  It is constructed of Colorado white granite and topped with a copper dome that is gilded in gold leaf from a Colorado mine.  The capitol sits on the eastern edge of Denver’s Civic Center and houses the Colorado General Assembly as well as the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Treasurer.

Outside, its western steps feature the official elevation of Denver.  The original marker on the fifteenth step is an engravement “One Mile High Above Sea Level”.  The elevation has been remeasured from time to time and as a result there is a marker on step 18 from 1969 and a marker on step 13 from 2003.

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frosty trees at NCAR

NCAR and Its Hiking Trails

After a very snowy weekend in Denver, I talked my friend Kat into doing approximately a 4-mile hike in Boulder on Tuesday.  The trails at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) seemed like a good option as NCAR doesn’t charge for parking like the smaller surrounding lots do.  In addition, the exhibits at NCAR are sort of interesting.  Too bad this national weather research center doesn’t help out weathermen get the forecast right!

Anyway, while Denver got at least twice as much snow as expected over the weekend, Boulder was spared.  Only three inches fell in the area.  Having four days to melt, we expected we’d see little snow and a lot of mud.

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Hiking in Centennial Cone Park

Roadtrip to the Rockies: Centennial Cone Park

Centennial Cone Park is part of Jeffco Open Space and is located just west of Golden, Colorado.  The park includes over 16 miles of trails, though Jeffco closes a large section of the park as well as Elk Ridge Trail seasonally for elk calving season. 

This did not stop Diana, Jim and me from checking out the southwest corner of Centennial Cone Park beginning at Mayhem Gulch Trailhead.  We decided on this hike Thursday night, but after 7 inches of snow in Denver (forecast called for 1-3), we expected we’d be snowshoeing.

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North Ten Mile Creek Trail

Roadtrip to the Rockies: North Ten Mile Creek Trail

North Ten Mile Creek Trail is located off the I-70 service road in Frisco.  As such the trail is easily accessible and no 4-wheel drive is needed.  The entire trail is a 6.5 mile out and back.  It begins at 9,164 feet and gains a little over 800 feet in elevation.

I joined a meetup group called “Baby Boomers” who scheduled a snowshoe last week.  While I’m not a Baby Boomer, the group is extremely active, offers a variety of events, and includes very welcoming members. As such, it is a fun group to join.

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4 Great Snowshoeing Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

Super Snowshoeing Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a wonderful place to visit anytime of year, but the ability to avoid the ski traffic on I-70 makes it a great place to snowshoe in the winter.  Below are three great snowshoeing trails.

Mills Lake Trail

This 5.3 mile trail in Rocky Mountain National Park is spectacular.  We had actually planned to hike farther than Mills Lake, but the sunny forecast was far from accurate.  Instead, a 40 mph sustained wind blew a stingy fresh snow into our face!  So much so, that when we laid eyes on the amazing lake and surrounding peaks, we were happy to stop at the lake and enjoy the scenery. Continue reading “4 Great Snowshoeing Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park”