view near bison peak

Roadtrip to the Rockies: Bison Peak

How to Reach Bison Peak

There are several great hikes along the 285 corridor in Colorado.  A few of my favorites are Shelf Lake, Abyss Lake and Segment 5 of the Colorado Trail.  I was pleasantly surprised, however, by my recent hike to Bison Peak.

Bison Peak is located 21 miles down County Road 77 off of Hwy 285.  It takes an 11.7 mile roundtrip and 3,740 feet of elevation gain to reach the 12,500 foot summit.

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3 Hikes on the West Side of Rocky Mountain National Park

I got lucky and Dan and Lori, who I housesat for in June, let me use their house in Grand Lake for a few days.  As such, I explored the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park.  This side is less crowded than the east side though it still attracts many visitors in search of moose.  It also features several long trails.  Below are three hikes in the 10-12 mile range.

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The Sneffels Traverse – Day 4

Morning Coffee

Our fourth and final day on the Sneffels Traverse took us 8.1 miles from the Ridgway Hut to Ouray.  We skipped staying at Burn Hut for another night as it was only 4.1 miles away.  With the final hike being mostly downhill and not too long, we voted for a later start…8:30 am.

As usual, Tina was the first one up.  She turned on the propane and got the water boiling.  Normally, we would have left the propane on overnight, but there was a leak outside the cabin. Given a leak can cause an explosion and even emit carbon monoxide in certain instances, I, being the worry wart, turned it off.

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blue columbine with blue lake in background

The Sneffels Traverse – Day 3

Wake Up Call

For our third day on the Sneffels Traverse, we planned a 6.6 mile side hike to Blue Lakes before trekking 5 miles to Ridgway Hut.  Due to speculative weather, we planned an early departure.  Tanya’s phone alarm rang at 5:15 am.  She was in such a deep sleep, she couldn’t even find it! 

I wish I could say the same.  I was up before my alarm.  Though it was kind of funny, when Tanya commented, “I’m used to Karla’s 14er hikes, when a chorus of phone alarms chime.” I know!  Fortunately, Tanya’s alarm worked for the whole cabin, and we began quietly preparing our day packs while waiting on the pot of water to boil for our much-needed tea and coffee.

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The Sneffels Traverse – Day 2

Pre-Hike Departure

On our second day of the Sneffels Traverse, a deer made a brief visit to the meadow by our hut as Tina, the first to rise, got the water boiling. Half the group poured their coffee and tea and walked out to the beaver ponds to watch the sunrise while the other half the group packed up and ate breakfast.

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The Sneffels Traverse – Day 1

Planning the Sneffels Traverse

I’ve always been interested in a summer hut trip but wasn’t familiar with the hut system process which can range from entering a lottery to simply making a reservation depending on the ownership and operation of the hut.

In June of last year, I stumbled across the Sneffels Traverse in 5280 Magazine.  The Sneffels Traverse is a 29.4-mile trek which begins at Last Dollar Pass near Telluride and ends near the quaint town of Ouray.  Along the way are four backcountry cabins operated by the San Juan Huts System

Since 5280 mapped out the traverse and included all the necessary information about the traverse, I thought this is a trip I could do.  A few months later, I mentioned it to my hiking friend Tanya while in Aspen admiring the fall foliage.

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blue columbine

Eight Hikes on Guanella Pass Scenic Byway

Guanella Pass Scenic Byway

Guanella Pass Scenic Byway stretches 22 miles between Georgetown and Grant and takes about one hour to drive. The road climbs through an evergreen forest and aspen stands before it tops out above treeline offering expansive views of the Rockies. It’s north end is only about one hour from Denver, thus it is easy to reach a variety of hikes from the metro area.

Here are eight choices that rank from easy to difficult on AllTrails:

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reflections on the lake and ice

Roadtrip to the Rockies: Three Hikes in Breckenridge

What a nice few days in Breckenridge!  I got out of 100° heat in Denver, hung out with my friend Cat, and hiked three trails.  With the frigid winter, many of the trails above 12,500 feet still have a lot of snow, thus I had to be selective with my trail choices.

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Roadtrip to the Rockies: Geneva Mountain

I’m so glad summer has arrived in Colorado.  It was definitely a long winter for the non-skiiers like me who look forward to hiking.  While some trails are still snowed in, Danelle, Mike and I found a fun hike to Geneva Mountain with little snow on AllTrails.

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view of snowcapped mountains from three mile creek trail

Roadtrip to the Rockies: Three Mile Creek Trail

Several years ago, I hiked Three Mile Creek Trail on a cold October day with my friends Cat and Chas.  It had iced the previous evening, so we spent most of our time snapping photos of cool icicles hanging off the bridges and didn’t make it very far.

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