Monday, October 19, 2009

Lumpy Ridge, hike to Gem Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Park History
Lumpy Ridge rises above Estes Park on the North side of the town. It is part of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), but there is no fee to hike here. Lumpy Ridge has a large raptor habitat, and the birds live in the rocks and cliffs on the ridge. One important point to remember is that in 2007 the Twin Owls Trail head was relocated south and is now renamed Lumpy Ridge Trail head. It encompasses the Gem Lake Trail, Twin Owl Loop and all the Lumpy Ridge Climbing destinations. It now has a larger parking lot and bathrooms. Some of the newer maps do not reference this change, if you are seeking to hike Gem Lake or Twin Owl trails, this is where you start.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mountain Biking at Centennial Cone Park

Last weekend Josh and I decided to go mountain biking. This is something we don't do very often because it is so much harder to take the dogs; and because I am not the most adventurous mountain biker and it's more fun for my hubby to go with the boys. I would prefer rolling hills to steep rocky trails for my biking experience, but after hiking at Centennial Cone Park, I knew I had to go back and try it on the bike.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Centennial Cone Park, Jefferson County Open Space, Colorado

Park History
The Centennial Cone Park is north of Clear Creek Canyon and it sits on top of the foothills outside of Golden Gate Canyon. It was acquired by voter approval in 1999 to be preserved as Open Space land. The park is created to sustain the elk and mountain lion habitat in the area. You will see many old ranches and homesteads throughout the property which were purchased to preserve the land in the 90's. Now this park has over 3,000 acres of land and is one of the largest Open Space Parks in the Jefferson County System.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Deer Creek Canyon Park, Jefferson County, Colorado

History of the Park
In the late 1800's Deer Creek Canyon was once a homestead for John Williamson from Plymouth England; as well as a campground for Ute and Arapahoe tribes. Deer Creek Canyon was also a hideout for Jesse James and other villains with it's large scrub oak habitat, creeks and fertile grounds it was a great place to hide out. The Plymouth Creek Trail has been a passage way into the mountains since the 1900s. In 1991 Jefferson County purchased the land and named it Deer Creek Canyon Park and it became part of the Jefferson County Open Space.

Getting There
To get to the park from the metro area, take C-470 and exit at Kipling Street. Go west onto W. Ute Avenue, then west or right onto Deer Creek Canyon Road. The streets are well marked with the signature brown Open Space signs at each turn.
Follow Deer Creek Canyon Road into the canyon for a few miles, you will pass South Valley Open Space on your right (which is another good hike deserving of a blog post soon) and continue on Deer Creek Road until you see the Open Space Sign to turn LEFT onto Grizzly Drive.

Grizzly Drive will take you up the mountain through a neighborhood of huge houses and beautiful scenery! Each time we have driven up this road we have come across an animal, most recently a deer and her fawns, we have also seen coyote, fox and turkeys. Continue up Grizzly drive and turn Right into Deer Creek Canyon, you will see the sign above on your right.

The Park
As you drive into the Deer Creek parking lot you will almost always notice that it is busy!