Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flying J Ranch Open Space Park; a short hike after a road closure stopped me in my tracks.

I woke up this morning ready to hike a bigger mountain; it was a sunny day, the snow had melted, and I was ready to climb! 
Rosedale Peak is a 13,000 foot peak in the foothills just about an hour from my home.  After checking online, I thought I could make it up the dirt road to access the trailhead at this time of the season.  After an hour drive in clear blue skies with huge peaks all around me, I arrived on the final road to my destination.  The road was closed just 100 yards from the main road and the trailhead was 3 miles farther west up the road.  At this point I decided to park my truck on the side of the road and hike up; it was still a beautiful, secluded and a pretty road.  So I loaded up my gear with two very excited dogs ready to hike, and then sadly realized that I had forgotten one major thing, my hat!  There is no way that I could hike at 10,000 feet without a hat in 35 degree weather.  Disappointed, I went back to my truck after hiking just 400 yards and knowing for sure it was too windy and cold to go on without a hat.  I decided to drive about 30 minutes back east and hike outside the town of Aspen Park, at the Flying J Ranch, the only Open Space Park in Jefferson County that I have never visited before.  

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mud-fest through Roxborough State Park to Carpenter Peak 7,160 feet.

Spring is here, until the next snowstorm, but today was definitely "shorts" wearing weather and I loved it!
I decided to hike Roxborough State Park which is southwest of Denver on this beautiful sunny 60 degree day in March. Roxborough is a state park which does not allow any dogs, so I have never hiked here before because of this. But my dog Rock has a sprained ankle and needs to take it easy for a week, so it was my chance to hike at Roxborough without feeling bad about leaving the dogs.
I can't believe I have lived so close to this State Park and not visited before, the giant red rocks, bowls and rims in the foothills and lots of foliage makes this park a photographers dream.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Squaw Mountain, 11,486 ft Arapaho National Forest

Squaw Mountain has been on my hiking "to do" list since hiking Chief Mountain, a peak nearby, a couple of months ago.   The views on the top of this 11,486 foot peak are beautiful, but as we descended the peak shortly before sunset, the peaceful sound of silence was shattered by loud gunfire.  Yes, gunfire. 
We first arrived at the trailhead which is located at the intersection of Squaw Mountain road and a forest road after about 35 minutes in the car.  I tried to drive up the forest road a little bit and immediately got our SUV stuck in the deep snow on the side of the road.  We spent a half an hour shoveling it out before we could start hiking.  Fortunately, I was not alone on this hike or I would have had a really hard time getting the truck out myself.   Josh and my cousin Patrick Rainey plus the two dogs were all eager to hike.   

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A sunny, spring hike on Saddleback Mountain Peak, 9,568 feet

March has rolled in like a lamb, here in Colorado.  After a cold and snowy February; March has brought sunshine, warmer temperatures, and the smell of springtime to the Front Range.  This warm weather really motivates me to get outside and hike; it also gets me excited about hiking 14ers this summer!   
Yesterday, I hiked Saddleback Mountain which is a little known trailhead in the Clear Creek Open Space that takes you to the peak at 9,568 feet.   The total hike was just over 3 miles round trip and took just an hour and a half to complete. There are no facilities or map at the trailhead, just a small parking lot and Clear Creek Open space sign.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rampart Range Recreation Area, Sedalia Colorado, Pike National Forest

It's been a while since I have had time to hike and post!  The hiatus has been a combination of the cold blizzard-like weather, and finishing up the last weeks of my day job to focus on my writing and arts.  I am looking forward to posting a new hike or adventure at least twice a week.  
Because it has been so long since we have hiked, Josh and I wanted to do a new hike in an area that we haven't been before.  After searching online with no luck, we set off in the general direction of southwest to see where we would end up!  Our destination ended up being the Rampart Range Motorized Recreation area in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest. You can find more information here