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.
The Flying J Park is located southwest of the Denver metro area near Aspen Park Colorado. From the Denver metro area take C-470 to highway 285 West and head into the mountains. Drive on 285 southwest into toward Fairplay for 13.2 miles. Turn Right onto Barkley Road for just a 1/2 mile, next turn north on highway 73. The main entrance to the Park is on Hwy 73 just shortly after the turn. There is a second parking lot at the intersection of Shadow Drive and Hwy 73. Click here for google map of the park and directions. The Jefferson County Open Space provides directions also here.