|Looking up at the Aspen Trees|
Now that it's fall, the trees are changing in the high elevation and the information about the Barbour Forks Trail says it takes the hiker through flowery meadows and aspen trees, which was something that sounded great to me instead of the rocky alpine tundra that I had become used to the past few weeks.
I woke up early when Josh left for work, but it was so chilly out that I waited until 8am before leaving the house to drive to Idaho Springs. After just a half an hour I made it to the trailhead and had a wonderful hike choosing my route up the Arapaho National Forest trails, hiking through meadows with wildflowers still in bloom and gold tipped aspen trees sparkling in the sunlight. It was a perfect hike for me this week.
|Trail/Road market 194|
Soda Creek Road does dead end at the trailhead, but from June 15th - late fall the trail/road#194 is open for off-road vehicles. This section of the road is definitely for a 4x4 wheel drive vehicle, and I surely wouldn't have tried it myself with our SUV; there is no way you would miss the parking lot and continue up this road without knowing as it gets very rough immediately after the parking lot.
|Aspen meadow just before trail #48 turn|
It was 44 degrees when I pulled into the deserted parking lot and started up the trail/road at around 8:30am with my hiking shorts and a sweatshirt on; it was chilly because the sun hadn't peeked over the mountains yet, but I was comfortable. The trail begins on a 4x4 wheel drive road also called trail #194 and continues up the 4x4 drive road through the thick pine trees, aspens and ponderosa pines which were beautiful and reminded me of Oregon as I hiked through them.
|Trail #48 turn east|
This trail was a great choice and it took me up the hill to a high mountain meadow where the views looking south were magnificent with speckled golden aspen trees just starting to turn and the mountains beyond. There was another trail sign in the high meadow with no trail names and I chose to turn right which continued through the woods again, then up higher to the top of the mountain with views of the surrounding area and I was even able to see the parking lot and my car below.
Views to the north was blocked by numerous trees but I was able to see through them from time to time and could see the smoke from the FourMile Canyon Fire to the north. The sky was clear and blue to the south and very cloudy to the north from the smoke which was just sitting in FourMile Canyon. My heart goes out to the families who lost their homes in the fire.
|Views from high meadow|
|Cool hand-made teepee on the trail|
If you have hiked in this area, or know of other Idaho Springs hiking trails, I'd love to hear your comments!
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