Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Manitou Incline; Colorado Springs - One of the most intense trails I have hiked.

I have heard lots of things about The Incline, a 0.9 mile hike up the old cog railroad which gains 2100 feet in elevation; its hot, its steep, its hard, its crazy, its feels endless; and its all of those and more!  I kept thinking, how hard can it really be?  It's just under a mile to get to the top, I can do anything for a mile; but it was definitely an intense trail that was so steep in some places that it gave me vertigo to stop and look down and I am not afraid of heights.  The trail reminded me of a roller coaster, when you are looking over the top and you can't see the track in front of you just the track at the bottom because it's so steep; that's exactly what The Incline is like.  
The Incline is a favorite trail for fitness buffs who frequent the trail as part of an exercise regimen, some people will even run up the trail and back down it as well.  Most people however, take the 4 mile Barr trail down the mountain instead.  The entire trail provides amazing views of the foothills and as far into the distance as the eye can see and as weather permits.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cupid Mountain, 13,117 ft, Colorado's 555th highest peak

Views and wild daisies in bloom at elevation
 Hiked July 29th, at 27 weeks pregnant.  

One of my goals with pregnancy was to hike a peak at least once before the baby comes, and last week I decided that it was time to do one.  I chose Cupid Mountain, at 13,117 feet; which begins at the top of Loveland Pass on the Continental Divide.   The hike is around 3 miles round trip and you can make the hike into a loop by hiking to the top of the un-named 12,000 peak then turning right and hiking over to Cupid.  Many people curse Cupid as the "hump" on their way to hike Grizzly Peak, but it's actually a ranked peak, 555th highest in Colorado.  
This peak is an easy hike to the top; there are some steep sections, but I knew that I had cell signal the entire hike and there were plenty of people nearby if something happened but I felt confident in my pregnant body that I could do the trail just fine, and it was a beautiful day as I hiked up to the top.  I kept thinking that someday the baby will hear this story of it's mama hiking over 13,000 feet and I wondered if this kiddo will think its cool or weird; hopefully the former?  

Friday, August 5, 2011

Osprey Trail on the South End of Gross Reservoir, Boulder Colorado

Views from just up the hill at the start of hike
Hiked July 21, 2011, at 25.5 weeks pregnant

This summer I wanted to explore Gross Reservoir, an area in Coal Creek Canyon and West of Boulder; the reservoir is very scenic and there are several trails surrounding it.  A few weeks ago I hiked from the scenic overlook on the opposite side of the canyon down to the raging river, you can read my trip report here.  This hike I went to the southwest part of the reservoir to the Osprey Point boat launch and trailhead.  From there I took the 1.5 mile trail all the way until it dead ends at South Boulder Creek where the river meets the reservoir.  At the start of my hike, a two gals came over to ask me where the 'cliff jumping' was on the reservoir, unfortunately, I had no idea where people cliff jump from, but I would like to know so that I can go sometime.  However, the reservoir is part of the Denver Water supply and does not allow swimming, which makes the water even more tempting in my opinion. If you know where this cliff jumping occurs, please post a comment!  This is a great place to canoe or kayak as well as hike and picnic.