Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Coyote Ridge Natural Area, Loveland and Fort Collins, Colorado

Guest post from fellow blogger and father, Andy Hawbaker, you can check out his site here and more information at the bottom of this post.   

Coyote Ridge Natural Area is a wonderful spot for a fun family hike. My kids enjoyed seeing a snake, prairie dogs, and lots of birds. The Natural area is a City of Fort Collins Open Space located between Fort Collins and Loveland about 1 mile south of the Larimer County land fill. Visit the Larimer County Site for information about this trail.
This particular open space does not allow dogs and I have seen Fort Collins police ticketing people with dogs, so please leave the four legged ones at home.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My favorite Colorado hiking trails; need a hike suggestion?

Mt. Sniktau, Continental Divide
Lately I've been asked by several readers and a few hikers on the trail about which hike is my favorite and I'm always stumped by this question because I love so many trails for different reasons.  Some hikes I love because of the trail itself, maybe the scenery is great, or the hike ends in an awesome peak, lake, waterfall, arch or view that leaves me amazed.  Other hikes are memorable because of the way that I felt on the trail, maybe it was just a great day overall, or the hike was difficult and I felt accomplished when I completed it. 
After much thought on my part, I have included some of my favorite hikes and trails, they are my favorites for various reasons as well.  
The first trail I'd like to include (in no particular order) is Mt. Sniktau, which starts on the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass near the Eisenhower Tunnel.   This trail is at high elevation, starting at the top of the pass and my reason for listing this trail as one of my favorites is twofold.  First, I love looking at views while on the trail and I'd rather hike where I can see scenery than in a treed forest any-day.  Mt. Sniktau offers views in all directions including great views the Continental Divide; its also a high altitude hike which leads to a peak and when I reach a peak I always feel a sense of accomplishment.  But the reason that this trail stands out to me was because I was just having a great day on the trail. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hiking a social trail in Coal Creek Canyon - Boulder Colorado

 The Flatirons are some of the most well known mountains visually, on the Front Range of the Rockies here in Boulder; the flat rock faces reflect the sunlight in the morning which creates a stunning glow and they are full of wildlife, scenic views, steep climbs and even an arch!  Today I stumbled across a trail that took me through a burn area on the southern end of the Flatirons near Coal Creek Canyon.  Before you read on, I must first say this trail was not marked and I just happened across it; there is no map or parking lot, I just stopped on the side of the road, parked and hiked.  As far as I could tell, the trail was on Open Space land and it lead to the train tracks that you can see from Hwy 93.  After hiking through the burn area, then up a steep hill and down toward the train tracks, then the path continued on a service road beside the railroad.   Eventually the road crossed over the tracks and at this point we turned around and went back.   I wondered if the trail was a social trail to get to the train tracks, for photos maybe?  Or maybe that is just my guess, because I love photography.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Upper Maxwell Falls, Hiking in Evergreen Colorado

 The lower Maxwell Falls trailhead is one of the most popular on my website and I wanted to put up another post about it, this time I went to the Upper Maxwell Falls instead of the Lower Falls as I hiked here.  I actually hiked this trail mid-September, but am just now posting about it, the little lady keeps me so busy these days! 
 It took me about 10 minutes longer to reach the Upper Parking lot, there were 2 other cars in the small parking lot when I arrived on a cloudy weekday afternoon.  It took me a while to get Magnolia situated in her pack, and then we hit the trail.  Immediately, I was faced with 2 trails from the parking lot, since there is no formal map, I just chose left and started walking.  The trail is wide and continued through the forest and next to the stream.  Eventually the trail comes to another trail split, there is a trail sign here (although it was knocked down), and you could take the trail left and up to the Cliffs Loop or down/right toward the falls.  I decided that I wanted to check out both the Cliffs Loop (since I was not familiar with it at all) and the falls, so Magnolia and I took the Cliffs trail up for about 20 minutes and shortly after the split the trail continues out of the woods and you have views of the surrounding mountains which were full of fall color!   We hiked on this until we reached another trail split; I wasn't sure which way to go, and so we turned around to go back to Maxwell Falls.