Search results for 'three sisters'

Alderfer/Three Sisters- Evergreen Mountain trail(s) 8/11/12

12 Aug

Evergreen Mountain Trail East ->The Summit -> Evergreen Mtn West-> Wild Iris Loop-> Bluebird Meadow Trail -> Silver Fox-> Ponderosa-> Evergreen Mtn East

Starting Elevation: 7400

Highest elevation: 8536 ( At the Summit)

Trip Length: 6.3 miles ( with Scenic view overlook included = .4 miles) It took us 2 hrs 45 minutes.

Trail Uses:  Multi-use trail; hikers, bikers & horses

Pets Allowed:  Yes on leash

Fee(s): None

Bathrooms: Yes at the parking lots


This is our second trip on this trail and both times it was awesome.  It is a popular trail and while most hikers stick to the Three sisters loop, the Evergreen mountain trails are really the highlight for us.  It is also great in the summer because the trail has great tree coverage so you have nice shade and cool breeze when it is good and hot.  Here is the tricky part, if you are an early riser ( which I am not but trying so hard to become one) get here by 7-7:30 as the parking lots get full early and you cannot park on the road near the entrance.  We saw many people getting ticketed by the Evergreen Police and they were stopping new arrivals from trying to follow suit.  Being a little picky here but I prefer the East Parking lot, it is all shaded and after a long hot hike it is heaven to come back to a car that is not 100+ degrees from sitting in the sun the whole time.

Ok so lets talk trail, start out going out of the East parking lot cross over the Road:


This goes about .3 mile until you pass another trail head for Ranch view trail, which is an option for the return trip back to the parking lot if you don’t want to take the Wild Iris trail over to the west parking lot for our choice in ending our loop.

Stay to the left on the Evergreen Mtn East trail and head up to the summit.  It is a steady climb up but there are some nice breaks on the switchbacks of flatness to help you catch your breath and suck down some water.  There is  a nice lookout point about halfway up the mountain that is worth stopping and taking in the view at:

And here is where we are headed……

Today the path felt really inspiring, especially with the coverage of all the trees:

When we got to the summit, there were 4 bikers having a moment….one of them had a mechanical issue and the other 3 looked really annoyed with him so I pulled a picture from our first visit to show you the trail signage.  Be prepared I was using my phone and it looks like Aaron was not too sure what was going on:

It is easy to walk right past the summit trail and continue on to the Evergreen west trail and the summit is the whole reason to do this hike in the first place.  So make sure to look around at this point and take the hard left up the summit trail.  The nice part is that this is the last little bit of climbing you really have to do on the hike.   So the next few shots are of the beauty you can see at the summit, it is a great place to rest and have a snack or just tplain bask in the peace and stare at Mount Evans in the distance.  We came upon 5 bikers all sitting and enjoying the morning view.

After going around the summit loop, we went and checked out the Scenic spur which overlooks the town of Evergreen.  I did take a picture of the trail head but I was fascinated by the hard lesson being learned by one biker from another…..One was texting ( yeah not sure how that is possible going up this trail) and she wiped out taking down the biker who was heading downhill.  So I was being nosey and listening to the fight brewing instead of making sure my camera focused nicely.  Pretty sure the texter could have used some harsher language thrown at her, but apparently the wipee was a nicer person then I.

Anyway here are some shots of the scenic view:

So from here we finished the Summit loop and then took the West Evergreen mtn trail down.  We came up to the Wild Iris loop and took it across the field to the Bluebird Meadow trail which starts at the West Parking lot.

So we are heading back to the parking the wildflowers were plentiful so the next few pictures are of the those and then our last few signs we passed on the way back:

I have read that this is also a great place to hike during the shoulder seasons, just be ready for snow or for the weather to change quickly.   It has quickly become one of favorites!

Getting There
To access the park, travel south of Evergreen, Colorado on Highway 73.  Turn west on Buffalo Park Road, approximately 1 mile to the east parking lot.  The physical address for this east trailhead is30299 Buffalo Park Road.  A second parking lot is located another 1/2 mile along Buffalo Park Road and the physical address for this larger lot is 31677 Buffalo Park Road.  Motorized vehicles are confined to the parking areas and roadways.

Evergreen Mountain – 3 Sisters Adlefer, Evergreen CO Hiked 1/11/14 & Mt. Hikingtohealthy done 1/12/14

16 Jan
View at the Summit

View at the Summit

The weather has been questionable lately and on Friday, high wind warnings were given to any place above 6000 Ft, which just about everywhere on the front range.   Hiking in high winds is not fun especially when the warnings are for 80+ mile an hour winds at times.  With this new little wrinkle thrown in, we decided a good old standby was in order… Evergreen Mountain (Hike Details here).   The best part about going to Evergreen Mt is that it gets above 8500 Ft and the exit for the hike is right about where traffic was getting super bad for the skiers heading up for the day.

We timed it perfect, the winds slowed down right when we started at 9 AM, knowing  that it would be picking up again around 11 or 12, our goal was to finish in 3 hours.  There was snow throughout the hike but it wasn’t too bad, although it was bizarrely heavy and felt more like sand.  The best part, we had the whole way up to ourselves which has never happened before!  I think the wind warnings scared a lot of the other hikers off, so yay us!


The first time we saw anyone was at the summit and then it picked up a little traffic wise, I think saw about 10-15 people on the way down.  Not bad for a Saturday at this open space.  The other great thing was the sky and how it was changing through out the whole hike.  At one point Mt. Evans was lit up like a spot light was shining down on it.


We finished the hike in just under 3 hours, right as the wind gusts really started picking back up.  The hike was beautiful as always and challenging in terms of getting used to the higher altitude again. I want to get above 9000 Ft this upcoming weekend but I am not yet sure where to go.


The wind warnings stuck through Sunday, when we were planning on doing our second hike and then I slept in later than planned with company coming over around noon, getting to an actual hike was out.  So I improvised, in between doing sets of weights I would just climb the stairs in my house.  When we finished the weights, I did 30 minutes straight of stairs to get a total of 109 flights done in an hour.  I officially named the stairs Mt. Hikingtohealthy.  Having hiked the equivalent of 135 flights of stairs the day before, I figured my legs would be in good shape afterwards…. they have been so sore I can’t believe it!

Bottom half of Mt. Hingtohealthy

Bottom half of Mt. Hingtohealthy

Top half of Mt. HIkingtohealthy

Top half of Mt. Hikingtohealthy

It was a great substitution for a day, but I did miss my views.  Mt. Hikingtohealthy will be seldom visited…. unless we take the next step by printing off all our hiking pictures and line the walls with them so I have manufactured views.  Right now there is still too much of Colorado to see to stay locked in my house climbing stairs, so that is low on my to do list.

Evergreen Mountain, Evergreen CO (Repeater) Girls Hike #3, hiked 10/20/13

9 Nov


I love a weekend where I get to hike twice and I super love hikes with my girlfriends!  This particular weekend was extra great because both happened!

I am such a lucky girl!

I woke up early Sunday all excited for my girlfriend hike and then got my second cancellation… but that still left me one girlfriend to enjoy the day with.  I will tell you that I was somewhat tired from Bergen Peak the day before( and celebratory drinking post hike) but I at least I had a good idea of trail conditions, since Evergreen Mt at Three Sisters/Aldfer (Hike details here) was just a few miles away and this is where I was taking my girlfriend(s).  I had decided as I was getting ready and that even if they all canceled I would still go…. But Carrie was my trooper and showed up early even!

The weather was not what I had hoped, it was going to be a tough hike for her and I wanted our typical blue bird skies when we got to the summit so that it all felt extra worth it.  But in the end she totally rocked it and the cloudy skies gave a beautiful depth and moodiness to Mt. Evans that isn’t normally there on a sunny day.   Which was kind of better, a moody Mt. Evans is incredibly beautiful, worth all that effort and more.

Hiking with Carrie was wonderful.  Not only did I get to be a hiking guide, but I got to spend good time with one of the most amazing people I have ever met.  She has been an incredible friend to me since I moved here and someone I have come to rely on heavily for advice.  This hike was no different, she is such  a true and amazing friend I was so thankful to get the morning to talk and hike with her.

The trail itself was in ok shape, it was hit hard in the floods we had in September but had faired better then other trails…. only one section was closed and there were some washouts along the way but nothing too bad.  I was glad we could enjoy it that day.

On the bonus side, we had the trail mostly to ourselves all the way up and Carrie blew my mind with how quickly she was moving up the trail.  On the way down we saw all the traffic of the day and strangely  they were all bizarrely attractive men.  We laughed a lot about it and simply enjoyed the view!!!!!

I know I say it a lot, but on this day like so many others, I was reminded of why I moved here and why I love hiking so much!!!

me n carrie carrie n evans me n carrie 2 fav 1


Iowa Hill Hydraulic Mining Site – Breckenridge 10/19/12 & Mt. Evergreen 10/20/12

26 Oct


Iowa Hill Hydraulic Mining Site

Starting Elevation:  9600 FT

Highest Elevation:  9910FT ( Total Gain 310 Ft)

Trail Length:  1.2 miles, although there are interactive spurs throughout, we spent a little over an hour taking our time reading everything.

Trail Uses:  Hiking ( I don’t think there were restrictions on how the trail is used but wouldn’t be much fun for bikers or horses)

Degree of Difficulty:  Easy/ Moderate ( only because of altitude)

Bathrooms:  None

Pets:  Dogs on leash only

Fees:  None


When I was planning the activities for my sister’s visit, I knew we wanted to spend 2 nights in Breckenridge.  Mary said she didn’t want to try hiking over 10,000 ft on this trip, well Breckenridge sits at a tidy  9600ft up so it was a good challenge to find something while in Breckenridge.  We left White Ranch Park and drove straight up to Breckenridge where we planned on drinking, eating, hot tubbing, shopping and hopefully some exercise in no particular order.  So on target with our plans we checked in and immediately grabbed margarita’s at Mi Casa, after a round (or 3 ) we thought we should walk around town and stretch a little, maybe shop.  Unfortunately everything was closed but restaurants, which is typical during shoulder season( those season’s where there is not enough snow to ski but not warm enough for it to be all gone either).  Plan B was to grab some pizza from our favorite place, Giampietro Pasta & Pizza, head back to our condo and hit the hot tub with drinks( duh, vacation!)  It was in this relaxed state that we decided doing a nice easy trail the next day made the most sense, get it done early and we could shop, eat left over pizza then repeat our margarita happy hour to hot tub with drinks routine.

When we were getting ready after breakfast, my sister very smartly asked how we should dress and knowing a minimal amount of information about the Iowa Hill trail I very un-smartly replied, I think we are fine in what we have on. Which was danskos and jeans…. So fast forward to getting a shuttle to the trail head,  a nice thing about Breckenridge is they run a free shuttles all over the place, including this particular trailhead.  We actually also had a free shuttle with our condo so we took advantage of that one.   The trail head is just on the north edge of town about 1500 feet north of the intersection of Airport and Valley Brook Roads.  Follow the dirt road and you will see the trailhead immediately West ( to your left when facing North).

It was a really beautiful day to be on this trail, it was sunny mild and just a little snow on the ground.  As we started up the trail, it took me all of 5 minutes to realize we should have worn real hiking shoes or gym shoes…Danskos are not meant for hiking uphill on snow in a sort of muddy sandy mix.  But we were already there so we bravely went on.  It is a great trail that tells all about the mining history of that particular mine/mountain in Breckenridge, it is really well-marked with main trail and interactive spurs:


At the interactive parts there are descriptions of what was used & how, as well as some period pieces that are out for you to see.  I don’t know if they are the originals or not but it was cool to have them there.


It goes up one of the gulches they used their Hydraulic giants on to get the gold particles “sluiced” out.  It was pretty cool, I have read it is one of the best mining museums around.  At the top of one these gulches is an old boarding house for company men.  I think they have future plans for enhancing this part of the trail but it was still cool to walk up on.


We took an insane amount of pictures…mostly of the birds flying overhead in hopes of catching an amazing shot but finely we had to move on and head back down.  While our (mine) poor choice of footwear hadn’t yet been a real problem, this is where I really regretted my choice.  Going down was interesting, as the path was narrow, snowy and slick but we stayed upbeat and happy, I mean seriously it was so beautiful around us it was no big deal we had to take our time.



We walked back to Main street and our condo instead of taking the shuttle, it was just over 2 miles and the day was too beautiful to take a bus back to town.  Here are some more pictures that were my favorites:


This is a great hike for kids and/or if you have a little extra time to kill while on a summer or winter vacation.  I know we enjoyed all it had to offer!


We really enjoyed the rest of our day and night in Breckenridge and my hiking plan worked out perfectly.  On Saturday we headed back east to Evergreen and Three Sisters a hike I have already posted about but I knew from the first time I did it, this was the one to take Mary on.  At the top, Mt. Evergreen has amazing views of Mt. Evans and the whole hike is everything I love about Colorado!  She did amazing!  Spending those 2 nights at 9600Ft was just what she needed to have no problems doing a hike that has a top elevation of 8500+ft.  She kicked my butt on it not needing to stop once, which is no surprise but the nice thing is I finally brought her to the places I kept promising but couldn’t make it to myself!

For details of this hike, check out my earlier post on Three Sisters , but here were our victory shots on top:


Mary and Aaron are “uncomfortable” with heights but Aaron has had some time to work on it.  Mary wasn’t too sure about throwing her hands up for our victory picture….  It was a little funny to have them both chiding me on where I was walking since I have no problem with heights.

I know have been long-winded already but I just have to share this last picture. We did the ghost history tour of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and I put my camera on the sun-dial so I could do a timed picture of us in front of the hotel…. The surprise was the reflection of the hotel in the dial.  It was a perfect summation of our visit, just awesome!

Spring Break hiking 3/1- 3/6/14 All Repeaters

15 Mar
view from Evergreen Mt.

view from Evergreen Mt.

When my nieces came to visit me last year, their one request was more hiking.  I honestly had no idea they would like it as much as they did.  I wanted to get them out as much as possible while still giving them a break from school.  I had grand plans, hike 3/1, snowshoe 3/2, sunrise hike 3/3, break on 3/4, hike of their choice on 3/5 play 3/6 by ear…. our first hike fell apart quickly while the snowshoe on 3/2 was excellent as I mentioned here.

For our sunrise hike on 3/3 I was pretty uncertain we would ever be able to do it because the avalanche risk was so high all through the high country and I am not yet educated on avalanche safety and awareness.  I picked a mountain that I knew was a low risk but tricky to get to, Colorado Mines Mountain.  With the snow storm we had on 3/1 I wasn’t certain the road up would be open but it was so we got up at 2AM and headed out to attempt their first sunrise hike.  When we arrived at the Berthoud Pass parking lot I was not expecting the 15 foot high wall of snow all around the parking lot nor Aaron getting bad coffee from 7-11.  He hardly had the car in park before he was running to the warming hut vault toilets to be sick.  Which I might add is one of the most awful places in the world to have that kind of situation in…. And my old negative Nellie said out loud “oh yeah we aren’t doing this”.

At the top of the continental divide sign

At the top of the continental divide sign

While Aaron was being sick I told them to get their snow pants on and wait in the car while I scouted out the trail to see what we had to work with.  The snow was actually hard enough to walk on and the snowshoe trail was just like Butler’s Gulch the week before in that we didn’t need snowshoes where all the other snowshoers had gone before us.  I walked a good quarter-mile up without anything but my hiking boots.  That walk felt good so I went back, checked on Aaron and the 3 of us adventured up the trail a bit to get a feel.  I should have had them put on their snowshoes and just gone for it but I didn’t, and my lack of confidence probably contributed to their unease.  We went up about half a mile, shut off our headlamps and then turned around.  We decided we would wait for sunrise in the parking lot and then head back for naps as soon as Aaron could safely leave the bathroom.  We goofed around where we could and then as the sun started to rise the snow picked up along with the wind… it was almost a white out.  I took a look down Berthoud pass and we weren’t going to catch any of the sunrise from there the snow was so thick in crazy blowing winds.  I am still kicking myself for not just taking them up alone, I am perfectly capable but I let doubt rule me!  Regardless it would have been miserable at the top with absolutely no views.  I promised them that if they came in the summer we would do this again on a better mountain.

On Wednesday, we hit Staunton State Park and the weather was absolutely perfect, the views were amazing and my nieces were the perfect company.  We hiked about 8 of the miles Aaron and I hiked last fall.  We did the Staunton Ranch trail to Scout Line, took Marmot down and then Staunton Ranch back out.   The hardest part was the little bit of snow we had to contend with, it was just enough to have slipping and sliding more than we wanted too.

The best view on Scout line - see pikes peak?

The best view on Scout line – see pikes peak?

What I loved was just talking with my nieces about whatever, they are adults now and so incredibly smart it was a revelation.   I found myself wanting to study again so I could keep up!

pikes peak and views staunton view on scout line

We did the length of Scout Line trail and then headed down Marmot passage to get a little loop back to Staunton Ranch trial.  Overall it gave us 8-9 miles of hiking with perfect weather and amazing company.

marmot passage sign

Taking marmot passage

view 2

View on the way down Marmot Passage

Staunton view on marmot

too good to miss

After making them hike a lot on Wednesday, my nieces were still up for another hike on Thursday so we decided that the first hike we wanted to take them on- Evergreen Mountain– would be the one to do.  It was like night and day from just 5 days before.  The only downside was the snow on the path with the ice underneath that snow.  Once again Lauren and Anne proved how awesome they are!   It was supposed to a warm beautiful day, and while it was warm the sun stayed hidden which meant it wasn’t as warm as we had hoped it would be.

I love showing new people to this trail, when I do I usually take them to it before we hike much else only because the route up can be kind of boring after other hikes.  I felt that boring aspect the most this last time with no sun and the pesky snow making us slip and slide all over the place even more than the day before.   But the summit views were lovely to behold as always.  I think that was the redeeming part of the hike for us all after a struggle to get up through the melting, sloppy snow… that and the drinks afterwards.

us on evergreen mt. at the top summit of evergreen

This visit overall was so nice, having my nieces here made me both miss my family terribly and want to redouble my efforts to get them all to move here to Colorado…. now I am patiently waiting until my next family visit.  It needs to come faster!

ice castle moment

I hope you are experiencing some form of spring awesomeness and if you are, get out there and hike, life is too short!!!!

Hikes Completed

21 Feb

Here is a quick list of the hikes I have done to date, this is an evolving list and will be updated regularly.

Click on the name for hike details:


Fountain Valley Trail

South Valley Ranch

Spruce Mountain

South Rim Trail

Rawhide Trail – White Ranch Park

Green Mountain – Lakewood

Elk Range Trail – Centennial Cone

Riverside path – Breckenridge

Waterton Canyon

Meyer Ranch

East Castlewood Canyon

Baker Loveland Trail #60


Deer Creek Canyon

Carpenters Peak

NightHawk Trail – Hall Ranch

Mohawk Lakes

Gem Lake

Evergreen Mountain

Finch Lake

Eldorado Canyon Trail

Walker Ranch


Big Bluestem

Hell’s Hole

Pine Valley Ranch to Buck Gulch

Mason Creek Trail – Staunton State Park Trail

Staunton Ranch  Trail – Staunton State Park

Castle View Trail – Mt. Falcon

Belcher hill trail

Lookout Mountain

Peaks Trail #45

Matthews/Winters Park

Grizzly Gulch

Herman Lake & Gulch

Chief & Squaw Mountains

Deer Mountain RMNP

Fern Lake

North Fork Trail


James Peak

Mt. Flora

Chicago Lakes

Bergen Peak

Butler Gulch

Twin Sisters

Chasm Lake

Lion’s Gulch to Homestead Meadow

Pawnee Pass

Green Mountain Via Gregory Canyon

Mason Creek > BorderLine > Staunton Ranch Trails

Three Mile Creek Trail

Breaver Brook Trail

Mt. Sniktau


Ben Tyler Trail – Mostly because I have never finished it.

St. Vrain Mountain

Bear Peak – Boulder

Quandary Peak ( 14,265)

The Incline 


Mills Lake

Butler Gultch

Breckenridge Nordic Center

Nymph, Dream & Emerald Lakes

Trail Ridge Road

St. Marys Glacier

Burning Bear Trail