Tag Archives: Snow

Bergen Peak, Evergreen CO (Repeater) Hiked 10/19/13

30 Oct
VIew at the top

View at the top

I have become obsessed with 14ers.com and their facebook page.  Reading all the trip reports and seeing the excellent pictures of those incredible people climbing 14ers with like 3 feet of snow already fallen up that high, well it makes me feel pretty wimpy!

It has also given me some insight as to how quickly winter has set in above the tree line this year, as those amazing people are postholing up to their thighs while they climb up.  I don’t remember it being like that last fall and I am extra mad at myself for not pushing harder then to take advantage of that dry fall.

With that in mind, I decided to check out a trial I knew would get us close to 10,000 feet up in elevation to get an idea of what it might look like right now.  I went to Bergen peak (Hike details here).  It is a long hike but the views are always wonderful at the top.

There was definitely snow but no so much until we got closer to the summit trail and the snow we did have wasn’t icy yet, we were early enough.  Mostly we just worked our way up the trail.

Upon reaching the final summit climb the snow got a little deeper but in the end wasn’t so bad.   It was a beautiful day to be out on the trail and strangely we had it mostly to ourselves.   We saw a few people going up… a few people at the summit and then a few people on the way down.  It was a little weird… but I won’t complain as I love having a normally busy trail like this one to ourselves.

As always, it was a great hike and the day was perfect!  The snow wasn’t a big deal although the mud on the way down did get a little tiresome.

Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak

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Mt. Flora Trail (Repeater) 9/29/13

20 Oct

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I had grandiose visions of how this hike might turn out…lots of ooooohhhhhhhssss and aaaahhhhsss.  And while  when I planned out it made perfect sense, in the end, the weather sometimes just doesn’t cooperate.

We had a crazy good time in Breckenridge and it was hard to crawl out of bed to make our way to Mt. Flora (hike details here) on our way back to reality, so we moved a little more slowly then my perfect planning dictated, but I didn’t care because this was the 4th hike in 4 days and I was determined regardless…….. oh wait I am lying, I was totally done hiking and just wanted to veg doing fun touristy things for the rest of our time together.  Instead of telling Mary of where I was at, I said nothing and as we pulled up to the trailhead I started preparing her for a shortened hike.  It truly was windy in the parking lot and would be 10 -100  times windier at the summit…..

Mary for her part was a super trooper to the end.

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I made her point at the continental Divide trail as proof she hiked part of it…… I think it meant more to me then her

We had all we needed to get to the summit, crampons, gaiters, lots of extra clothes and poles….. what we didn’t have was the best conditions, oh and a guide(me) who was worried after the hike the day before with her guest hiker’s issues with heights.  Not worried about the trail but the person who was “uncomfortable” with heights. On any given day this trail is not hard but it is super high and after you turn a corner the views are REALLY expansive.   Lets not talk about the climb up…with snow …and wind.   There was a point where, when I looked back and poor Mary was so uncomfortable  that I am pretty sure she was shaking, just a little bit.  As a person who has been hiking up high for a while and has no problems with heights, this was a revelation.  I tried to see it the way she saw it, I imagine it looks like seeing through a fisheye lens with skewed blurry edges, everything else just looking off and too close while looking too far away at the same time.  It feels terrifying I imagine, fortunately for me I only get exhilarated when up high seeing the views.

When I got to the point where I was sure the snow would be less deep (and promised Mary this would be the case) and we would be traversing across the mountain, I saw the snow was still like 10+ inches deep.  It was too much and the wind was picking up so I turned us around, not because of how Mary was doing but because I knew after the traverse I would have to turn us around anyway because the wind would be super hard at that elevation to ever summit.  There was no reason to put her through more than she could take to only turn her around a half a mile later.

Turnaround point

Turnaround point

After we turned around she confessed she would have been ok if we had skipped hiking this 4th hike….. sometimes it is ok to trick everyone into a little workout even if no one wanted that workout.   The views were amazing but the trail small and so I kept moving around her taking pictures of us, the hard part was that she could not not move or not say careful careful….  I will tell you that we laughed A LOT.

seriously dont move....

seriously don’t move….

getting windier

getting windier

Seriously windy

Seriously windy

Heading back down she realized that it wasn’t as hard as she imagined it would be going down and that if I had turned her around a half mile later she would have been really mad at me….. It was the right choice.  We took in the crazy amazing views on our way back down and decided to get some yummy food in Winter Park.   I used Yelp to find something good and we hit this place on the main strip called Denos Mountain Bistro, we weren’t really all that concerned if it was good just as long we could enjoy the end of our vacation in style.   I think the shock was how stinking good it was….like seriously unbelievably good, been dreaming about it since I was there good…..  Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Colorado.  If you are in WInter Park, go there on a Sunday and get the Brunch Burger it is like heaven on a bun and I don’t even like burgers all that much!  Their Eggs Benedict was perfect too and more…. Mary got the Brunch Burger and I resented her for getting to enjoy the whole thing while I got just a piece of it.

Ok here are the last pics I got before the wind was just too much and a promise from Mary that she will try this hike again when there is less or no snow.

good view with a great friend trying for a selfie One more too cute

 

Ben Tyler Trail #606 – 3rd time is NOT the charm! 5/25/13

26 May
The best view from the top

The best view from the top

Ahh how we are gluttons for punishment!  This past week was another perfect, warm week in Denver and as a result we convinced ourselves that we would try Ben Tyler ( Hike Details here) this weekend in hopes the snow was manageable enough to make it to the top.  I cannot tell you how desperate I am getting to see the top of this hike and so the hike started out almost perfect plus we heard other hikers talk about the peak as if it was clear.  We started up the switchbacks pretty optimistic and as we took in the view around the 2nd or 3rd traverse we started to wonder….

Optimistic start....but I spy snow

Optimistic start….but I spy snow

We were making great time and so far the snow was nowhere to be seen even as we crossed the creek the first time:

2 weeks ago snow was all around this crossing

2 weeks ago snow was all around this crossing

When the trail turned into a creek on its own, we were pretty psyched because we were certain it meant the top was ours this time.  Not to mention that at this point 2 weeks ago we were almost up to our knees in snow.

This is actually the trail with our own little creek occasionally

This is actually the trail with our own little creek occasionally

We didn’t even see our first patch of snow until we got to the point we turned around just 2 weeks ago, we were crazy excited we were moving at a good pace seeing beautiful sites and reaching the end of the of the Aspen grove.  That meant we were getting really close to the last stretch of trail before the top.

When we first started, we were soundly passed by that group of hikers talking about conditions at the top.  It was probably about a mile after our turnaround point last time that we ran back into them….coming down….dejected, ugh! Their words, huge wall of snow blocking the trail about 20 minutes up the trail.  This group was lovely and gave great advice, one of the gentleman said he had never seen it this bad this late in the year and he had been hiking here for years!  We got to their turnaround point and did something I am completely against….we went off trail.   We didn’t get far but far enough to realize that we were chasing a dream at this point.  After a valiant effort we threw in the towel again, not before I took an epic fall that made the most beautiful colors on my calf and left butt cheek, mostly my left cheek.  When I slipped and fell on the rock hiding under the snow my leg actually went immediately numb for about 30 seconds, I knew it was a bad sign.  It kept waking me up last night when I tried turning over but didn’t stop our hike today so I will chalk it up to just a bad fall with a deep tissue bruise as a result.

The best part of Colorado this time of the year was that it was in the 50’s the whole time and we were in shorts, shorts and gators eventually but mostly shorts.  I am becoming more sure every day that we are living in Heaven on earth.  Before I put up our favorite pictures from the hike, does any one know what kind of bird this is?  It was pretty flirty with us and posing like crazy:

What kind of bird is this, anyone?

What kind of bird is this, anyone?

Fingers crossed that next time we see Kenosha pass.

It was hard to resist not trying harder... the view of where we are trying to go

It was hard to resist not trying harder… the view of where we are trying to go

shorts n gators

shorts n gators

Ugh 3+ ft of unstable snow....

Ugh 3+ ft of unstable snow….

Pretty Cactus Flowers

Pretty Cactus Flowers

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Bergen Peak Trail, Elk Meadow Open space *AGAIN* 4/20/13

20 Apr

The start

This week has been tough on so many levels for so many reasons and I know I am not the only one struggling to find balance and meaning.  I can tell you that the only thing on our minds yesterday was getting out hiking and getting as high as we could (altitude wise of course), but with all the snow we got this week any hike was going to be challenging so we decided that it was going to be Bergen Peak …..again  Details of the Hike here

Honestly, I was not optimistic about our hike yesterday but we figured let’s get all our stuff together and go as far as can.  A pie in the sky hike would be to do the exact same hike we did here 2 weeks ago ( Details here), 13.5 ish miles in 6 hours with around 2400ft ish total elevation gain.  The storm that hit us this past week dropped around 2 feet of snow on Bergen Peak AND we had a chance of rain later sometime this afternoon.  All I wanted was a good hike that would help us to keep moving towards a 14er this summer.  We started out slightly bundled up, gators on for high snow with actual hiking boots (not usual and decidedly heavier) and prepared for every thing the mountains have to offer.  What we got was surprising, the snow was deep and every where but at first it was easier to move through and at just a little over half of a mile  We saw our first herd of elk

Elk 1Elf 2Elk 3

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After 7 years of living here we finally saw our first Elk!!! It was so super cool and we were crazy excited to see them….I even pulled out my big camera which I feel like I only carry for weight building lately.  None of the pictures turned out as good as I wanted them to be but I can tell you it was awesome!!!!

We started out really slow and as we climbed up I figured  if it takes the whole day, then it takes the whole day just as long as we finished before the rain was predicted to start at 4…did I mention we started hiking at 7:30?  At that early in the morning the snow was perfect to walk on, but other than the occasional  slide it wasn’t too bad and there had been enough people before us to create a very nice path.  The traffic on the trail was really light going up we saw one other couple hiking and then one jogger.  That jogger told us he spooked a bear about a 1/2 mile up the summit trail, our pace became slower and we were super attentive, stopping for any little noise.  I was really torn here, scared to see my first bear and yet wondering if I could catch one in a picture.  We then had the good luck of meeting up with another hiker who had just gone up to the summit and she saw no bears so we continued on.  Here are a couple of pictures of what the trail looked like on our way up:

Bergen Peak trail conditionsBergen Peak TrailTrail conditions at the top

It was a beautiful day and crazy challenging, it was like walking up and down sand dunes with lead weights on our ankles and back.  In the end it took us 4 hours to get to the top, which was covered with so much snow and I only fell once, thank goodness for all that snow it totally made my face plant more funny than painful.  We don’t know this trail enough to walk where there weren’t already foot prints and so I was challenged in getting any good shots of Mt. Evans at the top but Pike’s peak was AMAZING!!!!  When we were about to leave another hiker had just arrived and he was so nice, but he told us something new and embarrassing. Before today we always stopped at the vista point assuming it was the summit, but in fact it is not so he showed us where it was and took a picture of us so we had actual proof we made it to the summit.   What a funny lesson for us, I was such a proud hiker until that moment!

Proof we made it to the summit of Bergen Peak

Proof we made it to the summit of Bergen Peak

In the end we did just under 12 miles even thought my fitbit said 14, we are crazy insane tired like my joints have never hurt so much tired and my calves have been aching.  The day was beautiful and different I couldn’t get enough of it all.  I am in love with this particular hike and most times it is pretty crowded but yesterday we had almost the whole thing to ourselves.  Most hikers who actually attempted the peak did the standard route up and back ( Sleepy S > Elk Meadow> Bergen Peak Trail > Summit Trail), we decided to do the loop via Too Long down from the summit trail and just enjoyed the complete solitude.  By the time we headed down the snow was starting to get slushy and slidey, I took the advice I received from Didier when I did White Ranch Park with my nieces last month and took a lot of small steps it helped so much!!!  I still had sore feet but no blistering like I did then…..

Here are some of our favorite pictures from the hike:

on the way up

on the way up

Pikes Peak from Bergen Peak trail

Pikes Peak from Bergen Peak trail

Mt. Evans from Bergen Peak Trail

Mt. Evans from Bergen Peak Trail

Snow is to the top of the Scenic view sign

Snow is to the top of the Scenic view sign

Looking out from the scenic view sign

Looking out from the scenic view sign

Pikes Peak 2

Pikes Peak viewed form the top

Another Pikes peak shot from the top

Another Pikes peak shot from the top

View at the top

View at the top

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Us half way down

Us half way down

Snow moving in as we hike down.

Snow moving in as we hike down.

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We finished just in time!

We finished just in time!

Spring Break: Breckenridge Adventures 3/3/13 – 3/5/13

15 Mar
The view Monday morning at Breakfast

The view Monday morning at Breakfast

We went right from our hike at White Ranch Park to Breckenridge for 2 nights. The weather we had been planning on completely changed between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Instead of no snow with sunny bluebird skies, a huge snow storm was moving in for Sunday afternoon and supposed to go until Monday morning. I don’t know if you have ever experienced driving west on I70 past the Eisenhower Tunnel during a snow storm but I consider it a white knuckler as you head down a 6-8%grade decline on a typically icy road, and no I don’t have 4 wheel drive which is so stupid living here hiking like we do. I started working up my nerves at the back end of the hike as I was watching those clouds churn off to the west of us. Fortunately mother nature was on our side, the first snow flake didn’t hit until we were almost down that steep grade decline and the car was safely parked in the garage before any real snow hit. We didn’t move it again until we left Tuesday morning which was beautifully sunny so there was no ice on the return trip either, yay me!

This is how we spent Monday morning hoping we would be able to get to keystone for tubing

This is how we spent Monday morning hoping we would be able to get to keystone for tubing

Anyway, we had planned on doing tubing at Keystone on Monday with the snow coaster in Breckenridge as a follow-up. After 9 inches of snow falling they actually closed the interstate and the one road between Breckenridge and Keystone, so we had to regroup. I was able to delay our tubing reservation by 2 hours but then that meant no snow coaster for us, we took advantage of all the free transportation in Summit County. There was a free gondola ride from our condo to the bus station just off of Main street in Breckenridge and then we hopped a free bus to Keystone. The tubing was actually at the top of the mountain and so we had to ride up that Gondola too, but the snow had picked up again and we didn’t have much of a view.

The Tubing tracks at Keystone

The Tubing tracks at Keystone

A little closer

A little closer

As we walked up to the Yurt for tubing we were pretty excited, the tracks they had set up for tubing were awesome, then they had a people mover to get you back up from the bottom. We could go alone, in groups of 2, 3 or all 4 of us which we did a lot of. I think we got in 10-14 runs and we laughed and screamed the whole time. It was so fast the snow looked like moving to warp speed in Star Trek ( as observed by Anne). There were Keystone workers at the top making sure the track was clear and then they asked if you wanted to go straight or spin and spinning was freaky but AWESOME!!!! The hour went too fast and at first I thought oh man I have to get us another hour, but at the end we were all ready to be done and so we began the journey back to Breckenridge.

Anne and Lauren spinning together

Anne and Lauren spinning together

Action shot of Lauren and the 4 of us tubing together

Action shot of Anne and the 4 of us tubing together

Lauren with the white snow fog as we sped up

Lauren with the white snow fog as we sped up

We ate and hot tubbed the night away as everyone should do when in Breckenridge, then headed back home on Tuesday for our next adventures….

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Belcher Hill Trail – White Ranch Park, Golden CO 2/23/13

23 Feb
Belcher Hill Trail - White ranch park

Belcher Hill Trail – White ranch park

Belcher Hill Trail

Lowest Elevation:  Approximately 6100 feet

Highest Elevation: 7800 + ( total Elevation gain of almost 2000 feet with a few declines and then having to climb back up)

Trail Length:  According to the Park Map it is 8.8 miles roundtrip but my fitbit said we got 10.5 miles and every account of hiking the trail said it was 9 miles round trip.

Trail Uses: Hiker, Biker, Horses

Degree of Difficulty:  Moderate to difficult ( today we got an extra hard workout because of the snow) mostly due to length and incline

Bathrooms:  Yes, at the trailhead and then I assume there is one at the sawmill campsite and then at the west parking lot if you want to walk over there

Dogs:  Yes,  I think they are supposed to be on leash but none were so maybe not….

A good View

A good View

When I was thinking about today’s hike, I wanted to be realistic about how much snow we might encounter.  We actually got a little snow this week, not as much as we need but it is at least something and since we are so desperate for precipitation I will not complain at all about it.  Almost exactly a year ago I found this particular trail when my good friend Karin was telling me about how much she loved White Ranch Park and I looked up the open space to see what I could try there.  I was terrified by what I read about the Belcher Hill trail, the descriptions were all about how tough the incline was and how busy it was.  Lately I have been wondering how hard it really is and how much hype I have given it based on my physicality a year ago.  Since we got the snow I thought today was a good day to face my fears.

We LOVED it!  Yes, it is challenging in that it is pretty much a straight climb up over the length of 3-ish miles with a 1700 foot elevation gain.  But oh the views, they are just amazing!  I have been to this park a dozen times on the easier Rawhide trail and while there are some really spectacular views of Denver and the front range on that trail, it is nothing like what we saw today.  We could see Mt. Evans at one point and the sun perfectly highlighted all the beauty for us while we had some cloud cover overhead.

Parking lot

Parking lot

Open Space Signage

Open Space Signage

Ok let’s talk trail, we started from the East Parking lot for White Ranch Park  and it is surrounded by private land in fact we went through a few gates and crossed over someone’s driveway.  They had horses and the horses were given free reign, it was pretty cool.

Horses

Horses

The trail actually drops down and goes past some pretty amazing estates and so is surrounded by private property signs and barbed wire just to make sure you don’t go off trail.  It is pretty cool that these people let us go through or around their properties and enjoy the beauty they paid for… and paid a lot!

Trail conditions at the beginnig

It was pretty snowy when we started, but fortunately there had been enough people before us that we had a solid path to follow and with no ice.  We really came at the right time as only a few people had stamped down the snow.  We continued down until we crossed over a short bridge and then the climbing began and never seemed to stop.  At first the snow was a non-issue:

Steep incline

Steep incline

We climbed for almost 2 miles before we started to hit the other trail junctions.  I have read that a lot of people opt to take the Sawmill or Mustang loops instead of doing the straight in, straight out of Belcher Hill, on today’s adventure we kinda understood why as the snow was way deeper on Belcher Hill.  At the same time there is an attraction in getting a full loop that we miss in doing straight in straight out.  We wanted the toughest workout we could get so it was all Belcher Hill all the way and the trail was so easy to follow.  Here are the trails we passed on our journey:

Mustange 1Roundup trailbreakSawmill Trail Break

At the Sawhill Trailhead, the Belcher Hill Trail was almost lost in the snow and went down to a single track.  It was hard to see the trail in the picture but Aaron was nice enough to show us the way.  We weren’t sure how deep it got because no one had gone this way since at least the last snow.  We probably went in for a longer then we should have before we put on our gators to deal with all the snow but we were the one making all the tracks for those who followed, it was pretty awesome.

Trail COnditions at the top

It doesn’t look too bad here, but we were mostly walking through snow that was half way to our knees a lot of the time.  It was a great workout and even better, I still felt strong through the toughest parts.  It was a really great hiking day for me. From here we climbed a lot more, higher than we have ever been in White Ranch Park and the views were breathtaking.  When we got the second crossing with the Mustang trail we started to descend to the West parking lot and the final stretch of the trail.

Mustange 2 trail breaklast section of trail Trail marker from west entrance

Initially our intention was to do this final stretch( just .4 miles according to the map) but all the snow traversing above had made us  a little nervous about our stamina and how we would fare on our way back, so we turned around at the West parking lot and headed back to the east parking lot.  On the return trip we encountered the most traffic of the day, I guess everyone was thinking later is better, lucky for us!

This is a great trail and while not at all popular when there is snow on the ground, I personally think it was the best possible time to be out on it.  From what I read getting ready to hike this trail, it sounds pretty busy in the summer/fall and mostly with bikers.  But today was almost perfect and very low traffic.  I know we will do this one again and again there was just something about getting to the highest point and the views we had of the surrounding mountains, I could live up there!  It also occurred to me while we were climbing away, we have managed to hike at least 44 out of the past 52 weeks.  It felt so good!  The weekend doesn’t feel right anymore unless I am out on a trail getting my Colorado mountain views fill.

This trail may be for the more hardy but all in all, it is so worth doing!  After the directions I will post our favorite pictures.

Directions:

East Access: 5611 Glencoe Valley Road, Golden
Take State Highway 93 north from Golden 1.7 miles to West 56th Avenue. Turn left (west) on Pine Ridge Road and travel about 1 mile east to the parking lot.

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Lion Gulch -Homestead Meadows, Lyons, CO 2/17/13

20 Feb
best view from Meadow loop

best view from Meadow loop

Lion Gulch #949 >  Griffith Homestead #979-2> Homestead Meadow Loop #971 > forest Road 120

Lowest Elevation: 7300 Ft

Highest Elevation: 8700Ft ( according to the Nike GSP watch Aaron wears) We think we had a total gain of 2000 ft with the ups and downs.

Trail Length:  The route we took got us 10 miles give or take a little

Trail Uses:  Hiker, biker, Horses, cross country skier

Degree of difficulty:  Moderate due to length and conditions

Bathrooms:  Yes at the trailhead

Pets:  Yes on leash only, and all the dogs were actually on leash which was a first.  This leads me to believe that there is strict enforcement of the rule.

Return trips views

Return trips views

I picked today’s hike from the Falcon Guide – Best Hikes Near Denver & Boulder for the Homestead Meadows hike.   What is really interesting about this particular hike is that the Meadow Loop itself is an outdoor museum that reflects those brave people who took advantage of the homestead act in the 1860’s.  The original hike suggestion has the hiker starting from Hermit Park Open Space which is privately owned and so has a fee associated with going in that way.  It also is not that tough of an elevation gain at just +720 and we didn’t do a tough elevation gain hike last week either, so I started reading as much as I could on the area and my options.  At the end of the hike description are some options and we took one of those which had us starting at Lion Gulch, this gave us an extra 2.1 miles with elevation gain of almost 1400, not counting the numerous ups and downs so it was closer to 2000 feet in total elevation gain.  It was exactly what we needed.

Lion Gulch & Homestead Meadows Information board

Lion Gulch & Homestead Meadows Information board

Map of the Homesteads you can visit.

Map of the Homesteads you can visit.

Our first view of the hike from the parking lot

Our first view of the hike from the parking lot

What is really cool about going this way is that those original homesteaders would use this exact path to go to and from Lyons and/or Estes Park to sell their goods or work.  I know all the trails have great history, but this one really stuck with me for some reason maybe it was their sense of adventure and hope.  It climbs up and over the creek, crossing it about 10 times, maybe more and in some places there is an option between the horse path and hiker path.  I loved this climb, it was constantly changing between challenging and easy both because of the elevation we were gaining and the snow/ice on the trail.

Hiker/Horse trail indicator

Hiker/Horse trail indicator

Starting to get snowy

Starting to get snowy

mostly snow

mostly snow

As we were getting closer to the top of our major climb, we came across the trail’s ice skating rink portion.  It’s not really mentioned anywhere on any hike description and was a surprise to every hiker that had to try to pass, fortunately we had brought our crampons so getting through it wasn’t nearly as tricky for us as it was for everyone else not similarly equipped.  It was our first time using them and man did they rock, going up was easy going while down was just ok.  Fortunately there was a group of scouts who came prepared and I was able to grab their rope before I bit it.  We think it actually prevented a lot of hikers from making it to the meadows above.

Aaron on the ice skating rick

Aaron on the ice skating rink

My turn ice skating

My turn ice skating

This is also where the trail starts to leave the creek with the beautiful tree cover and opens up in the meadows of the Homestead Meadow trails.

Homestead Trails

Homestead Trails

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After walking up to the main trail break we went to our right, to go past the Griffith homestead and then onto the meadow loop.  I would like to say it was all pretty easy to follow by the trail markers alone but it wasn’t, in fact I referred to my hiking book a lot to make sure we were going the right way for the hike we wanted.   Also this loop is not popular in the winter/spring, we had to walk through a lot of snow on the path and ours were often the only and first foot prints.

Trail MarkerMeadow Loop marker

After we went past the Griffith Homestead we started hitting  that snow and then got to use our gators also for the first time too, it was pretty exciting!  It made us feel like we knew what we were doing, well really like Aaron knew what he was doing because I couldn’t get these or the crampons on without his help.   Plus we were the only ones there, we had the whole loop to ourselves and we loved it!

Stove with view

Stove with view

Griffith homestead

Gators

Gators

The loop took us past the Brown Homestead and we could have gone to see the Irvine Homestead which has the most intact buildings on it, but we decided it was getting late, we had already covered 5 miles and needed to make sure that we could handle the return trip.  It gave us a reason to come back again to check out more of the homesteads.  Getting back to Lion Gulch was easier, that trail was well marked…

Lion Gulch #949

Lion Gulch #949

While there are some beautiful views to been seen once you get to the Homestead Meadows, they aren’t totally spectacular.  Strangely though it is now one of or favorites, the whole trail is just beautiful in its composition.  The way it winds along the creek through beautiful lodge pines and Aspens while the tops of the surrounding mountains are constantly peaking through.  It was really motivating and peaceful.  Then the meadows are rich in their feeling of history and perseverance of those brave people.  I have read it is a high traffic trail in the summer and fall, but it was not that crowded this weekend which is probably not when it is at its best but I loved the solitude we got to have while explored.  It is a great trail and I hope I can take more people through there in the future.   I will put our favorite pictures after the directions to the trailhead.

Directions:

From Lyons, take 36 towards Estes Park.  The parking lot and trailhead  are 12.3 miles from where 7 & 36 split right at mile marker 8 on the left side of the road.

The end of the ice is so close....

The end of the ice is so close….

Cool looking tree

Cool looking tree

View back towards Lion Gulch after reaching the next section of trail

View back towards Lion Gulch after reaching the next section of trail

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