Hiking around the Front Range of Colorado. If I can do it, you can do it. A quest to find quiet, friendship and possibly a smaller waistline through exploration of the amazing wilderness in my own backyard. Enjoy laughing at my mistakes and sharing in my adventures.
Hike Distance: 4.1 Miles
Location: Green Mountain, Boulder, CO
Hike Start Time: 6:00AM
Condition: Sunny, Nice.
Total Miles: 121.2 Miles
It's actually been a while since I did a hike by myself. It makes em really happy that my daughter and wife have been wanting to join me on a lot of trips, but there's something to be said for the solitude that recharges you. I read an article about the "Boulder Traverse" that spans the five major peaks that overlook Boulder. Some crazy people do all five of these in one day. Maybe there will be a time when that's in the cards but for now, I'm setting a goal of climbing all five of them by the end of the year.
The peaks include South Boulder, Bear Peak, Green Mountain, Flagstaff, and Mt. Sanitas. I've already got Sanitas and South Boulder done, so I thought a mid-week morning would be a perfect opportunity to check another one off. This hike tends to be a very busy one on the weekends so it seemed like a good idea to tackle it when there were less people around.
Hike Distance: 4.7 Miles
Location: El Dorado Canyon State Park, Rattlesnake Gulch Trail
Hike Start Time: 6:30AM
Condition: Sunny, Nice.
Total Miles: 118.1 Miles
If I told you that The trail I just hiked used to be driven by Model T Fords up to a hotel, you'd think I was crazy. I might be crazy, but that's the absolute truth. At the top of the trail there was a hotel called The Crags that was only around for a few years at the beginning of the 20th century. People would either take the train (that still runs by today) or a water powered Funicular to get to the luxury resort.
The other option was to take your car and drive up. I know it's been over 100 years of plants and things growing on this trail, but it's hard to imagine people driving up "Crags Boulevard". This was popular enough that the Denver Motor Club even had a garage at the hotel. Even the road from where people would've got off the train down to the hotel is pretty amazing to think about them driving over.
This picture is provided courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History, Boulder. Check out this article with more history and pictures here. I love this kind of history that I can find along the way.
Date: July 5th 2020
Hike Distance: 6.0 Miles
Location: Ward, Colorado. Mitchell Lake Trail to Blue Lake
Hike Start Time: 5:45AM
Condition: Sunny, Nice. Hail as we left park
Total Miles: 113.4
I had been dreading 4th of July weekend. Not just because my dog is terrified of fireworks and my neighbors seemed to use their entire stimulus check on incendiary bombs, but because I knew that I'd want to go out hiking. I dreaded it because I knew everyone else in the state was going to have the same idea. Especially since the weather had gotten a lot hotter recently, I knew that people would want to escape the heat and go up to the mountains.
Date: June 28th 2020
Hike Distance: 7.2 Miles
Location: Boulder Colorado. Mesa Trail South to North
Hike Start Time: 7:00AM
Condition: Hot, Sunny
Total Miles: 107.4
I'm not a person that needs to check every tick off on a list by any means. When I started this hiking adventure, I got a map of the Boulder and Nederland area and have been using it, and Alltrails.com as resources for hiking, but never really with the explicit goal of hiking every trail there is. Especially little things like connectors and side loops if they didn't offer anything. The exception so far has been the Mesa Trail.
From the very first hike I did on the Stranahan loop, to the Bluestem Loop, and South Boulder peak, I had slowly been encountering small sections of the Mesa trail that goes from El Dorado Canyon up to Chautauqua park. Even my full Moon hike walked on part of it, but there were all these little gaps in between those hikes that were left undone.
I decided I'd connect all of my flatirons hikes together and do all of the Mesa Trail at once. It would be cool to visit previous excursions while putting together it's own unique chapter too. the distance wasn't too crazy, and the elevation gain seemed doable. What I didn't anticipate was me feeling worse than I've ever felt on a trail before through the duration.