Email mecontact me
Show Other Months and Years

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Bitterbrush Trail at Hall Ranch

We ventured into Lyons this weekend to do a little bit of hiking. Our original destination was the Antelope trailhead nad to do Antelope, Bitterbrush, and the Nelson loop, but the parking lot was completely full when we arrived. It was no surprise since it was about 10:30 in the morning and since that trailhead literally only has 5 parking spots. So we decided to drive to the Bitterbursh trailhead instead, a quick 5 minute detour. However, starting the hike from Biterbrush instead of Antelope added some length to the hike, so we decided to turn around at Nelson Loop, which ended in a 7 mile hike with 1100 feet of elevation gain. Even though there was more that could have been hiked, this was a pretty exhausting and lengthy hike for us, considering it's been almost a month since our last hike.

The trail itself was great. There was a nice mix of open meadows and some rocky terrain. There wasn't any tree coverage for shade, but we didn't need it since it was overcast the entirety of the hike. It was pretty humid though since we've been getting a lot of rain. The humidity was out of character for Colorado hiking and added an extra layer of difficulty to this 3-hour hike. Additionally, this trail is mountain bike central apparently, so every 20 feet we had to step off the path to let some bikes go by. Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but there were a lot of bikes and it got pretty obnoxious. So for that reason alone, I don't think we'll be heading back to this area anytime soon.

Hazy MountainsDead BitterbrushOpen AreaCurvy PathBlue BellsSand Lily

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Picnic at Realization Point Via Gregory Canyon

We headed into Boulder this weekend for some hiking. This is the last week that you can park around Chautauqua for free since they charge for parking during the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day. We decided to go up Gregory Canyon and loop back on the Ranger trail, but by the time we made it up the steep incline up Gregory Canyon to Realization Point, we were both pretty tired. We ate our lunch at a picnic table and headed back down the mountain.

I've hiked this before and I think my reaction was about the same in that it's pretty boring to hike to another parking lot. I like hikes that you can't simply drive to, so the summit wasn't all that great. However, since we had sandwiches with us and spent about 20 minutes at the top resting and enjoying our lunch, it felt like more of a hiking picnic than a real hike.

The hike took us a little over 2 hours to do the 4 mile round trip hike, including a 20 minute lunch break. The total elevation was just under 1,200 feet.

Golden Banners in the FieldStorms over the PlainesCaterpillar NestSunny AfternoonCommon Mouse Ear FlowersWestern Wallflower

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Venturing on Forest Roads

The weather over Memorial Day weekend wasn't looking that great, but we knew we wanted to get out and enjoy the great outdoors on our 3-day weekend. Saturday had the lowest chance of rain, so we decided that was the day we were hiking. Rain wasn't supposed to start until mid-afternoon, so we figured if we got to the trailhead by late morning that we would be okay. The trail we chose was hiking up a bunch of forest roads that are typically used for offroading. However, there were some recent reviews on hiking websites that said the OHV gate was closed, which meant that it would be perfect for hiking without all the 4-wheelers trying to run us over. The trail we picked was hiking up to Panorama Peak which starts at Pole Hill Road just outside of Estes Park. We built it up in our heads as something that would probably have pretty awesome views at the summit. That build-up lead us to disappointment at the summit where there were so many trees that you couldn't get a clear view of the surrounding mountain ranges.

As we walked up to Panorama Peak, we noticed an observation tower. We thought it was pretty awesome that there was a public tower in the middle of Rosevelt National Forest. But we quickly realized that it was locked and we couldn't go up. We later found out it's owned by a local OHV company. So in order to get panoramic views at Panorama Peak, you have to pay an OHV company to drive you up there. Oh well, there are other places that we can get panoramic views for free that people can't simply pay someone to drive up to.

The hike itself was pretty great other than the summit. This hike is right outside of Estes Park and its peak tourist season, so we were expecting to have to fight for a parking spot in the small, half-dozen car lot. But as we drove up, we found 2 other cars there. Since the whole point of hiking is to get away from everyone, we both thought this was great, and didn't see a single person on the hike except at the summit (where there was an OHV tour group that we presume got to go up the tower).

The 3-mile hike to the summit included some great views of still snow-capped Longs Peak through the trees and views of the Mummy Range. As the storms rolled over the mountains, we got to see all different types of lighting, ranging from fully sunny to very stormy over Longs Peak. But luckily for us, the storms parted as they went over Estes Park and we didn't get a single drop of rain during our 3 hour hike. We intended to head to the Notch as well on this hike, which would have only added a mile onto the hike, however, we missed the turnoff onto FDR 247D. After the hike, we looked it up and saw the road was at the bottom of the large meadow we passed through, and the photos I took confirmed that there was a road there, but it was completely fenced off.

Glimpse Through the TreesGrowing From a Pine ConeWarningFrom the First SummitPanorana TowerUn-panoramic Views at Panorama PeakStorms Rolling InCurvy RoadCalypso OrchidRuining the SceneryBest Panorama of the Day

May 2021

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday