Flowers and Frost : May in Colorado

About mid-April to mid-June or so, is an interesting time in Colorado.

The high country is still full of snow and a bit too much for hiking.   The snow can be fun to ski, but turns slushy and concrete like by mid-day.

The foothills beckon and it is invariably what calls to many of us who love to hike.


And every year some friends and I start the hiking season with a hike we dubbed the Boulder Super Slam. A hike that takes in all the high points of the Boulder open space and connects it all with the well-known Mesa Trail (and a little bit of road walking!) for a big loop in our backyard.

This year, the weather (and a trail closure due to a fire from earlier this year) did not cooperate for the full loop.

The cast of characters was smaller this year as well.   But the smaller crew represented a lot of hiking!  It was nice to see Dave H. on this hike, along with the usual suspects of Dave B., Terry and d-low.  Hiking is the outdoor activity we all seem to love and thinking hiking many miles and many feet of elevation in the rain something delightful to do!

The hike started by parking the Mag Wag at the Justice Center and about one mile up to the trailhead at Chautauqua.

The clouds over the foothills looked ominous. Still, if the weather held it could be an overcast, but cool temperature day, for hiking.



About 7am, everyone showed up for the hike.

We moved along the Mesa Trail and almost immediately saw some wild flowers that would be one of the highlights for the day.

Wild Irises


Pasque Flowers


Golden Banner

As we continued on, the overcast weather turned into light drizzle. The day started to remind many of us of the southern Appalachians more than the foothills of the Colorado Rockies!



Devils Thumb in the fog



As we crested the various peaks, we noticed that is more winter like than spring like!



The steady drizzle turned into rain.

We made the decision to not do Sanitas, but rather head down Flagstaff via Gregory Canyon.  After summiting the always picturesque and impressive top of Flagstaff, we made our way back to Chautauqua and the cars.



As we worked our down into Gregory Canyon, the views continued to evoke scenes from a different place.

The rain picked up more and the temps were in the mid-high 30s. Perfect hypothermia weather! And good weather to head to the Southern Sun, have a beer and relax after an enjoyable hike.

The hike may not have been the Super Slam. But, as Dave H. said, it was a Pretty Good Slam.

The wildflowers were impressive and the foothills in the fog were scenic in their own way.

Pretty good indeed.

All the photos


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13 years ago

great pictures, still waiting for my wild flowers to bloom.