Just Another Colorado Fall Weekend

A relaxing weekend of camping, hiking and strolling with a past partner before her classes start up again.

Some weekends are full of high adventure and physical challenges.

Other weekends are about waking up in the cool morning air,  sipping a cup or two of coffee from the campsite and enjoying the last bit of fall weather.

a past partner wanted a relaxing camping weekend in the Colorado foothills. A little hiking, some relaxing and a chance to decompress a bit before the grind of her classes start again.

Though backpacking is my preferred method of enjoying the outdoors, any chance spent outside is welcome. And spending a night outside is even better.

The weekend started promising with an amazing sunset over the Boulder foothills from our balcony.

The following morning, we made out way to the rolling foothills in the Pike National Forest.

An area that is close to major metro areas, but still manages to have a bit of an isolated feel.

There are no real major peaks and little of the area is prime backpacking terrain.

In the off season, it as only us and a few scattered campers mainly mountain biking on the various loops in the area.

Our primitive campsite was along FS-550 and not far from The Colorado Trail.

After making camp, we did a lollipop hike with the CT and the Buffalo Burn loop.

The hiking was pleasant with only two equestrians seen.

Despite the metaphorical (so far!) pitched battle between mountain bikers and hikers about possible multi-use access on the Pacific Crest Trail, the interactions among the three groups were friendly, cordial and did not result in any degradation in our trail experience.

The world did not come to an end. The beer in the cooler still tasted good both pre and post dinner.

Take from that what you will….

After a relaxing evening in our camp, we had a leisurely morning sipping coffee and enjoying the cool morning air.

A slow drive was made back home along the scenic routes.

Not wanting the weekend to end, we decide to do a stroll around the Walden Ponds area to get in some sunset photo ops.

We were not disappointed.

The hiking (more of a relaxing stroll, really) was a perfect end to our weekend.

The geese framed by the amazing color of the sunset was well worth the last minute drive to East Boulder.

A last look at the lingering sun ended the evening.

Sundays are always a bittersweet day for me.  I am ambivalent about the start of the work week, but  I do enjoy the (too brief) time I get to spend in Nature.  Whether it is far in the backcountry of the Winds or the tranquility of the local open space, I love it all.

My job is a utilitarian necessity that I tolerate.

Time outside? It is a joy and something needed to not just pay the bills but to truly savor life..

All the photos

Trip Details

  • Primitive camping can be found along FS-550 and nearby roads in the forest.  The spots are numbered but are first come/first serve.
  • More of a mountain biking area, but some casual hiking can be found to make a 4-5 mile lollipop depending on how far you walk. This map should help.  Other trails in the area, too. Trails Illustrated Maps #105 and #135 have some ideas.
  • For general navigation among the FS roads, I suggest The Colorado Road and Recreation Atlas.
  • Having said that, it is mainly mountain biking terrain. Go later in the Fall like we did and you will probably not see many people. Don't expect extreme hiking or views, just a pleasant and relaxing weekend
  • Finally, Walden Ponds is in the same mode. More of a pleasant stroll than an arduous hike. But sometimes that is just what is needed
  • Check it Out – The nearby  'town' of Deckers has  more-or-less been in the same spot for 120 years providing the same basic services. A bit historical and not a bad place to get some ice cream, a cold beverage or something off the grill when you are in Sunday drive mode. Sit by the creek, relax and just enjoy the weekend.
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