This past weekend was one of local hikes. One hike was an old favorite another hike was exploring a new place and doing some first hand research in the process. A great little weekend!
The first hike was on Saturday. With the closure of Waterton Canyon, the start of The Colorado Trail is changed. An alternate route that has been suggested is to start in Roxborough State Park. Since it is an alternate I mention in my Colorado Trail planning doc, I figured it is one I should check out!
The park literature bills itself as "where the prairie meets the mountains". Hiking in the park, I found thisdesciption to be an apt one. Wide open meadows, views into plains to the east and the high peaks to the west. All while hiking in rolling foothills.
The park features red rock formation reminiscent of Garden of the Gods and the Lost Creek Wilderness. As all these places, including Roxborough, are part of the Pikes Peak uplift, I am not surprised!
Joining me for the hike was a friend of mine from Denver named Matt. When he was planning for The Colorado Trail ~ 2 yrs ago, he stumbled upon my website. Like myself, he is a Rhode Island native with Italian roots. It is a small world! Every so often we get together, hike and alternately curse and reminisce about our home state. 🙂
The other highlight of the park is Carpenter Peak. (views of which are pictures above) At a little over 7000 ft, the peaks gives great views of the surrounding area. For a person choosing to hike the park trails as an alternate start of their Colorado Trail journey, the hiker will see the mountains that will be greeting them in the upcoming days ahead .
The trails are well marked throughout the area and have clear and easily understood signs about how to get to the Colorado Trail from the state park.
This alternate route adds about 3 miles extra to the entire length of a hiker's Colorado Trail journey.
The disadvantages of this route versus the Indian Creek Trail alternate is that no dogs are allowed in Roxborough, the trail could be considered somewhat steep esp. for a person getting used to elevation, there is no camping allowed in the park and there is entrance fee.
Still, the easier logistics and the striking views make the Roxborough park alternate an attractive option.
And if you really want to get some long hiking in, apparently part of the park trail system is included as part of the American Discovery Trail.
After leaving The Colorado Trail alternate behind, Matt and I continued to enjoy the views and the meadows.
The weather started turning grey and cold just as we made it back to the car.
All in all, a good scouting expedition to a place I have never been to before.
The following day a few of us did the 4th Annual Eldorado Mountian Bushwhack
After leaving a trail in the state park, the trailess approach through talus and woods leads to views that are often not seen in the open space.
As you can tell from the above photo, their was more snow this year than the previous two years. Made for some 'fun' as we 'schwacked over the talus slopes and did our boulder scrambles.
But everyone was in good spirits. Even as grey clouds moved in and the temps became colder and colder ( a little after the photo below was taken) we were happy to be outside.
After some nasty allergy issues this past year, Adiranna is back to joining me on hikes again on regular basis. That makes *me* happy. 🙂
After we made it back to the car (and the temps became even colder) we made it to Southern Sun for some burgers and beers.
A great weekend.
And starting Nov 19th? I will be gone for ten days of playing in Utah…. Can't wait!!!
Please also note there are specific hours the park is open and that the gates are locked at closing time. At this time you cannot leave your car over night in Roxborough. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions. Angel Tobin, Volunteer & Interpretive Services Manager for Roxborough State Park.