Saturday, November 21, 2009
Rocky Mountain National Park
Date Hiked: November 21, 2009
Distance: .6 mo (RT)
Elevation Gain: 80ft
Elevation Min/Max: 8,400ft to 8,480ft
Managing Agency: National Park Service
Rocky Mountain National Park Trails Website (NPS)
Directions: The East Inlet Trailhead is located at the eastern edge of Grand Lake. From Denver take I-70 west to Hwy 40 North, go over Berthoud Pass and through Winter Park/Fraser to Granby. At Granby turn right (north) on Hwy 34. Enter the Arapaho National Recreation Area (U.S. Forest Service) and pass by Shadow Mountain Lake. When you get to the Town of Grand Lake, proceed through town along the north shore of the lake on Grand Ave. Take this road until it ends at the East Inlet Trailhead.
Adams Falls is a great short easy hike, perfect for the kiddos. The trail rises through the forest with great views back to Grand Lake. From the trail you'll be looking down on the Falls after just a short .3 mile hike from the stone walled overlook. There are some unofficial trails that lead down to the falls but be careful as the slopes are steep. If you want a longer adventure keep on following the East Inlet Trail to Spirit Lake some 5 miles away.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Austin Bluffs Open Space
Date Hiked: November 6, 2009
Distance: 1.5 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 300ft
Elevation: 6,622 (top of the rock)
Managing Agency: City of Colorado Springs
Pulpit Rock Website (City of CO Springs)
Directions: From I-25 exit at the Garden of the Gods Road and head east on Austin Bluffs Parkway. Turn left (north) onto Nevada Avenue. Prior to the intersection with I-25, bear right and continue on Nevada Ave to the dead end and the small parking area for the trailhead.
Pulpit Rock is just one part of the larger Austin Bluffs Open Space. The short trail climbs to the top of Pulpit Rock and provides terrific views of Pike’s Peak and Colorado Springs. The trail is is easy enough for the first part, as it rolls over scrubby terrain. The views of Pike's Peak rising over Colorado Springs are immediate and only get better as the hike progresses. The trail may get a bit tricky as you hit the final push up to Pulpit rock, but just make sure you are heading towards your destination. When you get up to the rock, scramble up as far as you are comfortable. The view of Pike's Peak is one of the best around. When you are done starring at the mountains, head back the same way you came.
Red Rocks Canyon Open Space
Mesa>Greenlee>Roundup>Red Rock Canyon>Quarry Pass>Red Rock Canyon Trails
Date Hiked: Nov. 6, 2009
Distance: Approx. 3.5 mi (RT)
Managing Agency: City of CO Springs Parks, Trail & Open Space
Red Rock Canyon Trail Map (CO Springs)
Directions: The Open Space is located just south of Hwy 24 near downtown Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods Park. Take Hwy 24 and exit at Ridge Road, heading south for a few seconds.
I hiked this trail back in 2009 before I was keeping detailed information on my hikes so the mileage is approximate and I don't have elevation gain data. That being said the hike was not hard and there was probably less than 1,000 ft elevation gain. I remember this being a very interesting and fun open space park so even though you'll have to do some follow up for exact descriptions, I though it worth posting some pictures and some info to get you started.
The park is across from Garden of the Gods and have very similar red rock formations. While not quite as iconic as Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks Canyon does offer a good alternative to the crowds then tend to build up at Garden of the Gods. The Mesa, Greenlee, and Red Rock Canyon trails offer good coverage of the main portion of the park.