Staunton SP

Staunton SP

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Evening, South Valley Park

South Valley Park - Halloween Evening

Date Hiked: Oct. 31, 2009

South Valley Park Website (Jeffco)

Although we didn't actually hike the Swallow Trail, my wife and I set out for an evening stroll through the red rock wonderland of South Valley Park on Halloween night.  I was cold, snowy, and getting dark quickly.  The result being a fantastic sunset and a fun time romping through the snow.  With a full moon rising, it was a great way to usher in a chilly Colorado Halloween.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cheesman Park, Denver Parks & Recreation

Cheesman Park

Date Hiked: Oct. 28, 2009

Distance: 1 mi (RT)
Trail Type:  paved and natural surface
Managing Agency: Denver Parks & Recreation
Fee: None

Cheesman Park Map (Google Maps)

Directions:  Cheesman park is located between Humbolt and Race streets and between 13th and 8th Avenues, just east of Capitol Hill.

Cheesman Park is one of Denver's larger and most scenic city parks.  Located in Capitol Hill/Cheesman Park neighborhood it is truly an urban escape.  In the fall of 2009, we had a freak pre-halloween blizzard turning the park into a winter wonderland.  As we used to live just a few blocks away, we donned our snowshoes and played in the snow.

Typically, the park has large grassy areas for lounging and playing, paved and natural surface trails throughout the park, beautiful gardens and a wonderful coliseum-esq pavilion.  The views of Downtown and the Foothills can be stunning.

And when it's not covered in snow...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cub Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Cub Lake
Rocky Mountain National Park

Date Hiked: Oct. 23, 2009

Distance: 4.6 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 540ft
Starting Elevation: 8,080ft
Managing Agency: National Park Service
Fee: Yes

Rocky Mountain National Park Website & Map (NPS)

Directions:  This hike starts from the Cub Lake Trailhead near Moraine Park.  Enter Rocky Mountain National Park through the Beaver Meadows Entrance (Fee Required).  Turn left onto Bear Lake Road and make a right across from the Moraine Park visitor's center, follow the signs to Cub Lake and Fern Lake.  Bear left at the fork and at the end of the road you'll find the trailhead and parking area.

This wonderful hike starts by crossing Moraine Park and getting a great view up the Fern Canyon, this is where you are heading.  The trail cuts south and at the junction, turn west, the trail is well marked and signs point towards Cub Lake.   The hike is mostly flat following the creek and weaving in and out of evergreen and aspen forests.  The trail ascends a bit as you get closer to the lake and before you know it, you're there.  The best views are from the eastern shore as you get the Continental Divide mountains as a backdrop.  The trail continues around the north shore and you can hook up with the Fern Lake trail for a slightly longer loop, or you can head back the way you came.

This moderately short hike gives you a glimpse and a taste of the Rocky Mountain NP backcountry.  If you want to explore the canyon further, you can go to Fern Lake and Odessa Lake beyond that.  However, Cub Lake is surely a worthy destination on its own.