Staunton SP

Staunton SP

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stearns Lake to Josh's Pond, Carolyn Holmberg Preserve

Stearns Lake to Josh's Pond
Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm

Date Hiked:  October 23, 2011

  • Distance: 3 mi (RT)
  • Elevation Gain: Negligible 
  • Managing Agency: Boulder County Open Space

Carolyn Holmberg Preserve Trail Map (Boulder Co.)

Directions:  From Denver, head North on I-25 and West on Hwy 36 towards Boulder.  Take the Northwest Parkway exit and head North.

Carolyn Holmberg Preserve is a pleasant walk through the plains east of Boulder.  The hike is most enjoyable in the fall when the temperatures cool down and the colors heat up.  The entirety of the hike has fantastic views of the foothills of Boulder with Long's Peak towering in the distance.  The hike is mostly flat and very well defined, making it great for kids or trail running. 

Start by following the Craddleboard Trail along the South shore of Stearns Lake.  When you reach the first trail intersection make a right turn continuing South on the Craddleboard Trail.  At the second trail junction stay on the Craddleboard Trail by turning left, South again.  The third junction is where you leave the Craddleboard Trail for the Lake Link Trail, part of the Broomfield Parks and Open Space system.  Take this a short while until you cross the railroad tracks, you are now on the Lac Amora Trail which will take you to Josh's Pond Open Space.  Josh's Pond is a small but pretty pond just on the edge of Broomfield residential development with nice views of the Front Range.  The pond makes for a good destination and turn around point, head back the same way.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lost Lake, Roosevelt National Forest

Lost Lake from Hesse Trailhead
Roosevelt National Forest

Date Hiked: Oct. 15, 2011

Distance: 4 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 800 ft
Elevation Min/Max: 9,000 to 9,800ft
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service
Fee: None

U.S. Forest Service Trail Map and Description

Directions:  The hike starts at the Hesse Trailhead just pass the town of Eldora.  From Nederland, head S on 119 for 1/2 mile.  Turn west when you see the sign for Eldora.  Follow the road until the pavement ends.  The trailhead is 1 mile along the dirt road.  Once you see a bunch of cars parked on the shoulder and a small dirt road to the left, you've found the trailhead. Park here and walk along the side road until you reach the trailhead.

This hike is relatively straightforward.  From the parking area follow the dirt road, which is typically washed out, to the Hessie Townsite.  Just past the townsite you'll find the actual Hessie Trailhead.  From here take the Devil's Thumb trail for about 1 mile.  This trail is beautiful as it switchbacks up the mountain and passes some stunning cascades.  Turn left onto the Lost Lake trail for .5 to Lost Lake.  At the lake, you can follow a trail around the lake for another .5 mi or so.   The lake is beautiful with nice views of the Indian Peaks rising above the lake.

Overall the trail to Lost Lake is a very pleasant relaxing hike.  It mostly stays in the forest, but there are some wonderful cascades and waterfalls along the way.  There are also many Aspen groves along the trail making this a prime spot for fall colors.  Lost Lake itself is a worthy destination, the lake is just outside the Indian Peaks Wilderness Boundary but you get a good taste of the Indian Peaks by the view at the lake.

Boulder Falls, City of Boulder

Boulder Falls
City of Boulder

Date Hiked: Oct 15, 2011

  • Distance: 1/4 mi (RT)
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal
  • Managing Agency: City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks
  • Fee: None


Directions:  Boulder Falls is located in Boulder Canyon.  From Boulder head up 119 through the canyon.  Pass Magnolia Road and Sugarloaf Road and a few miles further keep your eyes out for the popular parking area on the left and the trailhead on the right.

Boulder Falls is a spectacular waterfall set in a narrow rock canyon.  The trail is short but rocky and children should be careful.  The trail has handrails and steps in some locations to make it easier.  The trail leads to the base of the falls.  Unfortunately there are no trails exploring this side canyon any further than the base of the falls.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Memmen Ridge Open Space, Castle Rock

Memmen Ridge Open Space
Castle Rock

Date Hiked:  Oct. 11, 2011

Distance: 1.9 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: ~200ft
Managing Agency: Town of Castle Rock
Fee: None

Directions:  From Denver or Castle Rock take Exit 182 (Wolfensberger/Wilcox) off of I-25.  Follow Wilcox east for about .6 miles.  Make a left on 2nd Street, a right onto Gilbert Street, a left on South Street, and a right on Oman Street to the trailhead and parking area on your right.

Memmen Ridge is a small but pretty natural area adjacent to the South Ridge Elementary School.  There is a 1.9 mi loop trail with a cut off to make it a shorter hike.  The trail itself weaves through a gamble oak and evergreen forest.  Views from the ridge include, "Castle Rock," Mt. Evans, Devil's Head, and the Town of Castle Rock.  The hike is particularly pretty in the fall when the oaks turn yellow, red, and orange.