Staunton SP

Staunton SP

Friday, November 18, 2011

Eldorado Mountain TH > Fowler Trail, City of Boulder

Eldorado Mountain Trailhead to Fowler Trail
City of Boulder/CO State Parks

Date Hiked: Nov. 18, 2011

Distance: 2.6 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 400ft
Elevation Start: 5,685ft
Managing Agency: City of Boulder OSMP/CO State Parks
Fee: None

Eldorado Mountain Trailhead Map (Boulder)

Directions: The Eldorado Mountain Trailhead is off of a short dirt road extending south from Eldorado Springs Drive.  From Boulder/Denver take Hwy 93 to Eldorado Springs Drive and head west on Eldorado Springs Drive, just before you enter the town of Eldorado Springs, look for the dirt road on the left heading up-hill, the trailhead is at the end of the road.  On the map linked to above the trailhead is marked by an "A" just before Eldorado Springs.

The Eldorado Mountain Trailhead is a great, lesser known way to access the Flatirons Vista/Doudy Draw Area as well as Eldorado Canyon State Park (no need to pay the park fee this way!).  From the Trailhead, Follow the Fowler Trail for .6 miles to a trail junction.  Turn right and continue uphill on the Fowler Trail around the north slope of the mountain and through a cut in the rock.  From here there are amazing views of Shirttail Peak and S. Boulder Peak towering above Eldorado Springs.  Continue on this trail for .5 miles and turn right towards Eldorado Canyon State Park.  After .2 miles you enter the park and cross through another cut in the rock.  At this point you are on the State Park's Fowler Trail and looking up at Shirttail Peak in all its glory.  This is an amazing spot so be sure you soak it all in before heading back.  You can also explore further into Eldorado Canyon State Park from this access point.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Boggsville Nature Trail, Boggsville Historic Site

Boggsville Nature Trail
Boggsville National Historic Landmark District
Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Date Hiked: Nov. 11, 2011

Distance: .5 mi (RT)

Elevation Gain: Negligible

Directions:  From U.S 50 near Las Animas and Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, take Hwy 101 2 miles south to the Historic District, follow the signs to the Historic Site.

Boggsville was the last home and resting place of Kit Carson, a trailblazer, solider, and folk hero in the west, especially in Colorado, after all, there is a 14er named after him...   This nature trail, while short, is surprisingly scenic.  The cottonwoods and the plains provide a pleasant stroll any time of year and the house and grounds are interesting as well.  If you are visiting Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, this stop is a nice add on.

Monument and Overlook Trail, Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Monument and Overlook Trail
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Date Hiked: November 11, 2011

Distance: 1 mi (RT)
Managing Agency: National Park Service
Fee: None

Directions - This park is not easy to get to, here are directions from the NPS website:  The Sand Creek Massacre is located in Kiowa County Colorado. To visit the site, follow Colorado State Highway 96 east off Highway 287 near Eads, or west off Highway 385 at Sheridan Lake. Near Chivington, turn north onto County Road 54/Chief White Antelope Way or at Brandon, turn north onto County Road 59. Follow these roads to their intersections with County Road W. The park entrance is along CR W a mile east (right) of CR 54 or several miles west (left) of CR 59.

This is an important hike, not just for Coloradans but for Americans as a whole.  The park memorializes a dark day in American history when U.S. Military Soldiers under the lead of Col. John M. Chivington needlessly slaughtered 700 Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women, and children.

The hike at Sand Creek Massacre is a short one, following a wide dirt trail from the Visitor Center across the plains and historic areas up to a monument and an overlook of Sand Creek, the primary site of the massacre.  This is a somberly beautiful area and one that is truly sacred and hallowed ground.  It is an important hike in that it forms a connection to a place and time that most would otherwise want to ignore.  You'll leave this place with something intangible and uncomfortable but you'll be glad that you made the trip.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bluffs Regional Park, Crooked Stick Trailhead

Crooked Stick Trailhead
Bluffs Regional Park

Date Hiked: Nov 6, 2011

  • Distance: 3 mi (RT)
  • Elevation Gain: 200ft
  • Managing Agency:  Douglas County Open Space
  • Fee: None

Bluffs Regional Park Trail Map (Douglas Co.)

Directions:  From Denver, take I-25 south to Lincoln Ave.  Head west on Lincoln Ave and turn left (south) onto RidgeGate Parkway.  Make a right on Crooked Stick Trail and follow the road to the end and the trailhead.

Bluffs Regional Park is an open space park at the southern reaches of the Denver Metro Area in Douglas County.  The park offers a straight forward loop hike with two overlooks.  The views from the overlooks are expansive and stretch across the Front Range.  You'll get great views of Mt. Evans and Pike's Peak, all towering over the expanse of Denver Suburbs.  There are also connector trails that lead to various pieces of the Douglas County trail system such as the Lonehenge Viewpoint Trail.