Staunton SP

Staunton SP

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Boulder Lake, Eagles Nest Wilderness

Boulder Lake, Eagle's Nest Wilderness
White River National Forest

Date Hiked: Sept. 29, 2013
  • Distance: 5.8 mi (RT)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,671ft
  • Elevation Min/Max: 9,436 to 10,140ft
  • Trailhead Lat/Long: 39.710840º N; 106.166906º W
  • Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service
  • Fee: None
Boulder Lake Trail Map (Google Maps)

Directions:  The hike to Boulder Lakes leaves from the Rock Creek Trailhead.  To get to the trailhead from Silverthorn, take Hwy 9 north and make a left (west) on FS Road 1350 Across from the Blue Lakes Campground.  This dirt road is is good shape, follow the road and signs to the Rock Creek Trailhead.

This trail is great for a half day fall hike to a beautiful lake with the Gore Range as a staggering backdrop.  You start from the trailhead on the N. Rock Creek Trail heading west.  After about 1 mile, take a right (north) on the Gore Range Trail.  The trail winds through an evergreen forest with plenty of Aspen Groves to make the colors pop.  The trail rolls over wooded hills and every now and then the trees open up to offer beautiful alpine views.  After a little over 2 miles the trail meets up with the Boulder Creek Trail.  Turn left here and it is less than one mile to the lake.  Enjoy your time exploring the shore of the lake and envying the campsites situated just up from the shoreline.  When ready, head back the way you came.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Booth Lake, Eagles Nest Wilderness

Booth Lake, Eagles Nest Wilderness
White River National Forest

Date Hiked: Sept. 28, 2013
  • Distance: 8.73 RT miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3,590ft
  • Elevation Min/Max: 8,451 to 11,519 ft
  • Trailhead Lat/Long: 39.650539º; N 106.320993º W
  • Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service
  • Fee: None

This was one of those Fall Colorado days that defies imagination.  A winter storm rolled through Summit County the night before the hike resulting in an amazing combination of snow covered ground and golden Aspen trees in the early morning.

Although the ground was snow covered, there was only 6 inches, at the most, of snow.  It felt like winter hiking without the need for micro-spikes, let alone snowshoes or skins.

Blue-bird view of Mt. of the Holy Cross to the South.

Booth Lake!

Just a few hours later, virtually all of the snow had melted off.

A very popular hike, but understandably so. Drop everything, do this hike now!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Centennial Cone Park - Travois >Evening Sun Loop

Centennial Cone Park, Jefferson County Open Space

Travois Trail > Evening Sun Trail Loop

Distance: 2.67 miles (Round Trip)

Elevation Gain/Loss = 400ft

Date Hiked - Sept. 23, 2013

Directions:  The Travois trail starts from the Camino Perdido Trailhead, aka, the northern TH for Centennial Cone Park.  From  Denver/Boulder and Hwy 93 head west on Golden Gate Canyon Road toward Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Make a left on Robinson Hill Road and a left on Camino Perdido Road to the Park entrance.

Centennial Cone Park has a trail system that consists of a 12 mile loop through rolling hills, meadows, and pine forest.  There are 2 shorter day hikes, the Mayhem Gulch trail on the South-west portion of the park and the Travois >Evening Sun Loop on the Northeast portion.

The park alternates between hiking use and biking use on weekends so check the park's website before heading out (the link is provided below).

Centennial Cone Park Website
Map of Travois > Evening Sun Loop (Google Maps)

The Travois trail descends from the parking lot through rolling hills.  Keep left at the trail junction with the Evening Sun trail to stay on the Travois Trail.  The next part of the trail skirts the side of a deep canyon before it ascends to a pass and the 2nd junction with the Evening Sun trail.  From this point you can take the Evening Sun trail back up to the Travois trail or continue on the Travois trail for as long as you like.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Davis Ponds Loop, Staunton State Park

Davis Ponds Loop
Staunton State Park

Date Hiked: September 14, 2013

  • Distance: 2 mi (RT)
  • Elevation Gain: 400ft
  • Elevation Min/Max: 8,202 to 8,411ft
  • Managing Agency: Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife

Staunton State Park Trail Map
Davis Ponds Trail Map (Google Maps)

Directions:  From Denver, head south on Hey 285 to Schaffer's Crossing just before Pine Junction.  You'll see signs for Staunton State Park.  Exit the highway and head north on S. Elk Creek Road, the park will be on the right.  This hike starts from the lower parking area.  There is a fee to enter the park.

Staunton State Park is a park of long trails...except for Davis Ponds...  This hike is relatively easy, and good for kids or just a pleasant hike through evergreen and aspen forest.  Unfortunately, at the moment the ponds area is closed but it looks like it will be very pretty when it is open.  I believe that you get a nice view of the Lion's Head from the ponds.  Even with the closure, the hike is worthwhile.  There are abundant aspen and views of the various rock towers and cliffs of the Staunton Rocks area.

If you have the time I STRONGLY suggest doing one of the larger hikes such as the hike to Elk Falls Overlook.  This park is beautiful albeit difficult to access the interior of the park.  The Davis Ponds Loop will give you a nice little taste and you'll be tempted to bite off more and more...and more...