Sunday, April 20, 2014
City of Aurora Parks
Date Hiked: April 20, 2014
Distance: 2.5 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 198ft
Elevation Min/Max: 5,909 > 5,987ft
Aurora Reservoir Trail Map
Aurora Reservoir Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: There are two ways to get to this park, the fast way costs a bit of money as you need to take C-470 from I-70 south to Quincy Ave. Otherwise, take I-70 East to I-225 South. Get off at the Parker Road exit heading south and turn east on Quincy. Take Quincy Ave east until you see the sign for Arapaho Park/Aurora Reservoir. Turn right and drive into the park. Pass the entrance station (fee required) and make your first right towards the Main Plaza. Park here and walk down the stairs towards the Picnic Area called Pike's Peak. The trail starts to the right of the picnic area. You'll see the paved trailhead but if you start walking down towards the fishing pier, you'll see the dirt single track to the right that takes you down to the water's edge.
This hike is really more of a walk. The park is a wonderful place to bring the bike or your fishing gear, but is not really a hiking park. That being said, there are some natural surface trails that branch off from the paved trail and the reservoir shore is extremely pleasant. There is also good wildlife and bird watching so this makes for a decent easy hike. The nicest part that I found, until I got bored and turned around, was at the 1 mile marker. Look towards the lake for the grassy, faint, double track road. Follow this to the shoreline and a very nice grassy area where you can relax without the hordes of picnicers and fishers that surround the lake closer to the parking lot. You can follow the the paved trail for about 7 miles around the lake and I'm sure you can find other serene spots, but this makes for a nice enough destination.
At first the weather was cloudy and the photos were kind of boring, so I took some liberties with Lightroom and pushed the colors further than I typically would when touching up photos. I got a little artsy... so sue me...