March 17, 2017

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Some of the best hiking trails in the country are located right here in Colorado. Just another reason to love this beautiful state!

Garden of the Gods Loop

Colorado Springs.

The Garden of the God’s really deserves more than one guide. This one takes you on a walk around the main section of the formations that constitute the Garden of the Gods as most people experience it. Three primary trails connect to form a 4 mile loop: The Palmer Trail begins on the north side of the main parking area, heading west and then south.

Willow Lake Trail

Crestone, Colorado.

Deep in the heart of the Sangre De Cristo mountains in southern Colorado, Willow Lake provides a respite for the waters draining the Obstruction Peak glacial trough, as they rush north and west toward the central Colorado basin. If you tee off from the top of Obstruction Peak, Willow Lake is in the center of the dog-leg left, with 500 yard long meadow.

North Mt. Elbert Trail - Highpoint of Colorado

Leadville, Colorado.

At 14,440 feet Mt. Elbert is the highest point in the Sawatch Range as well as the state. On this 4,500 foot climb you'll mostly be above treeline so be prepared. You will also be at altitude so make sure you allow yourself plenty of time. Also, make sure to get a VERY early start because thunderstorms always roll in during summer afternoons and it is highly dangerous to be above treeline in an electrial storm.

Stanley Canyon

Colorado Springs.

Picture the “wall” of the side of a chocolate layer cake. Imagine making one knife cut down through that wall. Pull out your imaginary knife (so you won’t get hurt) and gaze into the slit you’ve created. Now transfer this image to the front range of the Rocky Mountains, behind the Air Force Academy, near Colorado Springs. This is Stanley Canyon.

Devil's Head Fire Lookout

Sedalia, Colorado.

Devils head is a distinct granite rock outcropping in the front range west of Castle Rock. The outcropping is clearly visible from Castle Rock to Woodland Park. The outcropping is also home to the only fire lookout, in Colorado, that is staffed by the National Forest Service. This grants it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Helen Hunt Falls

Colorado Springs.

Helen Hunt Falls — named after Helen Hunt Jackson, author and social activist in the late 19th century — marks the abrupt descent of Cheyenne Creek where North Cheyenne Canyon Rd merges with Gold Camp Rd. The hike takes you up beside the face of the falls, then back around to another creek and a promontory from which you can view the entire valley.

Mitchell Creek Canyon

Founders Village, Colorado.

This 1.5 mile trail is a great example of the ecology and geography of the Castle Rock area. It offers much of the same experience as the nearby castlewood canyon with out the crowds. This trail is fun and there is beauty to be found here, however, I wouldn't drive more than 30 minutes to visit this trail.

Raspberry Mountain

COLORADO SPRINGS

The hike to the top of Raspberry Mountain is a pleasant six mile jaunt (round trip) through the Pike National Forest. The trail is wide and smooth, most of it shaded by tall dark Colorado Spruce. Sentinel Point and the northernmost of the Sibling Spires are visible occasionally about four miles to the south, whetting your appetite for the “Big View” available at the summit, when the Crags, Pike’s Peak and the Catamount Reservoirs spread across the horizon’s southeastern quadrant.




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