I finally made it back to Golden to hike the Mt. Galbraith Loop. Starting again from the Nightbird Gulch trail. After 1.8 miles in I met up with the junction for the Galbraith Loop trail. I decided to take the trail going to the left. The distance on the loop is 1.6 miles. Here are a few pics from the loop trail only. Total mileage for the hike, a little over 5.1 miles.
A great day to get out of the city with temperatures reaching the mid 90s and head up to the high country to hopefully cooler temps. Take Hwy 7 towards Lyons and just outside of Allenspark to the Wild Basin trail head.
This time back to the Wild Basin trail head within Rocky Mountain National Park for another attempt at Ouzel Lake. My last time on this trail was in June 2014 and a combination of a missed alternate trail, a washed out bridge from the flooding in late 2013 and injuring my knee along the trail, I never made it to the lake.
Overall it was a great day to be on the trail, as you may or may not know traffic is also heavy mostly due to Ouzel Falls and and the Cascades along the way. Getting there as early as possible is a great idea to find a decent parking space. The highlight of the day for myself of course was spotting a bull moose on the descent from Ouzel Lake.
Distance covered this hike was 9.9 miles, taking an alternate trail part of the way up and back down the normal trail coming back down.
Today was gorgeous weather-wise and I’d been itching all week to get in a hike. Again wanting to keep it close to the Denver, I chose to drive over to Golden and give the Nightbird Gulch Trail a try.
Nightbird Gulch Trail by itself is a hikers only single dirt trail of 1.8 miles, it becomes more of a rocky trail as you ascend. At the end of those 1.8 miles, the trail junctions with the Mt Galbraith Loop Trail of 1.6 miles around the Mt Galbraith summit. Nightbird Gulch has an elevation gain of somewhere over 800 Vft from the trail head starting elevation of 5972 ft.
The Mt. Galbraith Loop Trail can also be accessed from the opposite end of the park from the Cedar Gulch Trail. This trail is 1.3 miles to the junction and is also the more popular trail than the Nightbird Gulch Trail. The Nightbird trail is accessed through a residential area with on street parking for a few cars, maybe 6 or 7 unless you park on both sides of the street. The advantage to hiking the Nightbird Gulch Trail is you get 5.2 miles total when you include the Mt Galbraith Loop versus 4.2 miles from the Cedar Gulch Trail, depending on what you’re up for I guess.
On this afternoon I just did the Nightbird Gulch trail in and out, 3.6 miles total. Next time I’m adding in the Mt. Galbraith Loop as well.
Directions to trail. Coming from State HWY 93 turn on Iowa Dr and then turn on Canyon Point Circle.
Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash. Each trail in this park are for hikers only. Cost to access, free.
After a long 8 month layoff from having been on a trail of any kind, it was long overdue time to get back out there if not from a physical standpoint but a mental one as well. I made the call earlier in the week about doing a hike and I just wanted something close to town and something moderate at best. Carpenter Peak in Roxborough State Park would be the destination. I’ve hiked Carpenter Peak many times before as it is usually a warm-up hike leading into each hiking season. Carpenter Peak is 3.2 miles one way sits at 7160 ft in elevation at the summit, the highest point in the park.
The weather this day has been consistent with the last 3 weekends prior, grey and cloudy, with some chance of precipitation either rain or snow. Here are a couple of pics I took using my cell phone.
About 10 or 15 mins into our descent, we hear a rumble of thunder off in the distance. We began to pick up our pace and on the way down we hear more thunder and then a flash of lightning and the hail and rain start to fall. Besides not wanting to get struck by lightning, I don’t mind at all the change in the weather. I was in the moment and just so happy to be back on a trail!
From the Fancy Lake trail head, via the Fancy Pass trail, Fancy Lake is a 3.2 mile hike one way. If you wish to go further you can continue on to Fancy Pass another .5 mile beyond the lake and onto Treasure Vault Lake for another .7 mile for total of 4.4 miles one way.
Starting elevation from the Fancy Lake trail head is 10017 ft and the elevation at Fancy Lake is 11551 ft, a net elevation gain of 1534 ft. It was another gorgeous day and a great hike, so here are a few pics from this day.
I can now add a 3rd national park to my list of visited parks and check a major item off of my own bucket list if you will. While away on vacation in Arizona the last week, I was fortunate to visit the Grand Canyon on a spur of the moment road trip with friends, including a side trip through Sedona along the way.
Anyone who has visited this geological wonder will immediately tell you that it is simply breathtaking. And if you havent yet been, you should certainly put it on your own “to-do” or bucket list. Pics below were taken from the South Rim.
I couldn’t have asked for a better day weather wise for my first trip to the Grand Canyon. I look forward to returning soon to see it from the North Rim as well as from within the canyon itself.
I have to agree with Teddy Roosevelt below(taken from the Grand Canyon National Park website).
President Theodore Roosevelt said of Grand Canyon, “Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American should see.”
If you get the chance to ride through Sedona, please do so. The red rock buttes and formations are gorgeous in there own right. I can honestly say that I came away from this road trip with a greater appreciation for Arizona and it’s beauty more than I had ever before.
Happy 239th Birthday America!
After a long night working the Zac Brown Band concert at Coors Field the night before and barely functioning on nearly 4 hours of sleep, I had made the decision to celebrate the country’s Independence Day by taking in a hike with friends.
Crater Lakes of which there are 5 of them are 3 miles in from the East Portal Trailhead at the Moffat Tunnel. The trail is moderate in elevation gain until about the last mile or so, then it becomes a little more steep and challenging.
We stopped at the first lake had lunch and made our way back down the trail. Next time I hope to see all five lakes.