Destination, Eldorado Canyon State Park, just outside of Boulder, in the town of Eldorado Springs. It was my first visit here and makes my 4th state park out of Colorado’s 42 state parks. This state park is a rock climbers paradise! And because of that, it was listed as one of the “Ten state parks you cant miss!” by Smartertravel.com in 2007.
The hike on Eldorado Canyon Trail is rated as moderate to difficult. The 3.5 mile trail climbs fast in the first mile, then it levels out some and then drops pretty steep again the last mile ending at the Walker Ranch Loop Trail. (So you can expect your calves to get quite a workout!) Turn left onto the Walker Ranch Loop Trail towards South Boulder Creek about a quarter mile maybe, cross over the bridge and find a spot to enjoy lunch or just the sounds of the creek rushing by. Take advantage of some wonderful views in all directions while on this trail. Freight trains follow the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad through a number of tunnels high above the park. On a clear day you get a good look at downtown Denver in the distance.
We had clear blue skies at the start of this hike and the skies became hazy as the day went on. After lunch by the South Boulder Creek, on the return hike back there were some dark clouds, but none too threatening looking. And luckily no rain fell anywhere near the park. All and all, I logged a little over 7 miles on Saturday, too bad there is no such thing as frequent hiker mileage points!
Enjoy a few photos I took from Saturday.
A hazy Mile High skyline
Look just under center you can see the parking lot from where we began.
Nature at work
South Boulder Creek before crossing the bridge
Freight train coming out of another tunnel
Closeup of the creek, even further up
Sitting creekside, having lunch.
Looking towards the Continental Divide on a hazy day
Nice red home
Look on the left between the mountains and you can see Denver, if it werent for the haze.
On the descent, a look down at South Boulder Creek
Another look further up the creek
One of the tunnels of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad
Looking up after a few minutes on the trail
The intersection of Eldorado Canyon Trail & Walker Ranch Loop Trail
A look back after a few minutes on the trail.
This is a great hike if you want variety of scenery and elevation gains. There were a lot of people on the trail this day, but many were there just to take a short hike a mile or so in and turning around. Maybe it was because it was a holiday weekend. But it was great to see so many different nationalities and people of many backgrounds being outdoors and enjoying what nature and our state parks have to offer!
Diversity in nature is something we don’t often see or even think about, but this day was different. Possibly it’s something we will discuss in the future.
I will be back on a trail this coming weekend, since I don’t have to work. The thought right now is probably Twin Sisters Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. The last time I did this trail was almost exactly 3 years ago this weekend. I’ll let you know for sure as the weekend gets closer. Get out and enjoy the outdoors!!!