Yesterday, before the snow started falling, it was a lovely and warm day in Colorado – one of those winter days where the sun takes over and it get to about 40 degrees F and it’s just lovely.
I met some friends at the Section 16 Trailhead on Saturday morning, and we started out just after 9 a.m. Now, this trail is a big loop if you take the Palmer Rocks route, and it’s a well-established, well-traveled trail, so it’s very easy to follow and almost impossible to get lost on.
The leftover snow wasn’t a problem – and by that I mean, it wasn’t a complete mud path. This trail has it all – lovely scenery, a bridge, huge red rocks … it’s got everything we love about hiking in Colorado in a nice 6-mile package.
We had some folks along with us who were unused to the altitude and they did struggle with the first part of the trail – it’s not easy, so don’t kid yourself. Once you climb the first mile and a quarter, the trail levels out and then it’s a long, slow sweep through lovely forest on the way down. Yesterday, the sky was a lovely blue and the clouds were wispy.
On summer evenings, I’ll climb the steep portion, catch my breath, and then jog the entire sweep down. I’m not fast, and this can be done in about an hour and 40 minutes round-trip back to the car.
Yesterday, it wasn’t the Speedy Gonzalez’ version of the trail because we all had to catch up on each other’s lives – the holiday, new houses, new jobs, all kinds of changes. So, we took our time and enjoyed the doggies and chatted the whole way.
Today, however, the weather is dreary and dark and snow if falling. Glad I had my hike yesterday because today is really, really COLD!
P.S. As always, when hiking in Colorado, please be smart! Dress in layers, have plenty of water and snacks (for the doggies too), and stay alert!