Tag Archives: Hiking

Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)

Hiking at Roxborough State Park

As Coloradans, living life outside is what we do. Whether hunting, fishing, hiking, biking or engaging in other forms of recreation, the majority of us spend valuable time enjoying Colorado’s magnificent outdoors. Statistically speaking, approximately 92% of Coloradans recreate in the outdoors at least once every few weeks and some, four or more times per week. With one of the country’s fastest-growing populations, however, residents and tourists are facing crowding at public recreation areas, maintenance backlogs and conflicting outdoor recreation pursuits.

Read more

Start 2019 0n the Right Foot

2017 First Day Hike at Stagecoach State Park

Hikers at Stagecoach State Park. All photos by © Nora Logue/CPW

First Day HikesYear’s end often leads us to reflect on the past and plan for the future. As Coloradans, we make outdoor recreation an important and valuable part of our busy lives. So we may find ourselves reflecting on the reward and reinvigoration of hunting seasons spent in the mountains and out on the plains; hikes to the tops of 14ers and relaxing walks in Colorado’s open spaces; or quiet mornings spent by a favorite fishing hole. Read more

A Hiker’s Guide to Dog Training

Dog-LNT2

All photos by © Jenn Fantasia

On a crisp Friday morning, I wind my way up a solid dirt path with my faithful Saint Bernard, Bailey, alongside. We’re in route to Herman Gulch, a stunning and popular lake destination for hikers in Colorado. Tall evergreens line the well-traveled path and a crystal-clear river provides a pleasant soundtrack to our ascent. After hiking 3.5 miles uphill, we reach the ridge. My hiking boots punch through remnants of snow patches and Bailey happily throws gulps of snow into her mouth, chomping at the tiny pieces of ice as they spill out of her jowls. We crest the ridge and gaze upon the sparkling lake below, cradled in a natural bowl surrounded by jagged mountain peaks. We stop to take it all in. Read more

The Virtues of a Short Walk in the Park

Wild rose hips and leaves in their autumnal splendor at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Photo by Linda Pohle.

Wild rose hips and leaves in their autumnal splendor at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Photo by Linda Pohle.

No time for a full-day hike? Don’t let that discourage you from hopping on a trail in one of our gorgeous state parks for a short outing. Oh, the things you’ll see!

For example, a friend and I, plus my dog Sage, recently took a short hike on the Horseshoe Trail in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which is 16 miles northwest of Golden. We lacked the time to walk the nearly 4 miles round-trip to Frazer Meadow, a beautiful area that was homesteaded in 1880 by John Frazer (only crumbling remnants of Frazer’s barn remain, but there’s an interpretive sign with interesting information about him). But the Horseshoe Trail is so lovely, and so nicely shaded, one of Sage’s requirements, that we decided to walk it for about an hour and then turn back. We knew that going out a short while on this trail was a much better idea than not going at all.

From our homes in southeast Denver, it’s an easy drive across town and up the 13 sinuous miles of beautiful Golden Gate Canyon. We stopped at the park visitor center to check the list of wildlife sightings and were thrilled to see that a moose with two calves recently had been spotted in the northern reaches of the park. The short drive to our trailhead showcased several new road and parking lot improvements, including the recently paved 14-car lot at Horseshoe trailhead, and multi-car overflow parking on both sides of the road just south of it. Wooden steps, framed by slopes of newly planted native vegetation, led up to the trail. Read more

Castlewood Canyon State Park: The Lucas Homestead

Lilacs bloom in front of the Lucas Homestead at Castlewood Canyon State Park. Photo by © Linda Pohle.
Lilacs bloom in front of the Lucas Homestead at Castlewood Canyon State Park. Photo by © Linda Pohle.

Take a walk back in time on the Homestead trail at Castlewood Canyon State Park. The Homestead parking lot on the park’s east side is near the middle of the Lucas family’s original 160-acre homestead. At the bottom of the hill is the most dramatic evidence of their lives here—the skeleton of a concrete house. Yes, concrete!

Read more