Hiking in Colorado

Walking the Devil’s Backbone

The devil is buried. And his backbone protrudes. You can walk beside it, touching the sides of his massive vertebrae. Chilling? Creepy? Actually it’s a fine spring hike or bike, for you, the kids and the dog. The burial site can be found just west of Loveland, Colorado on Highway 34, about an hour south of Cheyenne. […]

Greyrock Mountain

There are surprises (Wow!) and surprises (Whoa!). On any trip, let’s have more of the first. The Greyrock Trail, not far from Cheyenne, has some solid “Wow’s”, and on my recent foray down from the peak, one definite “Whoa!”. Driving up the winding Poudre River canyon from Ft. Collins you’ve probably noticed some trailheads. The is […]

Bison at Soapstone Prairie

Ten genetically pure bison will be returned to the grasslands of Soapstone Prairie and Red Mountain Open Space on November 1, 2015. The release of the bison, known as the Laramie Foothills Conservation Herd, is a joint project of the City of Fort Collins, Larimer County, Colorado State University and the US Department of Agriculture Animal […]

Twins Looking at Twins: The Twin Sisters

The Pawnee, it is said, found their way around the Colorado plains by noting the location of “the Twins,” that great pair of peaks we know as Longs and Mt. Meeker. The very best view of those twins, a close up, may be from another pair of twins, the Twin Sisters.  If you are interested […]

Rocky Mountain National Park: Centennial Celebration

Rocky turned 100 on January 26th. Rocky being Rocky Mountain National Park.   1915 was the year President Woodrow Wilson signed on, making it the nation’s 9th.National Park.   The official dedication ceremony was held on September 4, 1915.  So think of this year’s spring and summer as one long birthday celebration for Rocky. How can you best join […]

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area

A spring excursion for everyone (well, almost everyone) at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Waking from your long winter’s sleep? Want to chase down a taste of spring? Try out Bobcat Ridge, one of Fort Collins’ Natural Areas. With 16 miles of trails this foothills area has something for everyone. And I mean everyone. Almost. There are the […]

Longs Peak

We climbed Longs Peak, Bob and I, late last summer. All week after the climb I felt something, something beyond the tight calves that hobbled my first steps each morning. Something deeper that lay beneath all the week’s normal activities. It wasn’t pride. It was just the knowledge that I had done something. It was […]

Lone Pine Canyon

Stunned.  Maybe it was the sky. Grey cotton-wool pressing, lowering down, an ominous ceiling; beneath it scudded trains of white clouds. The sky promised rain, threatened snow. Maybe it was the surprise. I didn’t know this place was down here. Hidden behind a nondescript hill, hidden behind an everyday name—Lone Pine Creek—burst this canyon. Topped by […]

Gateway Natural Area & Seaman Reservoir

Gateway to spring If you’re looking for a quick spring escape check out Gateway Natural Area. It’s found at the start of Poudre canyon where the river makes a crazy bend, a horseshoe turn as if it wants to go back up to the high country from which it came. But the waters accept fate, […]

Pawnee Buttes

Has winter cramped your soul, crumpled it up like a wadded piece of paper stuffed into your chest? Do you just need to get out? But where to go in April, with the high country still in snow? Try Pawnee Buttes. These two rugged outliers stand away from the retreating bluff, their capstone roofs towering in […]

Signal Mountain: An athletic hike to a stellar view

If you are interested in an athletic hike to a great view I’ve got two words for you: Signal Mountain. It is athletic in that there is a 3,272 foot climb over 5.9 miles, yet not technical. A trail guides you all the way to the summit.  The view? A close-up of the Mummies, that […]

Meet under the Eagle’s Nest

There are landscapes that create memories, spark conversation and connection, that stir reflection. Meeting places of water and rock often make for the meeting of kindred spirits. And they can be just plain fun. One of these is Eagle’s Nest Open Space, just forty minutes’ drive to the southwest of Cheyenne, Wyoming. More than one hundred years […]

Red Mountain Open Space, Colorado and The BIG Hole

Want to take a spring hike? Search for that first bluebird of happiness? Our favorite hiking though–around Vedauwoo—is still cold, 2,000 feet higher than Cheyenne. Let me tell you about a good spot “on the level”, its trailhead equal to our altitude. I’ve found, spring or fall, whatever the weather is doing here it is likely […]

Snowshoe or Ski In Cabins

Just imagine. Before turning in you step outside. The cold is bracing, refreshing. Listening intently, you quiet your breath. There isn’t a sound, just the faint stir of wind in snow laden pines. As eyes adjust to the night the sky becomes alive, rivers coursing through the pulsating glow of the Milky Way. Orion hovers above, […]

Chasm Lake

She told me she wanted one more hike before the snow flew. She wanted to take her friend who wasn’t sold on outdoor excursions. Her criteria were tough:  * A destination so stunning, so gorgeous, so interesting, so grand as to be beyond words * A trailhead within two hours drive of Cheyenne, Wyoming * […]

Hewlett Gulch

The word “gulch” brings up scenes from a cartoon. A dry desolate wash, complete with a bleached cow skeleton, where (gulp!) our intrepid hero Goofy is about to be dry-gulched by a gang of stubble-faced villains. Not an inviting picture. And nothing like Hewlett Gulch.  Hewlett is an inviting ramble up a pleasant creek, a little […]

Rafting the Cache la Poudre

The other day I went into the Room of Doom, through the Maze, down the Devil’s Staircase. And that was just the start. After Decapitation there was Cardiac. I nearly ended in the Pine Box.  It was my wife’s idea. She said our 35th wedding anniversary needed some adrenaline. That got me worried. What did […]

Coyote Ridge in Ft. Collins Open Space

Itching to get out and stretch your legs? Restless? A warm breeze, a few daffodils, robins hopping about the yard will do that to a person. But here on these high plains all our favorite tramping grounds are bound in snow or slippery with mud. What’s a person to do?  Drop about a thousand feet. It […]

Palmer Park, Colorado Springs, CO

The Oasis in the Middle of Colorado Springs, CO Location:Palmer Park sits right in the middle of Colorado Springs.  There are two entrances to the park. To the WEST entrance: take Fillmore east, just past the major intersection at Union Blvd; you will see some medical office buildings, and then the golf course on the left.  Turn […]

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

This has to be one of the most fun national parks in the country.   Children laughing, frolicking in the water, splashing through the next wave.  Families building sand castles. Teens flying colorful kites. Seniors watching in beach chairs under their canopies.  Kids climbing up the sand, sliding down on their plastic sleds.  Dogs playing at […]

North Cheyenne Canon Park, Colorado Springs, CO

I’ll leave the more serious, camping/backpacking locales for my father to write up.My hikes are of the day variety, nearby places where I can escape into nature for an afternoon or so.So, I’ve decided I’ll write up some of those places, for those out there who just want a place to get some fresh air, […]

Rawah Lakes

Highlights: An overnight circle-on-a-stick backpack into the high alpine country we see on the far southwestern horizon from Cheyenne, Wyoming: the southern Medicine Bows. Here, above tree line, twelve pristine lakes sparkle in the shadow of North and South Rawah Peaks. Rawah is pronounced Ray’-wah and is a native American word meaning “wild place.” Location: The […]

Arthur’s Rock at Lory State Park, Ft. Collins, CO

Highlights: A fine spring hike to summit the granite crag overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir, Ft. Collins and the endless plains. During a moist spring, wildflowers are abundant.  Location: West of Ft. Collins, CO, about 50 miles south of Cheyenne, WY. Elevations: Trailhead, 5,600’, Top of the Rock, 6,780’. Distance: 1.7 miles one way Map and Guide: “Colorado State Parks: […]

Horsetooth Rock, CO

Highlights:  A short, pleasant, early season jaunt to the top “tooth” of this Front Range hogback, giving generous 360 degree views of mighty peaks, great plains and deep blue waters. Location: Just west of Ft. Collins, Colorado. Elevations: Trailhead at 5765`, Horsetooth Rock, 7256`. Distance: Approximately 5 miles round trip, about a 3 hour walk. Guides: Larimer County’s “Horsetooth […]

Cirque Meadows and Emmaline Lake, CO

Highlights: Stunning views of four great cirques, carved side by side to crown a resplendent meadow, and higher up, two sparkling glacial lakes. This is a 9 on the 10 point “wow” scale! Location: About 90 miles south west of Cheyenne, south from the Poudre River Canyon in Comanche Peak Wilderness. Elevations: Trailhead at 8930`, Cirque Meadows, […]

Paint Mines Interpretive Park – Calhan, CO

What it is: A badlands-type area in the Colorado prairie. Gullies, spires, hoodoos, and sculpted walls carved out of brightly colored clay deposits. Location: About a 5 minute drive from Calhan, Colorado, approx. 30 miles east of Colorado Springs. Take Hwy 24 to Calhan, turn right on Yoder Rd., and follow the signs. Gear: Nothing special. Wear […]