A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about snow

Spring Hiking 2020 - Colorado USA

White Ranch, Deer Creek, and North Mesa

sunny 40 °F

overview / intro

During the spring, we decided to escape some of the lock down blues and venture into nature for some hiking.

It's a great time in the spring to have cooler temps (but you warm up when hiking) and to see some snow cover, but it's not too deep so that you can still walk through it. The skies are usually clear and bright during this time too. We saw a handful of people on each hike, but there's so much space that everyone could keep adequate distant and enjoy the nature within their own groups.

White Ranch Park:

  • in Jefferson county near Golden
  • hiked part of the Belcher, Maverick, and Longhorn trails
  • https://www.jeffco.us/1437/White-Ranch-Park/

large_be0328e0-cc8b-11ea-b8ba-598e8e990864.jpg

large_be8f8a60-cc8b-11ea-9392-254e9ba8af95.jpg

Deer Creek Canyon Park:

  • in Jefferson county near Ken Caryl
  • hiked Meadowlark and Plymouth Mountain trails
  • https://www.jeffco.us/1208/Deer-Creek-Canyon-Park

large_be927090-cc8b-11ea-88a1-355794342126.jpg

large_be1662c0-cc8b-11ea-add2-615ee2b2cdda.jpg

North Table Mountain:

  • in Jefferson county near Golden
  • hiked the Mesa Top and Table loop trails
  • https://www.jeffco.us/1427/North-Table-Mountain-Park

large_bebc18a0-cc8b-11ea-add2-615ee2b2cdda.jpg

large_be281600-cc8b-11ea-88a1-355794342126.jpg

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Colorado ablum

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 19:12 Archived in USA Tagged me landscapes trees snow nature hiking colorado usa 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

2019 14ers - Blanca - Colorado USA

more hiking up tall mountains

rain 60 °F
View 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

Blanca

This peak is part of potentially 4 that one could down in southern Colorado near the Great Sand Dunes. Again, this is a hike that I needed the 4Runner. There's 7 miles of road up to a lake to where the real hiking trail begins. I drove about 4 miles of the road before it got really rough - the truck could have handled it, but my off roading experience isn't quite up for that challenge yet. We camped out overnight in a protected pull off site and starting early the next day.

Even a 6 am start was tough going to cover the 3 miles of rough rock road, and then another 4 miles up what is basically a big pile of rocks. There were definite steep drops off some cliff faces, and exposure to high winds as we climbed up a ridge to the top. One section was pretty much boulder climbing and many minutes I just laid low and hung on to whatever rocks were closest.

The goal for the day was to also do Ellingwood, which shares part of the same approach, and there's a ridge connecting the too. However, we were exhausted, it looked even tougher to climb and we couldn't find where the path split off (remember that it's a pile of rocks with a rock path going up it and piles of cairn rocks to guide your way, so it's tough to spot which are the real rocks to follow). Later, we're glad we headed down early as we got a downpour of water for the last 2 or so miles of hiking. What a fun challenging hike, one of the toughest ones I've ever done.

Relive video of the hikes

Grays & Torreys link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vr63JEV23dO
Blanca link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vRO7GpVG5KO

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and 14ers album

One of the easier sections of the road to the trailhead. This is after we parked, and didn't see any vehicles after this point.
large_04e2cc40-f3a0-11e9-a9b4-c1b4d1f9c11b.jpg

Chasing the sun up the mountain
large_05b69700-f3a0-11e9-a9b4-c1b4d1f9c11b.jpeg

One of the many lakes we hiked by
large_05fe7570-f3a0-11e9-a9b4-c1b4d1f9c11b.jpeg

Climbing up Blanca's ridge, with Ellingwood in the background
large_0649af40-f3a0-11e9-87ad-2d903a73ec2b.jpeg

Proof at the top
large_06958550-f3a0-11e9-8817-69164fe96bbf.jpeg

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 18:24 Archived in USA Tagged me waterfalls sunsets_and_sunrises mountains lakes trees snow nature hiking colorado lake sunrise sunsets usa rockies hike denver roadtrip 14er murktravels 2019 Comments (0)

2019 14ers - double take - Colorado USA

climbing the Gray-Torrey duo

sunny 60 °F
View 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

Gray's & Torrey's

These twin peaks are a somewhat close drive from Denver, but I heard horror stories of the road leading from the highway to the trailhead. If you don't have a high clearance 4WD, then it's another 3 miles each way before and after your hike. These are a couple easier hiking options, but I didn't ever want to add 6 or more miles of gravel road walking. Now that I have the 4Runner, Chris and I decided to knock these peaks off the to do list.

A semi early departure of about 5 am got us to the road. It certainly was rough, but did see some lower cars made it up part of the way. They must have some adventurous drivers. We got near the trailhead for parking and saw quite a few people had camped there over night. Good idea for future trips. The most used path up to either peak is straight forward and has a consistent up hill grind. There's also a Kelso Ridge route option that gets more into class 3 to 4 rock climbing, but we decided to wait on that for a future trip.

The most exciting part of the trip was on the way down. We had to cross a snow field. Previously hikers had crossed and worn down a path, enough so that we could slide down part of it but on a gradual descent section on the trail. We thought that was it, but next saw some people just off the trail, sliding straight down the mountain in a valley. What I came to learn was 'glissading'. Before I knew it, Chris jumped into the snow and started sliding down too. So I followed. It was slick, steep, and scary. We slid for several hundred feet, and then dropped off a ridge and onto an even steeper part. It took a few minutes to probably drop down 700-800 feet of elevation. Quite thrilling, and only ended up with some soaked pants and jackets.

Relive video of the hike

Grays & Torreys link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vr63JEV23dO
Blanca link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vRO7GpVG5KO

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and 14ers album

the moon is still out
large_c7a5a770-f3a0-11e9-87ad-2d903a73ec2b.jpg

the sun is on the way
large_c75bf440-f3a0-11e9-87ad-2d903a73ec2b.jpeg

view farther into the Rockies
large_c7feeb00-f3a0-11e9-a9b4-c1b4d1f9c11b.jpg

celebrate
large_c7c1baf0-f3a0-11e9-a9b4-c1b4d1f9c11b.jpg

at the top
large_c7809340-f3a0-11e9-8817-69164fe96bbf.jpg

an easy section to walk/slide down
large_c6b74fd0-f3a0-11e9-8817-69164fe96bbf.jpeg

the steep section we glissaded down - you can't even make out the few little specks of people at the top or the path we slid down
large_c700b4e0-f3a0-11e9-8817-69164fe96bbf.jpeg

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 18:18 Archived in USA Tagged me trees snow nature hiking colorado sunrise usa hike denver challenge 14er murktravels 2019 Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 3) Page [1]