Saturday, August 28, 2010

Colorado Hikes

Now, this is all weather dependent of course. But, another major factor is Nana, who will be traveling with us. Toa of Boy wants to climb a mountain in the Rockies. Nana won't be up for any mountain climbing, and might be restricted to very short, very level, slow strolls.

I checked two books out of the library, one was Open Road's Best National Parks with Kids, and the other was Fodor's Complete Guide to the National Parks of the West. Both had some great info about trails and hiking and planning a day trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park. I typed out the info I wanted into a word file that I saved in our California Travel folder.

But, I'd like to go to the Kasbah Moroccan Restaurant for dinner, which is north of Denver, east of an hour south of where we'd be spending the day at the Rocky Mountain National Park, and 2 hours south of where we'd be spending the night in Laramie Wyoming. Everyone see the problem? Drive a couple hours north of Denver to go hiking in the park, drive an hour back south to have dinner, drive two hours north to our hotel.

(No, the answer isn't skip the restaurant. This is as close as I'm ever going to get to a trip abroad to that region.)

Then I noticed that Boulder Mountain Park is neatly labeled on the google map just directly west of the restaurant. Surely that place has hiking trails too?

Thus began the hiking trails search. Which I shall now subject all of you to. Yet another reason my blog has such a soaring population of readers.

This is the hike Toa of Boy would like best. The Lily Mountain Trail. 6 miles. "This 1000-foot climb requires some huffing n’ puffing, followed by a short but fun rock scramble to the summit. As in every good climb, views from the summit are most rewarding."

Of course, that is NOT a Nana friendly trail. Nor is it any further south, but since part of this trip is about dreaming, I'm including it.

The Blue Lake Trail might be a smidgen further south. I don't know if its south enough to save us any drive time. It's still a 4.8 mile trail though. But, seems 'easy' in terms of trails. "The walk to Mitchell Lake is a tranquil meander through a stately subalpine forest. Children find it fairy-tale charming as they discover rock gnomes and flower angels along the way. The brisk trek to Blue Lake edges a year-round snowbank before reaching the waterfall-fed lake, which remains frozen until midsummer."

Mind you, we'll be there in early May. Snow and ice will await us.

Lastly, of the trails I found today, there is the Thunder Lake Trail. It's only 3.6 miles (only, right?) "The North Fork of the St. Vrain River treats hikers to two waterfalls, each appealing in markedly different ways. The short, gentle walk to Copeland Falls invites hikers to a soothing series of pools spilling over smooth boulders. The steeper climb to Calypso Cascades greets hikers with a torrent of water crashing through jagged rocks and fallen trees. The hike is a perfect destination for families with mixed ages or ambitions."

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