Hiking in Eldorado Springs

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Hiking in Eldorado Springs

Hiking in Eldorado Springs

The multiple hiking trials near Eldorado Springs offer a unique set of trail systems for all those who dare to explore. The trail system, once known as the “Coney Island of the West,” gives hikers plenty of options to hike to history. One of the most visited landmarks is the Doudy-Debacker Dunn House. After parking in the Homestead lot, the Homestead Trail will lead you to the

The home was the original homestead of Sylvester (Andrew) Doudy, who built a portion of the home in the 1800′s. John Debacker later bought the home and added a second story. His daughter, Emma and her husband John Dunn later worked on the land as dairy farmers until their deaths in 1953.

Doudy-Debacker Dunn House in Eldorado Springs

Doudy-Debacker Dunn House in Eldorado Springs

For the audacious hikers, you can keep on keeping on. Climb 3,200 feet to Devil’s Thumb Pass for a spectacular view or head on the Shadow Trail and hook up to Mesa Trail. It offers mixed terrain with streams along the way. Keep you eyes alert because chances are you will see quitea few butterfleis along the way. The paths are incredilby smooth making this an excllent spot for beginner moutnain bikers and those trail running.

Stone building of the Doudy-Debacker Dunn House

Directions: Head west on U.S. 93. Turn right and then take a left on Eldorado Springs Drive (Colo. 170). The trailhead is on your right in 1.7 miles. Trail head is about 30 minutes from Denver.

 

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Castlewood Canyon Unlike Any Other State Park

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Castlewood Canyon is a place so beautiful, one trip just won’t satisfy the hiking cravings. With more than 13 miles of trails to conquer and plenty of views and history to see, you may find yourself back to the entry gates a few times. Plus, there is a lot more than trails that captivate your attention. Here are five highlights.

 

1. Ruins of the Cherry Creek Dam, built in 1890, remain after a flood rushed through the canyon in the 1930′s, tearing down the 600-foot structure. Walk along the dam trail for up close views of what’s left of the rock-filled structure. Continue along the path towards the Creek Bottom trail to look inside a concrete tunnel that offers views deep inside the dam.

2. Discover remains of a homestead on the West side of the park. The Lucases began homesteading the land in 1894. Markers along the Homestead Trail point out different structures. You will see where the original wood home was, the structure of the updated concrete home as well as what’s left of a cattle shelter and milk house. The Lucases were home the night a 50 feet wave of water rushed through the canyon towards their home. At the last minute the water spread thinner and naturally diverted itself.

Castlewood Canyon State Park

Castlewood Canyon State Park

3. Explore Caves after a short uphill hike on the Cave Trail. Take a look inside several grottos where you will find mosses, liverworts, and ferns still thriving since the last ice age.

Caves inside Castlewood Canyon State Park

Caves inside Castlewood Canyon State Park

4. A sun sparkling waterfall rushes along the Creek Bottom Trail. Along the trail you are treated to some shaded spots, flat and even terrain and views of the creek waters.

Castlewood Canyon State Park

Castlewood Canyon State Park

5. Hike In A Captivating Canyon on the Inner Canyon trail where you are smack dab in the middle of some of the best hiking in the Centennial State. From hopping across big time rocks and trekking across bridges, the trail will keep you guessing at what comes next.

Castlewood Canyon State Park

2989 South Highway 83

Franktown, CO 80116

(303) 688-5242

Directions:

Take 1-25 to Castle Rock. Take the Founders Parkway exit on Hwy 86 into Franktown. At the stoplight turn south to Hwy 83 and drive five miles to the park entrance. There are two entrances to Castlewood Canyon State Park. The main (or east) entrance is off of Hwy 83, five miles south of Franktown. The west entrance is accessed from Castlewood Canyon Road off of Hwy 86.

Castlewood Canyon

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Daily Park Pass: $7, Annual pass: $70

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Three Hikes Just Outside of Denver Not To Miss

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Hiking season is peaking which means it’s time to lace up the boots and top off the camelback. These trail options offer a solid mix for beginner to advanced hikers looking for their next adventure.

Roxborough State Park/ Douglas County

Rating: Easy to Moderate

Towering red rock formations surround Roxborough State Park creating dramatic views in southwest Denver

Towering red rock formations surround Roxborough State Park creating dramatic views in southwest Denver

This State Park is perfect for both novice and experienced hikers ready to be entranced with majestic views of red rock formations. Stay on the look out and bring a pair of binoculars because chances are high you will see several varieties of birds and wildlife- including golden eagles, black bears, mule deer and even rattlesnakes.

The Fountain Valley Trail will leave you oohing and ahhing as you pass towering formations. The relatively flat 2.25 mile loop starts and ends at the visitor center. Midway you will encounter what was once Henry Persse’s cabin in the early 1900’s.

If you are feeling ambitious trek the 6.2-mile Carpenter Peak Trail. The moderately challenging path summits at the highest point in the park and provides a stunning 360 degree view.

Directions: Head south on Wadsworth past Chatfield State Park. Turn left on Waterton Road; continue on Waterton Road until it ends at North Rampart Range Road. Turn right on North Rampart Range Road. Continue south 2.3 miles. At the intersection of North Rampart Range Road and Roxborough Park Road, turn left onto Roxborough Park Road. Take next right to enter the park. Entrance pass is required.

 

Deer Creek Canyon/ Jefferson County

Find trails for every level hiker at Deer Creek Canyon with grandiose sights of Deer Creek Canyon

Find trails for every level hiker at Deer Creek Canyon with grandiose sights of Deer Creek Canyon

Rating: Challenging

The trails at this Jefferson County Space Park offer several loop trails bringing up-close looks of wildflowers, scrub oak and a chance to see wildlife. From the trailhead on Grizzly Drive choose between the steep 3-mile round trip Plymouth Creek Trail or the less challenging 3.2 round trip Meadowlark Trail. If you want to miss the buzz of mountain bikers choose the hiker only Meadowlark trail. The end of the path is rewarding, take a minute to catch your breath and enjoy sweeping views of Deer Creek Canyon and Chatfield Reservoir. The next move is to either head East on the Plymouth Creek Trail or keep trudging West to hook up with the 2.5 Red Mesa Loop.

The Plymouth Creek Trail tops off at 7,800 feet climbing to the top of the quad burning Plymouth Mountain. At the end of the trail, hike the 2.6 miles on the Plymouth Mountain Loop on the south side of the mountain or head back to base camp. Hiking distances range anywhere from just over three miles and top off at nine miles.

Directions: From C-470 take the Wadsworth Exit South. Turn West on Deer Creek Canyon Road, head west to Grizzly Drive, then right into Deer Creek Canyon Park.

 

Apex Trail/ Jefferson County

8 trail options totaling 9.1 miles throughout Apex Trail keep hikers coming back.

8 trail options totaling 9.1 miles throughout Apex Trail keep hikers coming back.

Rating: Challenging

The Apex Trail is similar to the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books many of us read as kids. On this trail, you have several options: Peel off to an “Enchanted Forest,” drop down to a valley or trek up the ridgeline for wide-open views of Denver and Golden. Getting bored, however, is not an option.

The Apex Trail starts the adventure. After .4 miles you can have the choice to hike into the northern side of the mountain on the Argos trail or stay Western on the Apex Trail. If you choose the Argos Trail you will pick up the Pick ‘N Sledge trail with the option of completing the Grubstake Loop. Both Hardscrabble and Sliucebox hook back to the main Apex Trail. If you bypass the north side and stay straight on the Apex Trail you will meet the Enchanted Forest after about 1.5 miles where you are likely to spot rabbits, coyotes, mule deer elk and possibly even a mountain lion! The Enchanted Forest trail connects back with the Apex Trail after 1.4 miles. The trails totals 9.1 miles.

Directions: Head West on 6th Ave. from I-25. After passing under I-70 turn left on Highway 40. After about a mile turn into the Heritage Square Parking Lot on your right side.

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Hike to History: Gravesite of Doc Holliday

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Visiting the gravesite of one of Glenwood Springs most famous residents from the 19th century, Doc Holliday.

Visiting the gravesite of one of Glenwood Springs most famous residents from the 19th century, Doc Holliday.

Just steps from the Glenwood Hot Springs Hotel & Lodge, you can take a hike to history. The gravesite of one of America’s most celebrated gunslingers, Doc Holliday, sits high on a hill. No one actually knows where the outlaw of the Old West was buried (though it is somewhere in city limits) but it’s still an interesting look into history.

 Directions & Overview: The 1/2 mile climb to the top of Linwood Cemetery starts at the corner of 12th Street & Bennet Avenue. The well marked trail is steep but offers wide open views of the city to keep you surging. Allow 1.5 hours for the round-trip hike as well as time to look around at other gravestones in the area.

 A little about Doc Holliday: Leaving life as a dentist, Doc Holiday moved to Glenwood Springs in 1887 hoping the rumored powers of the mineral springs would cure his tuberculosis. It was here he discovered gambling, booze and guns- which led to his reputation as one of the most remembered outlaws. He died just a few months after moving to Glenwood- though not by gun fight as one might expect. You will learn from his tombstone that he died peacefully in his own bed. 

View from the top of Linwood Cemetery

View from the top of Linwood Cemetery

 

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Hiking Along Hunter Creek Trail

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Carri Wilbanks hiking in Aspen
Carri Wilbanks hiking in Aspen

A visit to Aspen at any time of year wouldn’t be complete without some quality trail time. Even if
blazing through snow, scenic views await along Hunter Creek, a long time locals favorite. On the edge
of downtown Aspen, this adventure will take you through aspen groves, alongside rushing water of Hunter Creek and over several bridges as you climb elevation. After about 1.6 miles, the trail splits. [Read more...]

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