Walker Ranch Trail Loop

This was supposed to be one of the easier trails I still have to do from the hike from 60 Hikes within 60 miles. According to my notes, this was supposed to be a a 7.66 mile hike with around 400ft of elevation gain.. which should be no big deal for me right now. I noticed this elevation map on the main sign at the trailhead and thought to myself, “Why are they showing me the peaks of the nearby mountains?”

It wasn’t till I got to the bottom of the first dip that I realized that something was up, looked at the map and went: “Ooooh! That’s why this trail was marked difficult.”

It was a nice pleasant hike I’d do again. The drive to the trail is a pain in the ass however. I’d like to explore some of the off trails in the future because the scenery is exactly what you’d expect from a mountain trail.

The spectacular drive up Flagstaff Road, popular with Boulder cyclists, is only a hint of the amazing views, plentiful wildflowers, and fishing at Walker Ranch. The loop takes hikers around the old homestead of James Walker and along South Boulder Creek.

60 Hikes within 60 Miles by Kim Lipker

Here are the stats:

  • Distance = 8.13 mi
  • Elevation Gain = 1,893 ft
  • Time = 2:49:45
  • Avg Speed = 2.9 mph
  • Min elevation = 6,405 ft

Here are the pics:

Here’s the map:

Categories: Denver, Recommended | Leave a comment

Golden Gate Canyon State Park: Mountain Lion Trail

This was another hike from60 Hikes within 60 miles. It was a nice pleasant hike I’d do again. I’d like to explore some of the off trails in the future because the scenery is exactly what you’d expect from a mountain trail.

Seldom visited, Golden Gate Canyon State Park is just outside Golden and 25 miles west of Denver. The park offers a few large loop trails, and rangers at the visitor center recommended this one. Mountain Lion Trail is a rugged mountain trail with great views that offer hikers plenty of solitude.

60 Hikes within 60 Miles by Kim Lipker

Here are the stats:

  • Distance = 7.54 mi
  • Elevation Gain = 1,768 ft
  • Time = 2:45:32
  • Avg Speed = 2.8 mph
  • Min elevation = 6,233 ft

Here are the pics:

Here’s the map:

Categories: Denver, Recommended | Leave a comment

Apex Park – Odd Day – Magic Mountain Trail – Paydirt Trail – Hardscrabble Trail – Rocker Trail – Enchanted Forest Trail – Poco Calle Trail – Apex Trail – Sluicebox Trail – Pick-N-Sledge – Grubstake Trail – Smelter Trail

This was another AllTrails discovery near our house that I had no idea existed. The even-day trail hike is quite pretty with the benefit of NO BIKES ALLOWED. I love this trail and it will go in my rotation of favorite local hikes. I did every side hike and this could have easily been shortened to a 6 mile hike in and out hike instead, or as far as you want to go.

It turns out that Pam designed the parking area and trailhead.

Here are the stats:

  • Distance = 9.40 mi
  • Elevation Gain = 2,064 ft
  • Time = 3:29:56
  • Avg Speed = 2.8 mph
  • Min elevation = 4,886 ft

Here are the pics:

Here’s the map:

Categories: Denver, Recommended | Leave a comment

Black Bear Trail

I found this trail years ago when I first starting hiking the Deer Creek Park area and have wanted to do it ever since. I could never get to it because I either wasn’t in town when it was open or not in shape enough.

It’s a long hike and we dropped the leaf at Hilderbrand Ranch Park and Lina dropped me off at Deer Creek. This is definitely the way you want to do this trail. It looks like it would be a loooong slog uphill for a long distance the other way.

I’ve been putting in the miles so I thought I was ready for this one finally, but it took a lot out of me for some reason. I felt fine as long as I kept moving, but I could never catch my breath when I stopped. I even took a 15 minute break around mile 7 or 8 and was immediately panting as soon as I started up again.

When I sat down at the end of the trail, I couldn’t catch my breath and my arms started vibrating uncontrollably. Turns out that’s a symptom of exhaustion or low blood sugar, but I’m not sure if it was the fact that I fasted for 36 hours before the hike or that we were in the middle of the worst air quality in the world because of the California forest fires.

The hike itself was long, but didn’t seem that bad while I was on it, and I did a couple of 8-9+ mile hikes a week or so later with no problems. I’m not sure what happened, but it was scary.

Here are the stats:

  • Distance = 10.80 mi
  • Elevation Gain = 1,686 ft
  • Time = 4:03:39
  • Avg Speed = 2.8 mph
  • Min elevation = 5,610 ft

Here are the pics:

Here’s the map:

Categories: Denver | Leave a comment

Apex Park Even Day Hike – Bypass to Apex Trails – Kinney Trail Run – Argos Trail – Pick-N-Sledge Trail – Grubstake Trail – Bonanza Trail

This was another AllTrails discovery near our house that I had no idea existed. The odd-day trail hike is mostly exposed for the first couple of miles, but the Grubsteak park of it is quite nice. However, I didn’t realize that this park switched between bikes and hikers on odd and even days, and I came on the wrong day so there were a ton of bikes riding up.

Bonanza Trail looks like it is closed at the bottom before you get to the woods, but it turns out that this is an optical illusion. The trail makes a sharp turn directly in front of the Trail Closed sign and is hidden behind another sign.

It turns out that Pam designed the parking area and trailhead.

Here are the stats:

  • Distance = 5.96 mi
  • Elevation Gain = 1,122 ft
  • Time = 2:10:28
  • Avg Speed = 2.9 mph
  • Min elevation = 6,041 ft

Here are the pics: