Mt. Rosa

Date: 6/4/2016
Who: Chris B. and myself
Length: 12 miles (6 out + 6 back)
Time: about 8.5 hours
Weather: 55-70 degrees, cloudy

This was a great hike to start the Summer hiking season, and I’m glad that my friend Chris suggested it. We started early at about 4 AM from the 4-way parking lot in N. Cheyenne Canyon park. At the parking lot we encountered some young people who were apparently wrapping up their partying from the night before. I’m glad to say that their idea of fun did not include any vandalism of our Jeeps (Chris drives a Jeep Wrangler, too).

We hiked steadily up to St. Mary’s falls and onward up to Mt. Rosa summit (11,499′ elev.). The last 500 feet or so of elevation included route-finding challenges due to snow drifts blocking the trail. But, we made it through with some minor delay and wet feet. At the summit, we hung out for about an hour enjoying the views to the West. Views East were mostly blocked by clouds. A chipmunk harassed us a bit and tried to steal food.

Chris near St. Mary's Falls

Chris near St. Mary’s Falls

Approach to Rosa Summit

Approach to Rosa Summit

Chris B on Rosa Summit

Chris B on Rosa Summit

The hike down was harder on me than the hike up. My knees and feet were hurting the last 3 miles. Today, 3 days later, I’m still sore but not injured. Stretching and staying hydrated is key to recovery.

Afterwards, we had a nice lunch at Colorado Mountain Brewery at the Roundhouse on 21st street–recommended! A refreshing Hefeweizen was just the thing, after that long hike.

This was my first outing with a new camera (Sony DSC-RX100). I wanted a new camera to replace the one that got waterlogged and ruined in New Mexico. This seems like a nice camera, but I still have a learning curve to get better video and photo results.

Looking forward to my next hike with Chris B. We’ve got a couple more in mind for this Summer.

This hike followed the BLUE line to St. Mary’s Falls, then to Mt. Rosa, and back:

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Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Date: 10/08/2015
Who: myself
Length: 7.5 miles
Time: about 4 hours
Weather: about 70 degrees, sunny

Cheyenne Mountain State Park is a relatively new park, opened to the public only since 2006. This was my first visit. The trails seem popular with mountain bikers. No dogs are allowed. It was interesting to view Cheyenne Mountain from a different perspective.

Cheyenne Mountain from N. Talon trail

Cheyenne Mountain from N. Talon trail

Fort Carson dominates the views to the East. Sounds from the Fort Carson public address system and Highway 115 traffic echo off the mountain and are audible in the park.

View East from Cheyenne Mtn. State Park

View East from Cheyenne Mtn. State Park

I encountered 2 rattlesnakes and some wild turkeys. And, here’s my first attempt at an animated gif:

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkeys

My route included Talon, S. Talon, N. Talon, and Sundance trails, following the BLUE line:

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This article in the Gazette states that a new Dixon Trail is being built largely by volunteers from the top of N. Talon trail in Cheyenne Mountain State Park to the summit of Cheyenne Mountain. The latest estimate for summit trail completion is 2019.

Mason Trail

Date: 07/25/2015
Who: Michelle and myself
Length: 9.4 miles (4.7 out + 4.7 back)
Time: 5.5 hours
Weather: about 75 degrees, mostly sunny

Video:

Today, Michelle and I enjoyed hiking in the Pikes Peak South Slope Recreation Area. The area is accessible by permit only. Dogs are not allowed–poor Sammy had to stay home. It was a 90-minute drive to get there from Colorado Springs via Old Stage Road, Gold Camp Road, and Forest Service Road 376. We hiked the Mason Trail from the parking lot up to Boehmer Reservoir and back.

The most popular activity here is clearly fishing. Most visitors were fishing in the Mason Reservoir. We were the only hikers on the upper trail to Boehmer. And, what a beautiful place to go fish! The water was crystal-clear, fish seemed to be biting, and the views of Pikes Peak and Almagre Mountain are great.

The Mason Trail passes through wildflower-strewn meadows for about a mile. Then, the remainder goes through pine forest until it reaches Boehmer Reservoir. Occasionally, there is a view of Pikes Peak. It’s interesting to see the cog railway in action, and glimpses of cars way way up on a section of the Pikes Peak Highway.

We saw lots of wildflowers, but no significant wildlife viewing today. It was super-nice to share a Jeep/hiking day adventure with Michelle!

Michelle and Chris at Boehmer Reservoir

Michelle and Chris at Boehmer Reservoir

This hike followed the YELLOW line:

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