An Improvised (and Stunning) Colorado Hike

Hope everyone had a good long weekend! I spent mine visiting my sister Sarah and her family in Colorado, and one of the highlights was an amazing hike. I love a hike with a view, and check out this view!

david-amphitheater-rock-view

The hike was definitely an adventure, because we ended up nowhere near our intended destination. But we improvised, and in doing so, found that spectacular lookout point, as well as a few others.

We were hiking in Boulder Mountain Parks, a huge undisturbed area with miles and miles of trails and gorgeous scenery.

boulder-mountain-parks-sign

Our first unexpected detour happened as we pulled up, because the parking area we were heading to was closed due to flood damage. Last fall, Boulder County experienced terrible flooding. Four people died. Over 900 homes were damaged or destroyed. 150 miles of roads needed to be repaired or replaced. Because repairs on this road haven’t been completed yet, we had to park a quarter mile further away. Believe me, I’m not complaining. A little walk is no big deal when so many people lost homes or loved ones.

Walking along a flood-ravaged road was eye-opening. I’ve never seen anything like it. I couldn’t believe that just last year, you could drive a car on this:

flood-damaged-road

The trail head we were looking for was Saddle Rock Trail, which leads high up into the mountains and connects with Gregory Canyon Trail, which we’d take back down, making a giant loop. There was a sign posted at the trail head that was definitely intriguing:

saddle-rock-ladder-sign

Climb a ladder on the trail?! Sign us up! Sarah and I were excited about the prospect, and up the trail we went. It was a steep climb. The trail had a steps built into it, and before long, I was feeling it in my legs.

About a half-mile up, we came across another sign.

saddle-rock-closed-sign

Saddle Rock Trail was closed from this point forward. Bummer! We noticed a sign for another trail, though – the Amphitheater Rock Trail, so we improvised, and headed that way.

(Side note: I just learned from Twitter, while putting together this post, that Saddle Rock Trail re-opened the very next day after we were there. Crappy timing!)

RELATED CONTENT: A Historic Hike To The Ruins of An Old Hotel

Amphitheater Rock is an actual big rock that juts up from a top of a little summit. Sarah and I loved exploring it, and spent about a half hour climbing on rocks and taking pictures. We approached from the back, where there were sizable rocks you could climb…

david-rock

…as well as little caves and indentations…

david-amphitheatre-cave

Sarah and I found a wonderful little clearing that was perfect for a selfie…

david-sarah-selfie

…only to find, minutes later, an even better selfie location, with the whole city of Boulder behind and below us.

david-sarah-selfie-view

We climbed up on Amphitheater Rock, which featured a pretty treacherous precipice:

david-amphitheatre-rock-cliff

Amphitheater Rock Trail headed back down to the main road, and our hike ended up being much shorter than we were planning. So we extended our hike by another 35 minutes or so with a second climb up Flagstaff Trail, which also quickly rose in elevation. By the time we made it down from Flagstaff, we had spent nearly 2 hours exploring the area. I had used an app on my phone to collect some data, and it was a fantastic workout!

  • Total Number of Miles: 2.4
  • Total Hiking Time: 1 Hour, 15 minutes (plus another 30-40 minutes enjoying the views and taking photos)
  • Total Elevation Change: Almost 400 feet (about the same as a 25-30 story building, and we did this twice)

Keep it up, David!

Next Time: More photos from Colorado, including stuff I ate and other things we did!

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2 Responses to An Improvised (and Stunning) Colorado Hike

  1. Jeff Dinkin says:

    Awesome adventure! Did you double step the ladder? Also, did the Shwings make the hiking easier? 😉

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