I refuse to give up on this idea of hiking for us “over 50’s”. It sounds great until we are 5 miles in, then the whining starts in earnest. We are not backpacking, rock climbing or spelunking. We are limited to a comfort level of 5-6 miles and a somewhat blazed trail. Even with these limits there are so many outdoor wonders to explore across the world. This month we traversed a couple of short trails hiking Indian Peaks Wilderness area. These peaks are the in north central Colorado, part of the Front Range and close to Denver/Boulder. There were trail choices that were in the plains east of the range, foothills approaching the range, and many alpine lakes and summits in the higher elevations. I had planned out 2 different trails that were doable for our limitations. In true spontaneous fashion we hiked two totally different trails:
Lily Ridge Trail was one of two short trails around Lily Lake just off the road on our way to Estes Park, CO. Lots of family hikers because of its easy terrain. Pretty lake and great view of the majestic Long’s Peak. You could hike to Long’s Peak, but we were much happier taking it in as a distant vista.
Our second day of hiking Indian Peaks Wilderness we were forced into spontaneity by crowdedness. We planned to hike along the Mitchell Lake and Blue Lake trails. The trailhead for these were off of the Brainard Lake parking lot. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the Ranger Station the cars were backed up with about 20 ahead of us. It was going to be a very long wait and the rangers suggested we park in the outlot and hike the Sourdough and Waldrop Trals instead. It was a Saturday about 9:30AM so FYI, be sure you arrive very early or try a weekday for these trails.
We did as the rangers had directed and as a result, found ourselves on a longer and more strenuous hike than we really wanted. It happens…..All in all it was a great trail with the South St. Vrain Creek running along our way and an unexpected vista of Arapaho Peaks.
We had some fun trying some long shutter shots of the rapid waters