Category Archives: Hiking

Waterfalls A Plenty In Rocky Mountain National Park

As previously stated, I have a strong love for waterfalls. Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place for exploring many different aspects of nature. If you are looking for waterfalls, there is one great hike that includes three spectacular falls along the way, and even an outhouse or two in case you need one.

This hike is rated as moderate and provides views of three different falls and several other cascades. You will reach the first, Copley Falls, after .27 miles, then as you continue on you will reach, Calypso Falls, in another 1.8 miles. If you choose to hike the remainder of the way, it is another .7 miles to Ouzel Falls. The whole trip there and back is 5.4miles, a lot of stepping upward on the way there.

I did not make it to the third fall, because the weather suddenly took a turn for the worse and I had no way to protect my camera. What I was able to see though, was quite impressive and totally worth it. Had it not been snowing, I would have definitely continued on to the end. Even if you only hike the first two points, you will enjoy the views greatly. I intend to go back and do this hike to completion, next August. I definitely want to see what I missed out on, especially if it’s even more impressive than the first two.

For more information, please visit: http://dayhikesneardenver.com/ouzel-falls-rocky-mountain-national-park/

Mini Hike To Adams Falls

When I go to Colorado, or really on any nature based vacation, my favorite hikes are those that take me to see a waterfall. I am definitely one of those hikers who enjoys a nice view that I can photograph from a million different angles and show to my friends and family when I return from my adventure. If you are not into long hikes, but you enjoy the great views at the end, I highly recommend a visit to Adams Falls.

Adams Falls is located near Grand Lake, so it wasn’t too far from Winter Park, which is where my family was vacationing. This particular trail is a loop and only .8 miles long. It is part of Rocky Mountain National Park. If you are in the area, you should definitely stop because the views are too good to pass up on this mini hike. The elevation at Adams Falls is 8,474 feet. The trail is accommodating to all skill levels of hiker.

Once you get to the waterfall, you can view it from a couple of different points. If you are like my step-son and you require a little more hiking activity, there are plenty of rocks to climb. A person could spend quite a bit of time here if they were to explore the area further or just sit back and relax while taking in the scenery. This could be a great place for picnic.

For more information on Adams Falls, please visit: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/adams-falls-trail

Colorado In The Fall

Just got back from a lovely trip to Colorado. I have now visited in the early part of September as well as the later part. I have found that there can be advantages and disadvantages to both, but mostly these situations are due to the weather.

My family chose to stay in Winter Park. This particular location lived up to its name. We experienced a five-inch snowfall overnight and had to cancel some of our plans for the week. When we visited in the earlier part of September, we did not have to battle the snow, but again, this changes year to year. Sometimes you get snow, and sometimes the leaves change before you arrive. It is best investigate the situation year to year.

My husband, Neal, and I, did take a nice drive to view the Aspens, and while quite a few were losing their leaves, some parts of Colorado were still in full color. One particular location I would love to recommend for Fall lovers, is Aspen Ridge. The drive can be a little bumpy, but the colors are amazing.

Despite the snow, we still did some smaller hikes to destinations such as Magnolia Mill. Even with a little cooler weather, and all of the snow, it was totally worth the short jaunt. Magnolia Mill and Montgomery Reservoir look amazing with the snow glistening around them. They looked even better after my stepdaughter decorated the mountainside with a smiling snowman for future hikers to see.

If you would like to plan a Fall trip to Colorado, there are a ton of great sites that list hikes and drives to see the colors.  Please visit the following for further information:

http://www.playwinterpark.com/top-5-spots-fall-color-near-winter-park-colorado?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Sept%20Guest%20Enews&utm_content=Sept%20Guest%20Enews+CID_e86868db63ed3eb8f0025a6896a0af11&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=SEE%20FALL%20COLOR

http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2017/09/14/colorado-fall-colors-guide-where-and-when-go/659938001/

http://www.9news.com/weather/fall-colors/9-best-drives-to-see-fall-colors-in-colorado/315377917

Camping At Willow River

Sometimes in this crazy life it is nice to just get away from the buzz of businesses and city noise and retreat into nature. I make a habit of taking vacations that incorporate outdoor activities into my schedule, because these activities help me reset and decompress. If you like camping, there are a ton of great places to choose from. I tend to enjoy state parks more than your packed in party campgrounds, because they give you more seclusion, less noise, and more nature.

This past weekend my family took a trip to Willow River State Park, which is located in Hudson, WI. This particular park, while the campsites are closer together, gives a feeling of privacy, because of all the the great foliage surrounding each site. Our campsite was surrounded by trees, had a fire pit and picnic table, and was still near a bathroom. We heard little disruption from our neighbors and it felt almost like we were alone at times. The site was not huge, we just barely got our bean bag toss setup in the space provided. Everything worked out fine.

This particular park offers hiking trails, a beach, a nature center, a beautiful waterfall, playgrounds, and activities at certain times for the family and children. Unfortunately, while we visitied, the lake had been drawn down, so the beach was not availble for use. If the lake had been active, the park would have offered kayak and canoe rentals as well.

We took a hike to the waterfall and it was completely worth it. You can actually swim at the base of the falls, but it’s definitely at your own risk. There are lots of great photo opportunities from the bridge as you approach the falls, as well as at the base and top. If you are feeling energetic, you can hike up the stairs to the platform that overlooks the falls for another great view.

If you want to continue hiking beyond the falls, there are other interesting sites and overlooks, including old grave sites and pieces of machinery. I did check out a few of the other outlooks and sites, but I feel that the waterfall is probably the most interesting view. Some of the overlooks are a little overgrown with trees, so you cannot really see much.

Overall, this is one of my favorite campgrounds in Wisconsin. I have been visiting Willow River for many years, even just to hike the falls. I will continue to come back to this campground in the years to come.

For more information on Willow River State Park, please visit: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/willowriver/

Rocky Mountain National Park: A Favored Scenic Destination

Over the past few years I have spent a decent amount of time visiting Colorado. From the first time I saw the mountains, I knew I was hooked. It wasn’t until about four years ago that I visited Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time, but it quickly became one of my favorite repeat destinations.

To me, Rocky Mountain National Park is worth the drive even if I am staying in a hotel that is a few hours away. If you choose to do a day trip to the park, be sure to arrive early in the day so that you can take full advantage of all of the scenery. In all honesty there is no way to do everything within the park in one day. There are just too many trails and roads to travel. Ideally a person would want to stay somewhere within Estes Park and spend several days exploring Rocky Mountain National.

One of my favorite hikes in the park is the Alluvial Fan. This is a large beautiful waterfall that fans out as it flows down the mountainside. Definitely be sure to wear a decent pair of hiking boots if you choose to hike up the waterfall, because you may encounter some wet rocks. The views from different points are awesome. There are many great photo opportunities on this hike.

Just the drive alone through the park is amazing. There are so many different animals to encounter. I have previously seen moose, elk, black bear, prong horn, mule deer, and a variety of different birds. Dusk is definitely a great time to go for a drive, because animal activity has a tendency to pick up.

Other than animals, the views are breathtaking. I could photograph the different points in Rocky Mountain National Park at all different hours of the day on a regular basis and I would never become bored. The views are ever changing due to the sunlight, clouds, time of day, and time of year. Definitely bring your camera because you will see some very impressive mountain scenery.

I highly recommend that you both drive through the different scenic roads in the park, as well as get out and explore. There are plenty of things to see and do. If you are not sure where to begin, the visitor’s center is always a great choice. The visitor centers can give you information about the different hikes and often tell you where certain animals may have been spotted.

For more information on Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm

 

Explore Breckenridge, Mud Season And All

Colorado is no doubt a beautiful state. My husband and I visit as often as possible; at the very least, once each year. One of our all-time favorite cities to call a temporary home is Breckenridge. While most people go to Breck for the skiing, we go for other reasons.

Breckenridge is beautiful and has a great area for shopping and eating. The town is located at the bottom of the mountains which makes it an ideal location for snow sports. There are several condos at the foot of the ski hill, so snow enthusiasts can virtually step out their door and walk to a lift. We have stayed many occasions through VRBO rentals of the condos in Breck. All of our stays have been pleasant and relaxing.

Neal and I frequently visit in May, during mud season. At this point in time there are a lot of places in town that closed, but some of our favorite haunts, such as Downstairs at Eric’s, are still open. Eric’s has great food and cold beverages. We have eaten there many times and always been pleased with the food and the service.

On certain days during the summer, you may be able to ride the gondolas for free, to the top of the mountain. This is always a fun ride. It’s worth it to see the view.

The main reason we visit Breckenridge is because of the great hiking and off-roading that is nearby. We also visit because it’s a quiet retreat from the craziness of everyday life. Summer, winter, or mud season, you can always have fun in Breckenridge, and there is always something beautiful to explore.

For more information on Breckenridge, please visit: http://www.gobreck.com/?gclid=CO6ao_f_vdMCFQiIaQodahUATA

Hiking To Judd Falls

If you happen to be visiting Crested Butte during the summer, you definitely want to spend time outdoors. There are so many outdoor activities to keep you busy. You could bike, hike, or go off-roading. There are quite a few different types of trails to choose from. If you like waterfalls as much as me, you will want to check out Judd Falls.

Judd Falls can be a longer hike, or a shorter one, dependent on where you start from. When we did this hike we drove our jeep up to the parking lot closest to the falls. It was very muddy out and we were being threatened with the possibility of more rain, so we kept our hike short. You will be hiking over some rough terrain, but it is a pretty hike. If you start from the upper parking lot, the trek is a mile. The lower parking lot is an additional mile.

Once you get to the falls you must pay attention to the signs. Do not climb down to get closer, it is not safe. This is not the most impressive waterfall I have ever seen, but it is a neat view and you will be able to check out the memorial that is located at the viewing site as well. This is a very popular trail, but since it was about to rain, we saw less people than may have been normal. I felt that this hike was worth it even though you were a little way out from the actual waterfall once you reached the end of the trail.

For further information on hiking Jud Falls: https://travelcrestedbutte.com/crested-butte-hikes-judd-falls/