Tag Archives: Hiking Colorado

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/

A Side Trip To The Black Canyon Of The Gunnison

This past July, while touring Colorado with my husband, we took some time out to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. This particular canyon has been a stop on our adventures twice now. We love the views and it’s always worth a second look, or more.

There are several great points to stop and wander around. You can take scenic drives around the perimeter or if you would like, you can venture down toward the Gunnison River. There are plenty of activities if you choose to stay in the park. You can camp, fish, kayak, rock climb, and hike.

If you enjoy wildlife watching, there are plenty of animals that call the Black Canyon their home. With a little patience you may see animals such as black bear, mountain lion, or big horn sheep. More commonly you will see deer, marmot, chipmunk, and a variety of birds. To find out more about the wildlife in the Black Canyon, I recommend checking out the visitor center.

One neat thing that the park offers is an Astronomy Evening Program that runs from the end of May until the end of September. Neal and I did not partake in this activity, but if we had been there at the right time it would have been neat to see. This event takes place on Wednesdays and Fridays in the South Rim Campground Amphitheater.

While we were in the park we took time to wander, but we did not do any serious hiking. We arrived a bit later in the day and we knew that daylight was running short. We drove the scenic route along the outer rim and stopped to enjoy the view at several different spots. I was completely satisfied with this side adventure and came away with a bunch of fun photos. I definitely recommend finding a great viewing spot to watch the sun go down. The Canyon looks pretty awesome as the light begins to change across the rocks.

During this last trip to the Black Canyon, we had intended to camp inside the park. Unfortunately we procrastinated a little too long. All of the campsites were sold out by the time we decided to seek out the Park Ranger. I honestly was not overly sad about losing out on this camping experience, because the sites are quite small and very close together. Neal and I prefer to camp with a little more space and a little more seclusion, so we headed up the road a short distance to some BLM land and we camped out there.

For more information on the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm

Finding Continental Falls

Last summer while visiting Keystone Colorado with family, we took a very impressive hike up to Continental Falls. Continental Falls is one of the first waterfall hikes I ever went on. I was wildly out of shape and had never been on such a hike before. Even in my poor hiking condition, I still made it to the falls with a bit of coaxing from my now husband, Neal.

This last time that we visited the falls, I took off ahead of the rest of the group, with my step-daughter and husband’s cousin. The rest of our group was being shuttled up the rough, rocky road, by our Jeep. We assumed that the group would catch up with us, but we did not anticipate a turn of events.

When I say turn of events, I literally mean a turn, the wrong turn. As we were hiking up the trail we stopped to check out the old cabin that has stood there for many years. It’s definitely a great point to stop and rest, and sign the guest book. When we left the cabin, we turned to the left and continued on. We should have turned to the right. We had no idea that we were going the wrong way.

As we continued to hike we saw parts of the waterfall, but not as I previously had recalled. We decided to trudge on. It was early July and while it was nice and hot outside, there were still some huge snowdrifts left on the mountainside. The girls decided to stop and check out a snowdrift that appeared to be covering the entrance to a mine.

After a bunch of digging they gave up finding the entrance to the mine, and we continued on our way. We saw several old buildings that were part of the previous mining camp. The views were amazing. We saw a bunch of different wildflowers and we continued to see various small parts of the waterfall, but nothing as big as what I previously recalled.

After what seemed like quite a bit of time we made it to a beautiful lake. The lake was supposed to be after the falls, so at this point I was feeling a bit disappointed. Had I remembered the wrong waterfall? We sat and waited for a bit but the rest of our group did not show up. We decided to continue on because we still hadn’t seen an impressive waterfall.

After climbing and making our own trail at times through the snow, and then climbing upward some more, we finally hit a point of stopping. The view was amazing and none of us really felt like climbing any further. We had no cell service, so we could not locate the rest of our group. We decided to rest and take a few pictures.

Once we were feeling re-energized, we began our decent. The trip down the mountainside was fast. We moved at a very steady clip and it took about half of the time it had taken to get up to the top. Once we reached the ground we still had not seen the rest of our hiking party. Realizing no one was there we began walking down the long rocky road that we had been shuttled up by Jeep.

Halfway down the road, my husband appeared. He was a little frazzled, not knowing what had happened to us. Apparently there had been some miss-communications in regard to where we were going to meet. It turned out that the girls and I had hiked far beyond what was intended and as I was explaining to him what we saw, we both realized at about the same moment that we had taken two very different hikes.

He laughed at me, because I had been on this hike before, and I missed out on the best part of it. The view of Continental Falls is one of the best sights near Breckenridge, and it is impressive. I felt so silly realizing that we had taken one small wrong turn. I can laugh at it now, but at the time, I was definitely bummed out.

Despite the error in our direction, we had a great time. I would highly recommend this hike for the views as well as the impressiveness of the falls. The lake views are also very much worth the trek.

For more information on Continental Falls, please visit: http://www.protrails.com/trail/368/summit-county-eagle-county-clear-creek-county-mohawk-lake-and-lower-mohawk-lake