First “Real” Hike of the Season
June 7, 2016
We did a fair amount of hiking while we were in Bolivia and we also walk thirty to sixty minutes every day, but this weekend was the first chance we’ve had to get out and go for a hike in the mountains this year. Mostly because we’ve been travelling as well as the poor weather that we’ve had this spring, but at last we were able to do one of the things that we love about summertime in Colorado. We are very fortunate to be able to drive thirty minutes or less and be in the mountains with all of the beauty that they offer. This is one of our favorite hikes as it isn’t too strenuous and offers the opportunity to hike for as long or as short as we would like since there is an entire interconnected trail system.
The trail is called the Palmer Lake Reservoir Trail and is located just outside of the little town of Palmer Lake. The main trail follows a stream that is the run-off from the reservoirs, which was running pretty swiftly at this time of year as there is still snow melting in the high country. It takes you past the two man-made lakes that provides fresh water to the town of Palmer Lake as well as fishing opportunities for those willing to make the hike. We’ve done this hike dozens of times and it never ceases to please us. As with most trails in the mountains, despite the fact that the parking lot was full and we even had to park in the overflow parking lot, which was also full, we rarely saw anyone else on the trail with us. Getting away from people and connecting with nature is one of the main reasons we like to hike, it is so serene to hike through the woods, listening to the breeze blow through the trees above, and seeing all of the various wildflowers that grow throughout the area.
It was a beautiful day with the typical bright blue skies of Colorado. We pushed ourselves as far as a first hike of the season, going for a full two hours and four miles round-trip. Perhaps because of the hiking that we did in Bolivia, it didn’t seem like too much of a strain, despite the gain in altitude. To be fair, if you ever read descriptions of hiking trails in the mountains, you’ll often see them described as “moderate”, but any hike in the mountains is going to be strenuous at times, so we usually take the rating lightly and judge for ourselves the difficulty of a trail. With that said, this really is a moderate trail for anyone used to hiking at altitude. The trail starts at about 2,200 meters (6,700 feet) and gains about a 700 meters (2,200 feet) depending on which side trail you decide to take, but it gains less if you just hike up to the second reservoir.
It was great to get back into the mountains and do some hiking, we’re really looking forward to a full season of exploring new trails. It is going to be a busy travel season for us, but when we’re not on the road, we want to get out and hike as much as possible. We live in a gorgeous state and a beautiful part of the country, so we want to take advantage of every opportunity to explore it, even after living here for over twenty years. If you ever get a chance to visit Colorado during the spring, summer, or fall, get up into the mountains and do some hiking. Despite how strenuous hiking can be, it is also extremely relaxing and definitely recharges our batteries.