Saturday, November 22, 2014

Philip S. Miller Park 11-22-14

We started with the incline - 200 steps, maybe 225 feet elevation gain in just over a tenth of a mile in just a few minutes.  (Compared to 2000 steps, 2000 feet elevation gain, 1 mile for the Manitou Incline.)  Then we walked around 6 miles (173.5 runtotal) up and down and back and forth and round and round over the various trails in the park. I estimate about 1250 feet total elevation gain divided in 5 up and down chunks of about 250 feet each. The trails are very switchbacky not because they need to be for elevation gain but I think to get a lot more trail into a relatively small acreage.  We did not encounter too many others out on the trails, but traffic increased as the day wore on.  Checked out the Field House before leaving - very busy with swimmers, indoor soccer, indoor trampolines, birthday parties, etc.  Nice park and nice facility.

They didn't bother to try to place the storage sheds for the zip lines (in construction) level at all.

the incline (before)

the incline (after)

The Field House in front of Castle Rock

Hey Rose, there's the Devil's Head Fire Tower!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

CMSP Blackmer Loop 11/15/14

Pretty cold day for a 5 mile hike (168.5 runtotal) in Cheyenne Mountain State Park.  We briefly got snowed on (well, graupeled).  Despite the cold temps and snow, trails were pretty well travelled, including by cyclists.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Fremont Peak 11-8-14

3-years ago to the weekend since we did this one last.  This time no snow on the ascent.  Zebulon Pike summited this peak January 5, 1807 to see where he was and discovered he'd gone in a circle - he had traveled up the Arkansas River and thought he'd come down the Red River but from this vantage point he discovered he was back at the Arkansas.  Very short hike - 3.5 miles (runtotal 163.5) - and easy, except for the fairly steep/scrambly final ascent/descent to/from the summit.  Some nice views into the Royal Gorge canyon.  We saw some evidence of the recent fires around the Gorge park, but the hiked area was burn-free.

moonset behind Sachett Mountain

view of Canon City

Royal Gorge

Wet Mountains

Arkansas River (zoomed) down in gorge

summit cache

descent from summit

Mt. Pisgah (near Cripple Creek), zoomed from Fremont

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Devil's Head Fire Tower 11-1-14

This is a short hike (4 miles roundtrip from the road - the campground is closed for the season)  (runtotal 160 miles) with about 1200 feet or so elevation gain.  It was really quiet on the way up but on our way down we ran into dozens of hikers including many with small children.  At the top, it was very windy, and therefore quite cold - needed to get my extra-layer jacket out of my bag and wear it and then I felt much better.  The metal railings on the stairs were ice cold to the touch.  I did this hike once many years ago and found it to be easier than I remembered.  If the ranger had been in, I recall that they handed out cards to the kids (and adults, if you wanted one) admitting you into the Ancient Honorable Order of the Squirrel for making it to the top - and you could buy a souvenir t-shirt, too. Good views all around of Denver, Pikes Peak, the old Hayman burn area, etc.  Please check out the audio files at  that give the history of Devil's Head, tell you about the Ranger, and the Fire Lookout.

cool roots

there were several funny graffiti comments along the trail

no, it didn't!

the fire tower, as seen from down by the ranger's cabin

the stairs

Pikes Peak, but if you go left from the main peak, you can actually see Almagre, then Mt. Rosa and Cheyenne Mountain, too.

Pikes Peak

downtown Denver on long zoom

ranger's cabin

Clark's Nutcracker

Mountain Chickadee

love the name - I bet there's an interesting story to it, but I didn't find it. This is a trailhead on the Rampart Range Rd.  for motorcycle/ATV use.