The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Roxborough State Park

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 in Colorado
Roxborough State Park

For some time now, I’ve been wanting to explore some of Colorado’s state parks. This afternoon, we made it you our first one—Roxborough State Park, a 4,000 acre park that lies just southwest of Denver. Despite the recent cool temperatures in the mountains and much of the Denver area, Roxborough was sweltering. Roxborough is situated at just the right orientation so as to absorb the midday sunshine to the fullest. Angled layers of sandstone soak and store the sun’s heat with great efficiency. It took us only a few minutes before we were both sweating and searching for the best escape route from the park.

The distinct red rocky outcrops you can see throughout Roxborough State Park are part of the Fountain Formation, a tilted layer of sandstone that emerged more than 300 million years ago when the ancestral Rocky Mountains started to erode.

Roxborough State Park
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Assortment

Crossing Wyoming
Crossing Wyoming 1
I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. I thought crossing Wyoming would be a cinch. Just a bit of straight-line driving. What I didn’t count on were the blinding skies, the car-jerking winds and the absolute, sheer, awesome hugeness of the place.
Blue Bird Loop
Blue Bird Loop
At one point the trail disappears onto an exposed stretch of granite. I continue to walk for few minutes across the rock and come to the other side. The giant slab ends at a steep drop-off.
Real Easy Italian
Real Easy Italian
Each spring, when the flowers bloom and break the long color-silence of winter, I start to look closely at nature and I see a tiny world, one filled with pollen grains and petal edges and stamens and anthers.