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

Tag: hiking

The Art of Exploration archive is where you'll find my past writings and thoughts. You are currently viewing a list of articles that were tagged in hiking.

Betasso Preserve
Betasso Preserve
White Ranch Park
White Ranch Park
I arrive at the Rawhide Loop Trailhead shortly before sunrise. I’m an hour early for my first hike with the Colorado Mountain Club but I’m pleased for the extra time. There are two other cars parked in the lot but they are empty.
Mesa Trail to Shanahan Ridge
Mesa Trail 1
Today, it topped sixty-five degrees for the first time in two weeks. After a morning of chores, I snuck away for the afternoon for some much-needed trail time. The late start meant I couldn’t drive far to hike, so I went to my favorite nearby standby: the Mesa Trail.
The Beauty of Plan B
The Beauty of Plan B
This year, the seasons are changing fast and early above 7,000 feet. I realized that if I wanted to squeeze in one more high elevation hike before winter, I had better do it sooner rather than later.
Changing Colors
Changing Colors
It’s the middle of September but I’m lagging behind, still wondering what happened to August. The leaves are turning at elevations at higher elevations. If I don’t get my act together quickly, I’ll miss this year’s vibrant transition into fall. And that would be a terrible shame.
Ouzel Lake
Ouzel Lake
The Big Lake Loop
Bierstadt Lake Loop
Far View
Because Mesa Verde is slanted to the south, the proper geological term is cuesta, not mesa. Far View Lodge
Prelude to the Holidays
Prelude to the Holidays
The holidays lurk just around the corner. There are many things I should be doing in preparation for the coming festivities but instead of progressing through my lengthy list of chores, I sneak off for a diversionary hike.
Shanahan Mesa
Shanahan Mesa
Another busy week of work, which means another week spent sitting at my desk, staring into my computer screen. Saturday arrives and I’m spoiling for a hike. But I don’t want to bother with an elaborate excursion, so it’s back to Boulder to hike Mesa Trail and the nearby canyons and mesas.
Bitterbrush Trail
Bitterbrush Trail
Mesa Trail
Mesa Trail
Today is the second day in a row of cool mist, light showers, and autumnal temperatures. I venture out mid-morning hoping to log a quick local hike before the trails turn too slop. I begin my hike at NCAR and trek northward along the Mesa Trail—two miles out, two miles back.
Lake Helene
Lake Helene
Looking across the still waters of Bear Lake to the landscape beyond, I admire the golden aspen leaves fluttering in the breeze. Although today marks the very first day of fall, the colorful leaves I enjoy now will soon be on the ground.
Bierstadt Lake
Bierstadt Lake
Monday afternoon. Well-rested after an exhausting eclipse viewing excursion, we embark on a proper mini-break. We drive up to Estes Park for a three-night stay in the Old Caretaker’s Cottage at McGregor Mountain Lodge.
Blue Lake
Blue Lake
Today I continued my exploration of Indian Peaks Wilderness with a hike to Blue Lake, a gorgeous alpine lake situated in the cirque beneath Pawnee Peak, Mount Audubon, Paiute Peak, and Mount Toll.
Lake Isabelle
Lake Isabelle
Lake Isabelle
Sourdough Trail
Sourdough Trail
Approaching Sky Pond
Approaching Sky Pond
After two weeks of work-related turmoil, I find myself in desperate need of a break. I take the day off and venture up to the Glacier Gorge area for a day of hiking. It being late June, I expect the trail to be snow covered at higher elevations.
On the Trail Again
On the Trail Again
It’s Memorial Day and for today’s hike I decide to return to Lumpy Ridge to hike the Black Canyon Trail. My plan is not elaborate, I only hope to repeat the hike I did two weeks ago along the Black Canyon Trial.
The Loch
The Loch
I wake at four am to a chirping duet of alarm clocks. For a moment, I contemplate how wonderful it would be to shut them both off, roll over, and go back to sleep. But then I recall my plan to hike to The Loch today.
Lake Irene
Lake Irene
It’s two weeks since I last ventured into the mountains and I wonder if I’m getting lazy. To combat a growing sense of stagnation, I resolve to find a new high-country destination to explore this weekend.
Autumn Hues
Autumn Hues
As the seasons change, the landscape is redrawn in a whole new palette of colors. In recent years, I have been too busy to enjoy this beautiful transition, but that’s about to change.
Lichen Loop
Lichen Loop
Today I made a quick exploratory visit to Heil Valley Ranch. This was my first visit to this park and I was pleased to find that it is yet another nearby area that offers plenty of beautiful landscape, interesting geology, and many miles of trails.
Better Pictures
Better Pictures
I’ve been trying to get in shape in prepartion for some higher-elevation hikes that I’m hoping to tackle this summer. I feel like I have a lot of work to do just to restore my fitness to what it was last fall. My legs are stiff and weak after a long winter.
Bitterbrush Trail
Bitterbrush Trail 1
Today I wanted to go on a hike but since I didn’t have a lot of free time, I had to stay close to home. I decided to go to Hall Ranch, a park that lies just a mile outside of Lyons, Colorado.
Flattop Mountain
Flattop Mountain
When I discovered that Saturday’s forecast was expected to remain clear and mild, I decide to make the most of it and to hike the Flattop Mountain Trail.
Rabbit Mountain
Rabbit Mountain
Rabbit Mountain has become my default hiking location. If I don’t have time to drive up into the mountains, then I go to the foothills to Rabbit Mountain where I can still get a leg-burner of a hike in a short period of time.
Bear Lake Corridor
Bear Lake Corridor
The weather forecaset was perfect today so I just had to take the day off. I’ve not been to Bear Lake in a while so I thought I’d hike the trails in that area today.
Peacock Pool
Peacock Pool
OK, so this is a good one. I had intended to call this post Chasm Lake but I must keep myself honest and call it instead Peacock Pool because at no point during my hike today did I ever actually make it to Chasm Lake.
Lily Lake Summer Edition
Lily Lake Summer Edition
The last time I wrote about Lily Lake was in early May of 2013. At that time, a sprinkling of snow covered the surrounding landscape and the air was as icy and it was thin.
Calypso Cascades
Calypso Cascades
My gear selection and backpack loading is improving with each little adventure I embark upon. This weekend I discovered that, in some ways, I’ve become rather efficient at packing for a hike.
Tundra Trails
Tundra Trails
On Sunday morning, I decided to drive up into the mountains not because the weather was good but because the weather was gloomy. My reasoning was that any day in the mountains is a beautiful day.
Ice Hiking in Ryerson Woods
Ice Hiking in Ryerson Woods
A few weeks ago, Nemo dumped about six inches of snow on the Chicago area before it ganged up with a Nor’easter to sucker-punch the East Coast.
Scout Lookout
Scout Lookout
When we set out this morning, we had planned to hike the Zion Narrows as far as we could from the bottom up, starting at the Temple of Sinawava.
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
So far on this vacation, I’ve done little more than sit in the car, play Wasabi Sudoku on my iPad and hobble from one gallery to the next along the length of Canyon Road.
Lyons Woods
Lyons Woods
In Lake County, the socio-economic status of a town is written all over its roads. The wealthy areas are blessed with roads as smooth as silk. The poorer areas are riddled with roads of rubble.
Carn Galver to Porthmoina Cove
Carn Galver to Porthmoina Cove
A mild, sunny day in West Cornwall should never be wasted indoors. Especially in November. So, to best enjoy today’s cobalt blue skies, we decided to hike from Carn Galver to Porthmoina Cove.
River Walk
River Walk
Most of April has been etched by bone chilling winds and window-pelting rain. But today the sun broke through the clouds and the temperature climbed to seventy degrees, interrupting an otherwise icy, slate grey spring.
Canyonlands
Canyonlands
Island in the Sky—a vast slab of rust-tinted sandstone 1,000 feet higher than the surrounding landscape—is not the ideal place to find yourself during a lightning storm.
Lotsa Redrock
Lotsa Redrock
This is one of those vistas that made me think of the scene from Lawrence of Arabia in which TE Lawrence and Sherif Ali stood at the edge of Nefud Desert, which of course they had to cross in order to attack Aqaba by the land.
The Hike to Delicate Arch
The Hike to Delicate Arch
Have you ever had that dream where you’re hiking to the Moon? Maybe not. But anyway, it was a bit like that, like hiking to the Moon. Or Mars perhaps, because it certainly was a long way. And red.
Fiery Furnace
Fiery Furnace
In what amounts to another illustration of the fact that I should never be allowed to name a national landmark or monument, I thought “Fiery Furnace” looked more like “Box of Melted Crayons”. All red crayons of course, but still.
Parade of Elephants
Parade of Elephants
The thing that struck me about Arches National Park was that it so plainly illustrates the vast number of ways there are to erode a rock. There were wind-warn rocks, water-sculpted rocks, and crumbling-from-beneath rocks.
Devil’s Garden
Devil's Garden
By the time we reached Devil’s Garden we were pretty much exhausted. We wondered if we had the energy for another hike. We inspected the map to determine what was out there.
Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock 1
There’s a path around Balanced Rock that is all fine and dandy when you’re on the one side, which I shall here refer to as the Sunny, Balanced Side. Simply put, Sunny, Balanced Side is the side toward which the rock isn’t leaning.
Acclimation
Acclimation
This caliber of cold takes some getting used to. I thought I would ease myself into it by going for a short ten-minute walk to get acclimated to the arctic air.
Clear Blue Sky
Clear Blue Sky
I awoke this morning to sunlight streaming in the bedroom windows. The whole room glowed with warm light. It was the first sunshine to show its face in over a week and despite the icy air outside, I was determined to enjoy it.
Independence Grove
Independence Grove
The days are getting indisputably shorter. It’s a race to finish work and get outside before the sun starts to set and the trails go dim. Today, I missed my window of opportunity for getting in a decent bike ride before sunset.
Whitnall Park
Whitnall Park
All of a sudden, I decided I had had enough of biking for a while. It was high-time I hoofed-it and there’s no better place for a walk this time of year than a botanic garden. I set a course for Whitnall Park.