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

Colorado

The Art of Exploration archive is where you'll find my past writings and thoughts. You are currently viewing a list of articles about Colorado.

Cackling Goose
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.
Spruce Tree House
Spruce Tree House
Spruce Tree House Petroglyph Point Trail Petroglyph Point
Far View
Because Mesa Verde is slanted to the south, the proper geological term is cuesta, not mesa. Far View Lodge
A Hint of Spring
A Hint of Spring
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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.
Hall Ranch
Bitterbrush Trail
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.
Chapin Mesa
Square Tower House
Huffers Hill
Huffers Hill
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.
Black Canyon Trail
Black Canyon Trail
Balcony House
Balcony House
The Big Lake Loop
Bierstadt Lake Loop
Square Top Lake
The colors are magnificent in Guanella Pass and the hike to Square Top Lake does not disappoint. The trail winds through alpine shrubs and rolling terrain with lovely wide-open views all around.
Moraine Park
Guanella Pass Scenic Byway
An assortment of images taken along the Square Top Lake Trail.
Wapiti
Inhabiting a Small World
Walks Near Home 2
Nine weeks into the pandemic lockdown, I start to settle down and finally find some contentment in the small world I now inhabit. A long-forgotten calm eases back into my days.
Leaf Peeping
Sandbeach Lake
Mount Audubon
Moody Gem
Ouzel Lake
Ouzel Lake
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.
Emerald Lake Overlook
Emerald Lake Overlook
Somehow, I got it into my head that it would be a good idea to hike the Flattop Mountain Trail today. The forecast was superb, mild temperatures, gentle winds, and plenty of sunshine.
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.
Sky Pond
Sky Pond 1
Lake of Glass
Lake of Glass
Climbing the waterfall was a little tricky … … but it wasn’t as difficult as I had feared it might be.
Devil’s Backbone
Devil's Backbone
A morning of bold March sunshine, bluebird skies, and mild temperatures coaxes me outdoors in search of new places to wander. Loveland for me remains rather unexplored, so I choose to visit a park on the western outskirts of town.
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