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.

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.
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.
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.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens
Ouzel Lake
Ouzel Lake
The Big Lake Loop
Bierstadt Lake Loop
Chapin Mesa
Square Tower House
Balcony House
Balcony House
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
Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Fusce bibendum dui ut leo vestibulum faucibus. Aenean mattis ultrices lorem, eget imperdiet dui placerat in. Sed lobortis scelerisque eros, bibendum iaculis massa adipiscing non.
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
Glow in the Garden
Glow in the Garden
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.
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.
Rainbows and Showers
Rainbows and Showers
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
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.
Fresh Air
Fresh Air
Twenty Seventeen
Twenty Seventeen
Boxing Day
Boxing Day
All the Way to Chasm Lake
All the Way to Chasm Lake
I wake at 3:45 AM and make final preparations for a hike to Chasm Lake. I toss my gear in the car and set off. At this time of the morning, the drive is easy, the sky clear, the stars bright, the landscape vast.
A Change of Seasons
A Change of Seasons
I love something about every day I spend in the mountains, but the early days of autumn hold a special place in my heart. At this time of year, the scorching heat of summer begins its retreat.
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.
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.
Black Lake
Black Lake
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.
Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock
Sandbeach Lake, Almost
Sandbeach Lake, Almost
Spring Training
Spring Training
I’m running again. That’s something that I haven’t admitted to myself it until recently because although I’ve been making a sustained effort to run regularly for a while now, I haven’t been convinced that I would stick with it.
You are in :  Archive » United States » Colorado