8 year wedding anniversary road trip with my boo and gare-bear to some amazing southwest scenery including: Telluride & Ouray, Colorado; the Mesa Verde Ruins; the Four Corners Nat. Monument; the Grand Canyon; Antelope Canyon; Zion National Park; Bryce Canyon; Arches National Park & back home to the beautiful Rocky Mountains we call home in Loveland.
Here are the pictures from my 2nd Annual Father-Son Backpacking Trip With God. It was originally planned to take 10 days, but I finished early and was able to spend the extra time hanging out in Ouray, Ridgeway, and Telluride with Brittany. Click here to read my blog for more details on my journey through the San Juan Mountains across the Continental Divide.
My wife, Brittany, and I had five days off from work and planned to backpack the Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells near Aspen, Colorado along with maybe another night or two near by. When we arrived at the trailhead, we heard that there had been too much snow this year so the loop was almost impassable unless you were extremely skilled. Even then, the conditions were bound to make it miserable. Therefore, we decided to go with Plan B and hit up some of the places we've been dying to see on our Colorado Bucket List.
We had more fun than we could have imagined. We saved money by using our camping gear and hit the open road. During the 5 days, we were able experience all kinds of awesome sights including Crystal Falls, The Black Canyon, The Great Sand Dunes, Bishops Castle and some places that are just too good to share and must remain a secret.
To check out our Colorado Bucket List on Pinterest, click here.
My brother came up for a 2 night backpacking trip in the Never Summer Wilderness. It was an amazing time to hangout, hike and catch up on old times each night by the campfire. We hiked up to Blue Lake on the Bowen Gulch Trail located west of Grand Lake. We saw a ton of moose, elk and deer tracks, but unfortunately only spotted the mule deer. There happened to be some hunters in the area when we went (mid September), but they weren't haven't any luck finding them either.
Check out more details on Blue Lake via Bowen Gulch Trail on alltrails.com
I spent 8 days exploring the wilderness of Colorado on a backpacking trip in the Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness with just me and God. It was an amazing time that included tons of wildlife, the most beautiful views I've ever seen and weather of all kinds. Check out more details about the trip by reading my blog post.
This photo gallery is from my Longs Peak climb on Thursday, July 24th, 2014 with my cousin, Levi. Longs Peak is a 14er that towers above the other mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park and is visible from most areas on the front range of Colorado. Since my wife and I live in Loveland, I see Longs Peak everyday. Longs is 14,259' tall, making it the 15th tallest 14er in Colorado.
It may not the be the highest mountain, but it certainly is one of the more difficult 14ers to climb that doesn't require ropes and other technical gear. Because of the iconic nature of Longs Peak it remains one of the most popular 14ers to climb in Colorado.
The Rocky Mountain National Park website advises visitors that the Keyhole Route to the Longs Peak summit is "not a hike" and that an unroped fall would likely be fatal. The reality of this set in when we heard that only one day after we climbed Longs, Nicholas L. Hellbusch, 18, lost his life when he fell from the ledges near the Keyhole Route.
More information on Longs Peak is available on www.14ers.com.
My wife, Brittany, and I spent two days hiking near the Copper Creek Trail and Copper Lake and eventually made our way up to Triangle Pass. As you can see, it was absolutely beautiful. The forest was lush, green and full of wild flowers.
Our original goal was to hike over Triangle Pass and down into the Conundrum Creek Valley, but we didn't realize beforehand that dogs are not allowed in Conundrum because of the high amount of visitors going to the Conundrum Hot Springs. Next time! :)
For more details check it out on www.alltrails.com
I decided to get a feel for the area near Longs Peak since my cousin and I were going to be climbing it as our first fourteener soon.
I camped overnight in my hammock at the Longs Peak Trailhead Campground and then the next morning I hiked the Estes Cone Trail to the summit of Estes Cone (which offers amazing and uninterrupted views of Longs Peak), down to Lily Lake and then hitchhiked back to the car that was still at the trailhead.
Check it out for yourself at: www.alltrails.com
The Creedmore Lakes are a set of three lakes located near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado in the Roosevelt National Forest.
When I visited this area there had been heavy rain and without my 4WD 4Runner, I would not have been able to make it all the way to the trail head near the west lake without getting stuck. I was there a couple of days after memorial day and I only saw one other group of hikers. It is a nice and remote location with tons of great camping spots and wildlife.
Access: Drive to the access road via Red Feather Lakes Rd. It's also possible to access via Cherokee Park Rd, but the drive is much better from Read Feather Lakes.
Round Mountain is located across Hwy 34 from Viestenz Smith Mountain Park in the Big Thompson Canyon in-between Loveland and Estes Park, Colorado .
There are two trails to hike, the Summit Trail and the Nature Trail.
The first part of the hike is property owned by the city of Loveland, but not too far up the summit trail you'll see a sign when you cross into Roosevelt National Forest ground.
I frequent Round Mountain often because of it's convenient location close to town; however, that also means it can get pretty busy during the summer months too
Most of this trails is maintained by the Loveland Mountain Club.
You can find the Cub Lake Trailhead in Moraine Park near the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, near the town of Estes Park. ...wow that is a lot of "parks!" :)
This was my first backpacking trip this spring. I was looking for a short hike close to home to try out some of the new gear I had started accumulating. It was a great time, but it made me realize how much more stuff I needed to do this properly! There was still plenty of snow since it was only March, but the temperatures didn't get too bad... I think somewhere near 10-15 degrees if I remember correctly.
The fire burned up a ton of the trees in this area, so the lake wasn't as pretty as it used to be, but the Aspen groves on the trail up there are still pretty awesome.
After starting my new job last year, it had been over a year since we had taken more than couple of days off in row. We had been wanting to check out the town of Steamboat, the snowshoeing, the snowboarding and of course, the hot springs! We will definitely be going back to Steamboat for more adventures soon.
We bought our first pair of snowshoes this winter and we have loved breaking them in at Rocky Mountain National Park. It is so close, we can't help but drive up for a quick afternoon hike in the snow.