We're heading out to do some hiking on the Colorado Trail, and some nearby trails.. After enjoying another drive through the Chalk Canyon we did some short hikes where we could pick up some geocaches hidden along the way.
For those that don't know what a typical geocache hide looks like, above is one. You follow your gps coordinates through the woods (or wherever it is hidden) to the cache. It's not always on a trail making it more adventurous. This large hide was under some rocks and sticks and had a fair amount of "bling" (goodies/trinkets) in it. We signed the log book inside, logged it on geocaching.com and were off to the next one. It was a beautiful morning.
Chalk Creek Canyon
Want some exercise and a great view? This hike climbs nearly a thousand feet on the Colorado Trail for a spectacular view of Chalk Canyon, Chalk Cliffs, and Mount Princeton.
We started out hiking south on the Colorado Trail. You cross the bridge over Chalk Creek with the elevation of 8,380 feet. The first section of the trail is pleasant, gaining just 130 feet elevation in .4 miles. After crossing the road you continue past the Colorado Tail/Raspberry Gulch sign where the trail will get progressively steeper as you hike another mile to find the cache at 9,292 feet elevation. The 3 mile round trip hike with almost 1,000 foot elevation gain is tough, but the view is worth it!
View of Mt. Princeton
We decided to add a few more miles on to hiking by doing the Historic Railroad Grade. The trail was once the grade for the Denver South Park & Pacific Railroad that traveled through Nathrop, St. Elmo, the Alpine Tunnel and Gunnison from 1880 to 1926.
It's a nice smooth section with great views of Chalk Canyon below and several caches along the way.
Remnants of an old chimney.
There are some great boondocking spots in the National Forest in this area. We scoped out a few for when we return later in July. No one around for miles. Easy access to trails and rivers.
Back down we came sooner than we wanted.
Nice rainbows though.
Always something different to see if you pay attention.
I love the roads that meander all through this canyon.
Cottonwood, Clear and Chalk Creeks run through the canyon and provide some nice fishing. The water was still running fast but fairly clear. Below is a small rainbow trout I caught on Cottonwood Creek just below the tiny dam where the Cottonwood Lake empties.
Watching the sun go down after the storm passed.
More geocaching during the week after work.
We found our 500th Geocache on the Arkansas Riverbank. Pretty cool accomplishment.
NEXT UP: More snow and more fishing!