Only 95 Miles to Go

The day began a bit cloudy, but soon the skies became a most amazing shade of blue, as it often does in Colorado. The temperatures hovered in the mid-40’s, yet the air felt fairly warm—a perfect winter’s day. My husband and I started the Castlewood Canyon 100-Mile Challenge a couple of weeks ago, so we donned our hiking gear and headed out to enjoy the scenery and add to the mileage log.

trail beginning
The weather was beautiful as we began our afternoon journey.

 

Castlewood Canyon State Park’s approximately 14 miles of intertwined trails allow for short or long hikes. A creek trail follows Cherry Creek at the canyon floor, providing grand views of fascinating rock formations along the canyon wall and large boulders on the canyon bottom broken off from the caprock millions of years ago.

 

 

view
View from Lake Gulch trail just before descending into the canyon.
trail
The Inner Canyon trail was a combination of dry, muddy, slushy, and icy. We saw a few signs of wildlife having been in the area, but didn’t see any animals.
stan waiting
My husband patiently waited for me to finish taking photos along the way.

bridge

trail again

trail 4

trail 2
We found several spots on the trail “where the sun don’t shine.”
bridge 2
We could hear the running water beneath the ice along Cherry Creek at the canyon floor.

creek 6

creek 3

creek 2

creek 1

creek 7

Yes the sky was that blue

canyon wall 1
The canyon floor was so fascinating that I almost forgot to look up along the canyon wall.
bench
A few benches are strategically placed along the trail. I do like these better than the ugly metal ones frequently seen along trails. While these require more maintenance, they don’t detract from the natural beauty of the area so much.

trail 1

trail 3

Steps slippery
This was the most treacherous part of the trail. As another place “where the sun don’t shine,” the steps were encased in ice and firmly packed snow. The handrails were no help as the steps were an icy slide. We carefully scooted along the boulder where the snow was less packed.

Next time, we’ll try hiking to the dam ruins in the park
because we have 95 more miles to go.
More to come!

~J

 

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