Denny Creek Trail Hike 6/19/12

Drove up to Buena Vista, CO on the morning of 6/19 to visit my Dad & Step-Mom for a couple of days. Had a great visit. Didn’t get up there until late in the morning and it was already getting pretty warm, so Dad and I decided to take a relatively short hike and take a more serious hike the following day. We decided on taking Dad’s dog Dusty with us and drove up the Cottonwood Pass road to the Denny Creek trailhead.

The trail starts out really steep, and to make matters worse, we forgot to get Dusty’s leash when we left. Luckily Dad had brought his camera bag, and we were able to use the camera bag’s strap as a crude (if short) leash. A strange feature we noticed along the trail, at least for the first mile or so, was that holes had been drilled in rocks in and along the trail. In many places there were a bunch of these rocks with holes in them a couple of inches deep, all within a few feet of each other. Only purpose I can figure is that they must be some sort of survey marks, but why so many would be needed so close to each other I haven’t a clue. Eventually these holes disappeared, but I saw something similar for a short stretch deep along the Kroenke Lake trail that we took the following day.

For higher-resolution version of these photos see this album on Picasa.

Photos taken by my Dad

Due to the heat and wrestling with the dog, we ended up getting pretty tired, and took a much shorter hike than planned. Also I wasn’t much in the mood for photo taking for some reason. Only pulled my camera out when we decided to turn back and took only a handful of photos, only a few of which I felt were decent enough to post here.

Total distance: 3.1 mi, Total time: 2:11:16, Max elevation: 10,803 ft., Min elevation: 9,871 ft., Elevation gain: 1,392 ft.View Denny Creek Trail hike 6/19/12 in a larger map

Memorial Day Carpenter Peak Hike

I wanted to get to Roxborough State Park when it opened at 7am, since it was Memorial Day and I suspected that the park would have a lot of visitors. I didn’t quite make it though as I set off from the car at 7:26am, and it was 7:35 or so until I actually hit the trail head. Despite the fact I left later than planned, mine was one of the few cars in the lots and I initially had the place pretty much to myself. I passed only one couple on the way up and I apparently was the first to hit the peak. Only had it to myself for 5 to 10 minutes though before one person after another began to arrive. The trip down was a more or less continuous stream of hikers, which was a little annoying as you could hear people’s voices ringing out across the valley, where I usually prefer the sound of the wind, birds and such. The parking lots were completely full when I left, and there was a line of 10 to 15 cars waiting to get in the park, so all in all I’m really glad I started when I did.

I went pretty fast on the way up, taking only one “real” break. While the wild flowers were past their prime on the lower trails, the peak trail had a surprising amount. Besides two herds of deer on the drive to the trail head, the only other wildlife I saw today were birds, insects and rodents. Once I hit the peak, and on the way down I took my time and took a bunch of photos. Here’s some of the best:

360 degree panoramic view from the top of Carpenter Peak

Click the panorama thumbnail above to zoom then scroll right to see the whole 360 degrees.

For somewhat higher resolution version of any of these photos (except the panorama), see this photo gallery on Picasa.

GoogleMaps display of MyTracks data as gathered from my DroidX smart phone

View Carpenter Peak and Willow Creek Trails in a larger map

If you view the large version of the map above and click on the End pin either on the map or in the column to the left you will see all the details on how many miles, how high, and how long it took me. The beginning of the MyTracks data is not very accurate as I didn’t really give my phone a lot of time to narrow its position and I spent some time inside the visitor center w/ no view of the sky before I headed out on the trail. As such this is not quite as accurate as the data from my hand-held GPS, which I will add to this post later.