After a couple of weeks with snowy weather in Colorado, we finally had a gorgeous weekend with warm temperatures. We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and go hiking in Castlewood Canyon State Park. Our thought was that hiking in the canyon would be better than trying to get up into the mountains, which are still covered in snow. Unfortunately, it seemed that just about every other person had the same thought as we did and the park was absolutely packed with families, small children, and dogs. When we go hiking, we usually prefer to go someplace where we can get away from people and truly get ourselves lost in nature, but obviously that wasn’t going to happen on this hike.
Disappointed, but still wanting to get a hike in, we jumped onto the trail along with a lot of other people. As we continued hiking along the trail, we did get some separation from other people, so we were starting to enjoy the hike a little more. After hiking for about thirty minutes, we came to a section of the trail that was under water due to run-off from the snow melting. It was a bottleneck of people trying to hop across rocks with small children and dogs, which wasn’t particularly smart by some of them considering how strong the current was.
We stood on the bank of the stream, waiting for fifteen minutes as a family tried to cross the rushing water. After having one dog and their youngest daughter fall into the water, they finally turned back. We were tired of waiting, frustrated with the crowds and the muddy conditions, so we turned around and headed back to the car. It certainly wasn’t the hike that we were hoping for and was pretty disappointing.
It was just a reminder to ourselves that hiking in early spring in Colorado, the conditions can always be tough. Melting snow often causes the streams to overrun their banks and places where the trails cross them can become impassable. We’ll go back to the canyon and hike again sometime, but not on the weekend. We’ve hiked the canyon in the past when the kids were young and it is a beautiful park, but we’d prefer to enjoy it when it isn’t quite as crowded.