Some Hikes are Worth the Effort

This is Colorado
This is Colorado

When you go hiking in the mountains of Colorado, you expect the hikes to be fairly strenuous. Unless you’re going on a relatively short hike, there is most likely going to be a significant change in elevation.  After all, you’re in the mountains and if you’re going to go hiking, it isn’t going to be flat.  With that said, some hikes are harder than others.  We’ve hiked to top of Pikes Peak, which is a 12 mile (19 kilometer) hike one-way to the summit and an elevation gain of over 8,000 feet (or 2,500 meters) as well as hiked on trails with ledges that were only as wide as our feet.  We’re definitely not rock climbers, but from time to time you have to do some boulder scrambling in order to reach some of the more remote locations when hiking.

View from the Trail
View from the Trail
Gorgeous Waterfall
Gorgeous Waterfall
Mountain Pond
Mountain Pond
Rugged Peaks
Rugged Peaks
Mountain Summit
Mountain Summit
Cabin on the Trail
Cabin on the Trail
There were Lots of Waterfalls
There were Lots of Waterfalls
Rushing Water
Rushing Water

The hike that we took when we were in Breckenridge, Colorado, was one of those hikes.  The interesting thing about hiking when you have to scale some rocks or go on the edge of some steep cliffs is that it is usually more unnerving going down than it is going up.  When you’re going up the mountain, your focus is on the trail ahead of you and the reaching the top of whatever you’re scaling.  When you’re heading down, you tend to see how steep things really are and that makes it a little bit more scary.

Looking Down at Breckenridge
Looking Down at Breckenridge
This was the Easy Part
This was the Easy Part
Looking Down at the Trail Below
Looking Down at the Trail Below
One of the Lower Ponds
One of the Lower Ponds
Gorgeous View from the Trail
Gorgeous View from the Trail
Waterfall Down to the Pond
Waterfall Down to the Pond
The Peak Above the Pond
The Peak Above the Pond

We almost turned around a couple of times during the hike, but the payoff at the end was worth the effort.  As is often the case when you hike in Colorado, the views at the peak or the end of a trail are absolutely spectacular.  This particular hike brought us to a gorgeous pond where we sat and ate a brief lunch while we watched the mountain goats relax on the boulders above us.  It was just the two of us and nature, and it was one of the most tranquil and relaxing experiences that we’ve had hiking.  Perhaps it was due to the lack of oxygen and exhaustion, but the beauty around us was almost euphoric.

Resting by the Pond
Resting by the Pond
Mountain Goats
Mountain Goats
Another Waterfall
Another Waterfall
Tranquil Pond
Tranquil Pond
Mountain Stream
Mountain Stream
Another Summit
Another Summit
Edge of the Pond
Edge of the Pond

Unfortunately all hikes must end and eventually you have to work your way back down and back to reality and to civilization.  On our way back down, when we reached the spot where we had climbed up several boulders along a very steep cliff, we scooted ourselves down as opposed to walking, not wanting to tumble down into the ravine.  Hearts pounding, once we were down from the boulders, it was back to a normal hike and we were able to once again enjoy that beauty that surrounded us.  There truly isn’t anything like hiking in the mountains and totally immersing oneself in nature.

Normal Trail
Normal Trail
Interesting Tree Trunk
Interesting Tree Trunk
Clear Blue Sky
Clear Blue Sky
Another View of the Pond
Another View of the Pond
Trickling Waterfall
Trickling Waterfall
Steep Terrain
Steep Terrain

 

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