We spent a long weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado and one of our main priorities was to get out and do some hiking. Breckenridge has many options for hiking trails, so we chose one that was near where we were staying called Burro Trail. The trail is considered moderate and has some beautiful scenery, including following a stream for much of it. The overall elevation gain wasn’t too bad, although it was steep in some places, which is pretty normal for any hike in the Colorado mountains.
In order to get to the trailhead, we had to take a smaller trail that wound its way through the woods near our condominium. Although not part of Burro Trail, it was also quite beautiful, winding through meadows, woods, and crossing several streams. Once on the actual trail, we hiked through pine tree forests and saw a variety of wildflowers as well as some wild berries. The weather was absolutely perfect with mild temperatures and sunny skies. Burro Trail is an “out and back” trail that is a little over 6 miles in length if you do the entire trail. We didn’t go to the very end, but close enough to give us a good 3 1/2 hour hike.
As with many trails in the mountains, we came across a few other hikers, but for the most part we were alone to enjoy the tranquility of nature. We didn’t come across any wildlife during our hike, but we were told that moose are particularly active around Breckenridge this time of year. With such beautiful scenery, Burro Trail was a perfect hike to start our time in Breckenridge. It was strenuous enough to get our legs tired and earn a couple of craft beers.
We decided to look for a trail near Colorado Springs that we hadn’t hiked previously and found the Monument Rock Extended Trail that is located in the nearby town of Monument. The trail is rated as moderate and takes you by an impressive rock feature known as Monument Rock. The trail itself goes through the woods, across meadows, and has views of the mountains. There are several intertwining trails, some of which will take you to the top of Mount Herman, which is the peak that sits above the trail. There are also some that are rated hard, so it is important to pay attention to which trail you are following as it isn’t well marked.
The Monument Rock Extended Trail is a loop that goes right next to Monument Rock, which is quite impressive. The full loop is about 2.7 miles, so it makes for a nice hike with an elevation gain that is less than 300 feet. The views are spectacular and, as is typical for this time of year, there are many wildflowers along the trail. The highlight of the hike is certainly Monument Rock, which stands out due to its size, color, and shape. It was certainly an enjoyable hike and we were able to complete it before the afternoon rain started.
Another extremely popular hiking trail in Arches National Park is the Devils Garden Trail. One of the reasons for its popularity is the diversity of the trail as well as the number of arches that can be seen on the trail. The first part of the trail is considered easy and also provides views of three arches, including the Landscape Arch, which was one of our favorites. After reaching the Landscape Arch, the trail becomes more difficult as you head toward Double O Arch and then the second half of the loop is extremely difficult where you need to rock scramble and there a steep slopes. For obvious reasons, many people only go as far as Landscape Arch, which was what we did as well.
In addition to hiking Devils Garden Trail, there are also some shorter trails in the area just before you reach Devils Garden that are worth exploring as well. We did the short hike to see Skyline Arch, which was definitely worth seeing. We also hiked to Sand Dune Arch, which was a short trail, but the sand was deep making it a little harder on the legs. We did not hike all of the way to Broken Arch, but it is clearly visible from the parking area near the Sand Dune Arch. As with any trail in Arches National Park, long or short, you will want to be sure to bring plenty of water. With temperatures climbing above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, it is important to where sunscreen and stay hydrated.
In addition to all of the tourists that were enjoying the trails, we also saw several lizards during our hikes. They seem to be quite used to the crowds and didn’t run away as people gathered around to take their photo. Snakes are also common in the park, as it is a desert environment, but we did not see any during our hikes. You will definitely see your share of birds as well from hawks to ravens. People should be sure to stay on the trails and not climb on the arches in order to protect the beautiful scenery for future generations to enjoy.
We hiked the Devils Garden Trail on our second day in Moab, Utah, so we had learned to get out early in the day to avoid as much of the heat as possible. The entrance to the park is only seven miles from Moab, but there were long lines of cars waiting to enter the park that took as long as thirty minutes before getting through the gate. Once through the entrance, it will take about another thirty to forty minutes to drive to Devils Garden if you don’t stop at any of the many pull-offs along the way. With so many arches in the area, Devils Garden is definitely a highlight of any visit to Arches National Park. If you have enough time in the park, we would also recommend hiking the Delicate Arch Trail to see one of the most well known arches in the park.