This past weekend the hubby and I and the dog hopped in the car for a day trip to escape the Colorado Front Range heat. Many of you know I’m a North Dakota native, so I believe the love of cold temperatures runs deep. And right now, I’m over the summer heat! Bring on the cool days and nights for comfortable sleeping, fresh air and less air conditioning.
Our mini road trip certainly allowed us to escape the heat as we took off for Rocky Mountain National Park and the adventures that awaited on Fall River Road. For those of you not familiar with this route, this was the first auto route in RMNP to take visitors to the highest point in the park. Today it’s a one-way dirt road to the top that offers stunning views, waterfalls and a chance to see a lot of wildlife. We actually saw a ton of wildlife throughout our adventures that day including bighorn sheep, moose, elk, deer, marmot and pica.
Our road trip continued over the top to Grand Lake where we discovered the Grand Lake Lodge for the first time. As a National Historic Register building, we’d love to return some weekend for an escape!
Our travels took us south through Winter Park before we stopped for another break for the dog at Berthoud Pass and a chance for a short walk. We connected to I70 and then Clear Creek Canyon before traveling Highway 93 north from Golden to Boulder and then home.
The dog was certainly happy to get home as I think it was probably too many hours in the car for him. For us it was a great day that reminded us why we live in this beautiful state.
Fall is certainly one of my favorite times of year. First because the temperatures drop allowing me to grab my favorite blanket to snuggle up in. And second, the colors that decorate our landscapes are absolutely breathtaking.
It’s well into autumn here in Colorado as the crunch of leaves beneath my feet are a tell-tale sign. Walks with the dog have allowed even my furry friend to sniff around in the piles of leaves that blanket our lawns. While we still have some time to go until our full autumn season comes to the Front Range, the mountains are in their full splendor.
The hubby, pup and I have done several fall hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness. But I’d have to say my favorite certainly has been Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Nestled into the mountains above Golden, this 12,000 acre+ park offers beautiful forests, mountainous peaks and my favorite, tons of aspens!
With friends who had meet us at the trail head, we took off on the Raccoon Trail, which is a 2.5 mile loop that starts with a spectacular view at Panorama Point of the Continental Divide before you begin down the tree-lined trail. Thus begins the fun with the pup.
For anyone who knows our dog, Dirk, you know how much of a force he can be. Put him in a harness and give him a trail in his eyesight, and he’s all business. And why not? He has trails to hike and places to explore. However, being on the other end of that leash is always an adventure that you’re never quite sure where it will take you. I wonder if there is a pedometer for dogs? I’d love to know how many steps that dog takes over and above us!
The trail is quite easy, except for the end where it seems to be a constant series of steps upward. But nothing that a dog in front of you can’t help with!
Enjoy this season. It’s beautiful.
P.S. Have you traveled the Peak to Peak Highway? Here’s a sneak peak.