Flash forward to the last weekend of May when we flew into Denver for a quick 48 hour hiking trip. Now both Kyria and I are HUGE planners but when it came to this trip, we did very little planning. We booked a hotel room for Friday night, made plans to stay with a friend of Kyria's on Saturday night, and booked a rental car but that was kind of the extent of our planning. We had a general idea of where we wanted to hike and how far we wanted to hike, and Kyria had gotten a suggestion on the area where we should hike from a friend, but this was one of those trips where we really just figured it out as we went. But the benefit of traveling with someone that has similar interests is that you can wing it and still have an amazing time.
Here is how we filled our time in Colorado! I'll let the pictures mostly do the talking!
We spent Friday night in Winter Park, which was about a 90 minute drive from Denver. It was dark out when we were driving but we saw snow as we climbed higher and higher in elevation! We were wondering if we'd see snow on our hikes, so seeing snow on the drive sort of answered that question.
On Saturday morning, we were up early and on the road before 7 as we wanted to get a solid day of hiking in. We drove just over an hour to the Grand Lake area where we accessed a trail head that got us into Rocky Mountain National Park. We intended to do a 13 mile out and back but encountered snow about 4 miles up, so had to turn back. Luckily there were several trail heads nearby so we just drove to another trail head and instead of doing one 13 mile hike, we did 2 hikes totaling 16 miles. Here are some photos from our first day!
|We randomly have the same camel back! It's kind of crazy that we picked the same one without talking to each other!|
After finishing those two hikes, we drove to Boulder to spend the night with Kyria's friend. On Saturday night we had a yummy Italian meal (the restaurant had GF pasta! Yea!) and then headed to bed early as we planned to hit the road early so we could fit another longer hike in before heading to the airport for our flights back home.
On Sunday morning we drove to the Estes Park area of Rocky Mountain National Park. Once again we encountered snow on the trail we planned to do so we turned back earlier than planned and added on some miles by checking out another trail. Here are some pictures from Sunday's hikes!
|We saw some wild life on the way to the trail head. We weren't sure exactly what these were, though. Moose? Elk?|
After hiking 10 miles, we decided to call it a day so that we would have time to stop for a bigger meal on the way to the airport. I was pretty hungry at this point so the Thai food we got tasted especially good! We got back to the airport around 3 pm, dropped off our rental car, said good bye and headed to our respective gates (in different terminals).
Looking back, I'm pretty impressed that we fit 26 miles of hiking into a 48 hour trip! We definitely maximized our time in Colorado! It was a short trip but so much fun. I only get to see Kyria about once a year since we live so far apart (I'm in Minneapolis, she lives in Oakland, CA) but I'm thankful for the trips we've been able to take. Since we don't see each other often and are not phone talkers, we use these trips to really catch up on each others' lives which means we pretty much talked non-stop during the hours we were awake! We're definitely kindred spirits and great travel partners!
This trip was so great - it makes me want to go back for a longer trip with Phil. We both love to hike so I know he'd love Colorado, plus it would be cool to spend a night or two in Steamboat. So many trips to take, so little time/money...
Have you ever been to Colorado? I love Colorado but I prefer to visit the state in the late spring/summer as I much prefer hiking to skiing because skiing terrifies me and it's expensive! Hiking is cheap and fun!