Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Travel Tuesday: Hiking in Colorado

I fell in love with Colorado after spending a summer and two winter breaks in Steamboat Springs during college.  Given the opportunity, I will gush about Colorado, and one of the people I have gushed to is Kyria.  So last winter when she asked if I'd have any interest in meeting up in Colorado for a weekend of hiking, I couldn't say yes fast enough.

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!

18 comments:

Caroline said...

Wow 26 miles, I'm impressed! I hiked 4 miles last week and was exhausted haha. I've never been to Colorado and have always wanted to go!

Marlys said...

That was impressive that you got 26 miles in two days! All that fresh air and cool temps must have felt great on your hike. I have never been to Colorado except the airport, but it looks like a beautiful site. I have always marveled at the sites from the air when we fly over it, too. Hope you can get back to Steamboat someday, but I am sure you will!

Jeanie said...

It IS a gorgeous state, isn't it? I'm impressed with your miles and endurance! The views were certainly spectacular!

missris said...

You two are hardcore! Sounds like a fun (and tiring) trip!!

Stephany said...

Wow - 26 miles! That is intense! Nice job on the hiking!

Also, it's funny that skiing terrifies you but hiking does not. Because hiking terrifies me and skiing does not (though I've only skied once in my life, so...) But hiking = some sort of injury for me, so alas, I will be giving up on this activity for the foreseeable future. ;)

Beautiful photos, though! It must have been so awe-inspiring to see all of that in person.

Carolina John said...

Beautiful! I can't wait to knock colorado off of my 50 state list. really looking forward to that one.

Leigh said...

You girls got quite a few miles in on your short trip...I'm impressed! And the pictures are gorgeous! What is your next trip?

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

That's an amazing amount of hiking! I did 11 miles on our SEattle trip and my Thai food tasted amazing as well haha. But I did not wake up and do it again the next day! :)

Also, this post made me want to go to Colorado...so, thank you for adding to my ever growing list!

Gracie said...

Gorgeous hiking and yeah, you guys got a lot of miles in. Amazing to think that you were so recently struggling with RA pain - this must make you feel so good.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

It was such a fun trip and I would be happy to do it again. You pretty much summed it up; the hiking was great, the views were fabulous and the company was perfect. It's so nice to travel with someone who you can just be yourself around, aka going to bed at a grandma time, saving on breakfast to spend on coffee or lunch, and saying whatever, whenever!! I can't wait to plan another get together soon...the question is: where to next?

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I have not been to Colorado. I have had family that has lived there but now they have moved away again. I think it would be very pretty but I'm a wildlife wuss and unsure if I could hike in moutains knowing the wildlife that live there hahaha.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I am definitely in your boat ... hiking > skiing. I love Colorado. I've been out there a number of times to visit friends and go to weddings. If our families didn't live east of the Mississippi AND if we were younger/if there were no kids, then I'm pretty sure Sweets and I would move to Colorado. But, we like the proximity to grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles and the like ... and I'm not sure either of us is brave enough to push the conversation at this point in our lives. That said, Colorado holds a special place in our heart. Looks like you had a great time with Kyria, despite the little snow setbacks!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I've been to Colorado ... to Denver a couple of times, and skiing about an hour out of Denver. It's a beautiful place, and has some of the best food around.

Charis Faith said...

Love love love the pictures!!!! Y'all hiked a marathon! So glad you were able to catch up with each other and visit one of your favorite places!!! I hope you and Phil can get back soon!

I finally just saw the new blog design, my phone apparently doesn't show it. I LOVE it!!!

Amber said...

That looks like SO much fun! I would love to do a huge hiking weekend like that. I was super impressed with the number of miles you guys fit in in only 48 hours - I also didn't know there was a decent amount of driving on top of that as well so now I'm even more impressed :)

I would love to go to Colorado one day, sounds like such a beautiful state! I would also like to go to Oregon soon and do some hiking there.

suki said...

We were in Colorado once, specifically Denver, Boulder, and Keystone. I could definitely spend more time in the area. One of our friends moved there recently, so we'd have a place to stay if we go again. :)

Abby said...

NEED to do go to Colorado at some point. The hiking looks incredible! Wow! That is amazing how many miles your crammed in such a little time! You are so freaking strong! Were you pretty sore afterwards?

Next May Ryan and I and another couple are planning a trip to Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. It would be fun if some time you and Phil met us to do a hiking trip!

We also want to do a rim-to-rim of the Grand Canyon sometime in the near future (in the next year...depending how it fits in with Ryan's school schedule!)

Andita Rfynt said...

beautiful! I suggest you go to Mount Rinjani in Lombok, Indonesia someday. There are incredibly cool in there. Or if you want to try to go to a traditional village try to go to the Dragon Village or Kampung Naga in Tasikmalaya, Indonesia. check out my article about Kampung Naga http://anditabcdeg.blogspot.com/2015/07/kampung-naga.html