Sunday, August 5, 2012

Deer Creek Canyon

The journey I take when I walk through the woods is more to me than just the discovery of the beauty of nature, it is truly the discovery of myself.  For when I walk amongst the natural world I find a quiet & peace within me that I know nowhere else.
This month’s journey is to a beautiful place in Jefferson County , Deer Creek Canyon.  To get there take C-470 to Wadsworth Avenue South, turn right at South Deer Creek Canyon Road go approximately 4 miles to Grizzly Drive turn left and wind your way for ¼ to a ½ of mile to the parking (on your right).
The trails we took again created our own loop the total hike is approximately 2.7 miles, it begins at an elevation of 5,950 & peaks at a height of 6,450.  The total elevation gain is 500 feet & it’s a glorious romp through the foothills that gives you amazing views of the Front Range, Denver & the surrounding Deer Creek Canyon area.  I would consider this hike an urban hike as it’s nestled in a neighborhood but rarely do you see the homes, businesses or any reference to the neighborhood.
On this trail you are allowed to bring your dogs as long as they are leashed.  We began on the Meadowlark Trial which starts right from the parking area & heads west into the foothills. The trail winds through the hills & in & out of pines & gamble oaks.  The elevation gain begins after about ½ a mile but because of the switchbacks & winding trail in general you don’t really feel the elevation gain like so many other trails. The red rocks on the walls of the canyon around this area are beautiful anytime of the year but I love the way the white snow sets off the colors all around you.
The Meadowlark trail is only open to hikers so there’s no concern on this part of the trail for bikers or people on horseback.  After continuing for about a mile you reach the highest point of this hike the views all around you are amazing as you can see most of the Front Range as well as Denver.

Once you’ve taken in the views from the top you begin to slowly move back down.  You’ll leave any thought of being in an urban neighborhood behind as you wind between two hills & into an alpine forest.  At the end of the Meadowlark trail you’ll cross a bridge & turn to your left.  The evergreen trees envelop you as you start back towards the parking lot. In addition to the evergreens you have sections of the trail that have large boulders.  You follow this section of the trail for approximately ½ a mile once you leave the forest behind.  You’ll have a hard turn to your left.  This section of the trail isn’t well marked ahead is Plymouth Creek Trail which Meadowlark trail runs right into if you continue straight you’ll  continue back up a steep climb. 
Instead, follow the Plymouth Creek trail back to your left & you’ll wind your way back to the parking lot in just over a mile.

This hike was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.  We enjoyed the views & the topography of this hike a lot.  I encourage you to check it out when you have a chance.

Till next time,


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