Sunday, August 5, 2012

Spruce Mountain

A walk in the woods to me is an exploration of myself because no matter how busy the world seems, when I take the time to walk in the woods I reconnect with who I truly am.  I take the time to appreciate the beauty that the natural world holds for me & I understand the glory of watching a hawk soar & I know that through nature we are all connected.  Each journey I’ve embarked on is unique in its own way & I hope  that the joy I find in each hike inspires you to get out & enjoy everything the natural world has to explore. 

This month’s hike is Spruce Mountain.

Getting there: Spruce Mountain is south of the Denver metro area, go south on I-25 to the Greenland exit (167), turn right (west) at the end of the ramp, you’ll snake around & cross a couple railroad tracks before coming to a stop sign at Spruce Mountain road, turn left (South) & travel about ¼ of a mile parking & the trailhead are on your right.  This is a popular place to go, to get a parking spot I would suggest arriving before 10:00am. 

The Details: The hike is approximately 5.5 miles in a nice loop, the hike begins at approximately 7,100 feet, the highest point is approximately 7,500 feet for a total elevation gain of 400 feet.  This hike will take you 2.5 to 3 hours at a comfortable pace.  Dogs are allowed on a leash. 

The journey:  The trailhead is at the end of the parking lot, we headed due west along a well defined trail for approximately 1/3 of a mile then we turned left & began the ascent to the top of Spruce Mountain.  Within a few hundred feet of the turn you are welcomed by a forest full of pine trees. This hike is a perfect place if you enjoy the smell of pine trees, the entire hike weaves in & out of the pines forest.
The trail up to the top is easy to follow & there are several switchbacks to make the climb even easier.  Along the way you have beautiful views of the Front Range & there are many places to pull off the trail & take in the valley & mountains around you.

Once you’ve reached the top (approximately 1.5 miles) you are on a wonderful flattop mountain.  The next 2.5 miles is just a magnificent stroll along this large flattop mountain.  The views on every side are incredible & the walk along this path is easy & enjoyable. 
To the South you have views of Pike’s Peak.

  To the south a beautiful valley & the foothills

& to the north more views of the Front Range

This experience was one of my favorite hikes so far, overall it’s a hike that anyone can do even though it’s 5.5 miles.  I would suggest to pack a picnic lunch & sit up top halfway through your hike & enjoy the views.
At the end of the loop you’ll need to take a sharp left to head back down the mountain.  There is a trail sign at this point but it points to the right for those coming up the mountain.  As you continue back down the mountain you’ll come across a point about halfway where you can go to the left or to the right.  The left trail will lead you back to where you came up the mountain, the right trail is an easy decent back to the parking lot. 

Till next time,


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