First Day of Fall
Trailhead: Slough Pond, Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Distance: 2.3 miles (moderate)
I loved Golden Gate Canyon so much on Sunday that I had to go back on Friday! Rachel and I will sometimes have the same day off during the week and we try to take advantage of that by getting outside - whether that's just a walk around Cherry Creek or braving the cold and snow in Roxborough or going on an actual hike, it's something I look forward to whenever our schedules match up. This time, we decided short and gorgeous was the key to our adventure. The Beaver Trail may only be 2.3 miles, but it packs a punch - it's rated by the park as "most difficult" and after we got started, I could see why!
I love hiking with Rachel. We're the same pace and like to take breaks at the same time and we always end up recommending each other the best books. Plus it's hard to beat being in the woods with your best friend.
This trail starts out tree-covered. You walk through the forest and some small aspen groves for a little over half a mile before popping out near the entrance road. From here, it's open for a while (definitely bring sunscreen), but offers the most amazing views of the surrounding mountains. It was especially beautiful on this day because we could see all the aspens that had started to change color across all of the mountains. Rachel and I marveled in the beauty we were surrounded by and talked about how much we love Colorado (we're both really excited that my new job gives me a good reason to stick around for a while).
Around this point is also where the trail starts heading uphill. And why it gets it's "most difficult" rating from the park. There's about a mile and a half of uphill hiking from here. Some of it fairly steep, some of it via switchbacks, but there isn't a break at all. We were hot and out of breath, that's for sure.
We finally made it to the top and started working our way back downhill. It's pretty steep, so it took a lot of concentration not to fall. When we got back to the trailhead we hung out at one of the picnic tables and ate some snacks (one of my favorite parts of hiking, to be honest!). It was such a perfect first day of fall; when we left we grabbed sushi and people watched from Rachel's balcony, went to the pool and read our books, and then went to see the new Kingsman movie.
Find this adventure on The Outbound!