Trailhead: Chief Mountain
Distance: 3.1 miles (easy to moderate)
Another day, another Mountain Chicks hike! On St Patrick's Day, I met up with a group of badass women, one dude, and some doggos. I've written before about my nerves going into these group hikes...this day was no different. I'll spare you the details of my anxious brain and instead jump right into the spoilers: the day went perfectly fine.
I met up with Sarah (the ambassador for the hike) and rode with her to the trailhead. We waited for everyone else to arrive, grabbed some beers and St. Patrick's Day trinkets for the top, and got going!
I immediately started way too fast. Chief Mountain's summit is at 11,709' and I haven't been that high since July. I immediately stopped to pull out my inhaler and take some pictures to pretend that I wasn't dying, just admiring the gorgeous morning light (I was dying). Sarah is a pretty awesome ambassador, though. She brings up the rear of the pack and even when I was at the back, she never made me feel like I was slow or holding anyone up. Little things like that are why I really love these group hikes! We made it to the first overlook and I think my mouth may have actually dropped open...You could see mountains for miles and it was such a perfectly clear day!
The top of the hike is just over treeline. It's hard to explain how beautiful these mountains are in the morning light (and virtually impossible to capture in an image), but I was stunned. 360° views and snow covered peaks and just awe-inspiring beauty all around me. I've lived here almost 3 years and I am never not amazed with my surroundings. I could live here the rest of my life and I don't think I would ever get used to it. When we got to the top, we all pulled out our summit beers (or cheers-ed with water bladders!) and took some time to admire where we were. I loved this hike so much my first thoughts were "I need to get Logan out here" and "holy cow my family needs to see this."
In that last picture you can see FOUR fourteeners. On the left side, the mountain that looks the biggest is Mount Evans. The one just to the right of it is Mount Bierstadt. On the right side of the picture, off in the distance, you can see two pointy peaks. The pointy peak on the left is Grays Peak, the one on the right is Torreys. (I still can't believe I've stood on top of three of these?!)
Eventually we had to head back down to the trailhead, but I am adding Chief Mountain to my list of go-to hikes. The views were absolutely amazing and at only 3.1 miles, it's a perfect quick morning hike.