librarian + adventurer


Knife Edge Trail

May 5

Knife Edge Trail
Trailhead: Knife Edge Trail, Mesa Verde National Park
Distance: 2.0 miles (easy!)

Logan and I rolled into our campsite in Mesa Verde around 4:00 on Friday night. The WONDERFUL staff at the desk told us that the Knife Edge Trail would be the best place to catch the sunset, and since the trailhead is in the campground itself, we couldn't resist! 

Golden hour was just beginning when we got to the trailhead, and it made everything so beautiful. I was so giddy the entire time - we don't usually do sunset hikes, if only because hiking down in the dark does not sound appealing to two clumsy people. Knowing this trail was totally flat and only a mile each way, though, made it a perfect sunset walk.

We were so surprised by how few people we saw along the trail. Maybe it's because it was dinner time or maybe there just aren't a lot of visitors to the park in May, but we only passed 3 groups the entire time. One of the groups we passed had a 4 or so year old boy who proudly and excitedly told us about a horned toad he saw that "played a joke and spit blood." (We kept seeing this kid around the park throughout the weekend, and he was my favorite)

We were in no rush to make it to the end, knowing we were just going to hang out there until the sun went down anyways. We took our time and marveled at our surroundings - Mesa Verde is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and the landscape is unlike anything I had imagined. I stopped every few feet to exclaim "LOGAN LOOK!" and then take pictures - basically it was the best sort of hike.

It was so much greener than I was expecting it to be!

When we reached the end we found some rocks to sit on and wait (yes, after checking the area thoroughly for snakes, mom). We had about 30 minutes to kill so we both read our books and gaped at the beautiful scene before us. There was a large cliff behind us with TONS of White Throated Swifts living in there. They were super chatty and kept us entertained while we waited.

The sunset was predicted for 8:04 pm (WHAT? I feel like daylight savings just happened!) and at about 8:10 we started getting some super beautiful colors. The temperature also started dropping pretty quickly, so we didn't stay out for the entire sunset, instead heading back and watching it as we went.

Logan and I play a lot of games while we're hiking. We have a few go-to ones (like rhyming as many words as possible...I always lose that one), but tonight a new one formed. Knife Edge Trail is a self-guided tour trail, too, so all along the hike there are posts that correspond with factoids in a pamphlet. We decided these were mile markers and pretended to run an ultra-marathon as we hiked. (It sounds so weird to say it, but we have so much fun doing things like this!)

Bonus image of the moon - SO BRIGHT! Click on the image to enlarge it. I'm actually super proud of how well the moon turned out in this picture!

This was a perfect trail to stretch our legs out after a 7 hour car ride down here. It was beautiful, and while it was short it had some of the coolest sections of trail I've seen. If you have time to catch the sunset in Mesa Verde, this hike is a must-do.