The warm weather is finally here in Colorado. I know it snowed only a week ago, but I’m being optimistic that the sunny, 70-degree days are here to stay. In preparation for the next CannaVenture Hike, I decided to hit Mount Sanitas and make sure the trail hadn’t closed and that there were plenty of discrete spots to elevate.
The first thing to note when it comes to the Centennial Trailhead (where the trails start) is that the parking lot is very small and you’ll likely have to park a half mile or so before or after the trailhead. I decided to go a little ways past the trailhead, and found parking within a minute or two, adding an extra 0.8 miles to the planned 3.3-mile loop.
When you get to the trailhead, head back towards the road, crossing as indicated, and then continue past a few wooden structures until you’re on Sanitas Valley Trail. The trail is a loop which starts when the path eventually forks with the left trail heading clockwise along the loop, beginning with Mount Sanitas, and the right trail heading counter-clockwise, beginning with Sanitas Valley. Take the left path if you want to get the strenuous part done first and then have a lazy downhill walk for your second half. Take the right trail if you’d prefer a lazy uphill and a steep downhill. I chose the former.
The hike up Mount Sanitas is described as moderate, and it definitely earns that rating. You’ll climb up 900 ft. in elevation over the course of a mile and a half. As you ascend, you’ll come across multiple areas that feel like the summit, only to see another, slightly higher, climb in the distance. When you eventually reach the summit, there’s a pole and sign indicating that you’ve made it. I got a bit confused trying to find the second half of the loop (you have to go over the summit and down, rather than back down and around), but eventually found my way onto the second half of my journey along Sanitas Valley Trail.
Now, it was a Saturday, Sunny, and beautiful weather, so it wasn’t surprising that the park was packed with people of all ages. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t celebrate my summit with the Backwoods I’d brought with me, especially when I saw someone with a hammock set up just off the trail, overlooking the valley. I figured that there had to be at least one spot to go enjoy my blunt and a couple beers and relax before completing the hike.
During the ascent, there’d been countless places to stop, light up and take a load off. I’ve learned that partaking too early in the hike can lead to not finishing the hike, so I try to wait until I’m at least halfway as a general rule of thumb. It’s a reward for the climb to get to the top when you crack open a prerolled ‘wood and light it up 1000ft higher than you were when you rolled it.
As I began my descent, there weren’t many options for pulling off privately to partake, but I found a nice little area near Sanitas Quarries to set up a hammock, crack open a few brews, and light up without worrying about big groups of people stopping by or being disturbed by my activities. I spent an hour or so just relaxing in the hammock, dog at my feet, overlooking the entire span of Boulder. It was one of the most peaceful Saturday’s that I can remember in a while.
As I headed back down, I made sure to pack out all trash, including blunt roaches, in a small garbage back, which received a few remarks on the way down. Most people wished they’d joined me in my festivities, and a few were appreciative that I was leaving no trace. It’s important if you’re partaking in the wilderness to clean up after yourself; it keeps the environment clean and helps rid cannabis consumers of the lazy, apathetic stereotypes that groups like CannaVenture seek to overcome.
If you’re planning on joining us for the hike on May 12th, bring your hiking shoes and a few bottles of water. It’s a moderately challenging hike, but it’s definitely worth the view.
Best Part: Finding a serene, secluded spot to relax on top of the mountain, smoke a blunt and take a break from it all.
Worst Part: Needed a bit more water, parking was tough, and a meal beforehand would have avoided mid-hike munchies..
Trail: Mount Sanitas & Sanitas Valley Loop – Boulder Open Space
Distance from Broomfield: 25 minutes
Trip time: 3.5 Hours
Time of hike: Last week of April 2018
Note: Trip Logs are written by individuals and the views/activities contained within are not necessarily those held by or endorsed by the CannaVenture® or its affiliates. If an article contains suggestions regarding dangerous, illegal or unethical activities, remember that authors may not be qualified to provide you with complete information about the suggestions, their legality or to inform you about adequate safety precautions and other measures to prevent injury, or other damage to your person, property or reputation. If you need specific advice (for example, medical, legal, financial, marital or risk management) please seek a professional licensed or knowledgeable in that area. CannaVenture® in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws.