What started as any other moderate hike in the mountains to see some seasonal color, turned into a foggy, misty journey through Autumnal beauty. As you approach Raccoon Trail (within Golden Gate Canyon State Park), cell service is nowhere to be found, so a GPS or map is a must.
When we got to the entrance to the state park, the fog was thick enough that you could only see about a 100ft in front of you. The road winds quite a bit, but ends up placing you at a small ranger station where you can pay for overnight camping permits. We were only there to hike, and the office was closed, so we headed around back to the Raccoon Trailhead. This trail is a 3.3mile loop with offshoots that extend to nearby campsites and Panorama Point Overlook.
We ventured in and headed to the left (clockwise) around the loop. Our goal was to see some Fall colors with the leaves changing and the misty overhanging fog. Personally, I was looking for some great opportunities for Fall photography and a nice place to enjoy a blunt with the crew. Luckily, we found plenty opportunities for both.
Although it was a bit wet, we decided to veer off the loop and head towards Panorama Point. having no idea how much farther the trail would take us, we found a boulder (which Jesse dubbed “Stoner Rock”) to enjoy a blunt, some beers, and a few shots of Fireball whiskey at. Sven proceeded to roam the area, enjoying his temporary freedom from following me around.
As we continued along, we found a much larger boulder that Jesse and Dereck climbed on top of. Sven attempted to, and even managed to get 2/3 of his body on top of the boulder (pictured), but after hugging it for dear life, he slid down the side and wouldn’t attempt again, instead preferring to climb on top of every rock face he could for the rest of the journey.
As the weather got foggier, we decided to turn back and came upon a private cabin in the middle of the woods. We also lost Sven around this time, and after a half hour of calling his name, the happy pup came running back, drenched and muddy but happy as he could possibly be. Reunited as a crew, we headed back to the car and made it out of the park just before sunset.
Following the hike and some cleanup time for the crew, we headed to The World Famous Dark Horse Bar in Boulder for an after-hike meal, a few beers and some laughs over the journey.
Best Part: Fall colors and aspens are incredible during late September-early October.
Worst Part: Almost losing Sven because he went on a half-hour mini adventure of his own. (meme of going on adventure with sven head)
Trail: Raccoon Trail – Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Distance from Broomfield: 45 minutes
Hiking time: 2-3 hours (pending stops & excursions)
Time of hike: Last week of September 2017
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