I’m taking full advantage of the nice weather we’re experiencing in Colorado. For the first time in a long time, I went hiking two days in a row this past weekend. That’s right, I spent two full days in the middle of the woods on mountains far from the distractions and obligations of day-to-day life. Having spent my previous day hiking in Boulder, I ventured out to Golden for day two to check out White Ranch Open Space Park and do a hike I’d never done before.
As a child, I was often told that “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” While there is definitely truth in the statement, what I wasn’t told was that the occupational hazard of turning what you love to do into work, is that what you love to do starts to become more and more work-oriented. I throw hikes and campouts. I love hiking and camping. But, all too often, these activities seem more like work than relaxation. It’s a rarity that I can venture out for the pure reason of adventure, without responsibility for a large group, and simply enjoy the little nuances that make nature such a wonderful escape. So, when I was asked to go on a hike I’d never been on, I took full advantage of the opportunity.
We set out late morning from Broomfield and arrived at the trailhead just before noon. With the winding roads and weekend traffic, plan on an extra 10-15 minutes if you’re not there early. Parking can be tough, though we were lucky to find a spot in the lot closest to the trail. When you get to the trailhead, you can head left or right along the 4.5-mile loop. We chose to head left, and got almost a third of the way in before setting up “camp” for the day. The park does have backcountry camping with about ten sites but you need to reserve those in advance, and we hadn’t planned to spend the night since Monday brings with it early morning obligations.
We hung a hammock and laid out sweatshirts for ground cover, enjoying the peaceful, undisturbed setting. The occasional bikers would barrel down the trail above us, eventually passing into the distance until nothing but a faint humming of the tires could be heard. The are was clearly damaged in a fire, and you can still feel ash and see the remnants of the devastation that fire can cause throughout that side of the mountain and valley.
After a few hours of blunts and joints and simply doing nothing, we packed up camp and headed onward, eventually reaching the other side of the mountain. The latter half of the trail (or your first half if you go right at the fork) is much more lush. Untouched by fires, green mosses and grasses spring up through pine needles dropped by the thick canopy for pine trees ranging from dark green to light blue in color. Small flowers were popping up, delighted to have multiple days in a row without the threat of frost or snow.
We eventually finished our trek just as the sun was setting, allowing for some breathtaking views. There is also an area with old farming and ranching equipment that offered some insight into the history of the land and how the ranch came to be an open space.
Best Part: Being surrounded by nothing but the sound of wind, birds and leaves and the incredible color palette of the forrest in full bloom for Spring.
Worst Part: Not making it further before setting up camp, and not being able to spend the night.
Trail: Rawhide Trail – White Ranch Open Space
Distance from Broomfield: 45 minutes
Trip time: 8 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.