Posts

Biking on on Easy Scenic Trails Trails in Nederland

Image
This is the second of three articles I wrote for the website Trazzler which disappeared a few years ago. Photos are from a ride in 2009Head north from Nederland on the Peak-to-Peak highway and you will see a sign for Caribou Ranch Open Space. Turn there and soon see a sign for the Mud Lake Open Space. There are several miles of trails here which are perfect for beginners. There are several benches along the trails where you can take a break and enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains.
Mud Lake One of the trails goes up to the Caribou Ranch Open Space trailhead, where you can lock up your bike before going on its trails. They don’t allow bikes on the park’s 4 ½ miles trails. Both of these open space parks are newer and in great shape. They are great for getting out in the mountains for a couple of hours when you don’t feel like hitting the harder trails in the nearby Indian Peaks Wilderness.
DeLonde Homestead in the Caribou Ranch Open Space
DeLonde Homestead Farm - The Homestead was …

Tasting the Local Wine in Paonia, Colorado

Image
This post is actually an article I wrote for the website Trazzler, which no longer exists. Photos my trip there in 2008 have been added.In the West Elk Wine Region of Colorado there are several small wineries that they don’t sell their wines outside the region.
Grapes Vines at Stone Cottage Cellars One of the best parts of stopping at these wineries is that you can talk with the owners. While you taste their wines, you can listen to their stories of how they got started. One of these is Stone Cottage Cellars. The owners built the stone cottage, stone by stone. They have an excellent Alpine Dessert wine.
The Vineyards at Stone Cottage Cellars Another winery, Azura, is named after the boat the owners sailed around the world in. Their tasting room is also an art gallery and has great views of the surrounding area. Both of these wineries had four or five wines each and were on top of a mesa above Paonia. What are their stories? You’ll just have to go there to find out.
On the Way from Crested …

Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail

Image
A Scenic Bike Ride at the Mouth of the Canyon.The upper end of this trail is at the Park and Ride at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon. It's great if you want to do an easy bike after skiing or snowboarding all day at Brighton and Solitude in the Spring. Most of this trail is completely offstreet, but there was a section in a neighborhood where the trail was a sidewalk or I had to ride on the on road.The trail starts off by going under Wasatch Boulevard. Then it heads downhill along the creek until it leaves it and drops you off on a street for the road and sidewalk section. When I went in late March, there were lot's of tree in bloom, especially in this section.
Spring Time Trees The trail leaves the road and follow the creek again. The creek goes into a pond in Old Mill Park. Just upstream of the pond, is a bridge that gives a good view of the creek upstream of here. I was able to get this photo with the mountains making the sides of Big Cottonwood Canyon in the background.
Big…

Lofty Lakes Hike (October 2014)

Image
This hike is east of Park City in the Uinta Mountains. It is in a national forest area called Mirror Lake Highway Recreation Corridor. The road goes from Kamas, UT to Evanstan, WY and is a scenic byway. Unfortunately at this time you have to have a national forest pass or pay a parking fee to park at most places on this road. (More Info) It is a very scenic drive with lots of trails, campgrounds and picnic areas. This hike took me about two and a half hours, with my GPS recording 301 m of climbing and a distance of 6.8 km.
I hiked clockwise and the first lake I came to was Kamas lake.
After Kamas Lake the trail goes over a small ridge with great views to the east before climbing up to Loft Lake. It was mid-October and there was some snow and mud on the trail as I went past Lofty Lake, but it was not hard to rock hop through. Lofty Lake was near treeline and the area around it was mostly alpine tundra. There were two nearby peaks that would've been easy cross-country side hikes.

A…

Mt. Roberts Tram Ride and Hike (September 2011)

Image
Head up a mountain right off the boat! The Mt. Roberts Tram is by the cruise ship docks in downtown Juneau and takes passengers up 1,745 ft to the top of Mt. Roberts. It is run by an Alaskan native owned corporation. On the way up and on top there are excellent views of the the downtown area and of Douglas Island.

Empty Cruise Ship Docks - Late Season

View of the Gustineau Channel on the Way Up (Looking South)
At the top terminal there's a restaurant and shops. More importantly the hiking trails run right by there. So you can either hike up or take the tram up (or down). I took the tram up and down since I was just doing an evening trip.


Trail on Top of Mt. Roberts
There was a bit of wildlife at the top including ptarmigans and squirrels.


Ptarmigan on the Trail
Along the top is a wooden cross. It is called Father Brown's Cross after a Jesuit Priest. He began building the trail to the top of Mt. Roberts with the help of volunteers. The current cross is a replica of the 1908 one erecte…

Mendenhall Lake Kayaking (September 2011)

Image
At the foot of the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska is a lake, called Mendenhall. (With an outflow called the Mendenhall River and it's in the Mendenhall Valley...lots of stuff called Mendenhall in the valley) The glacier calves and sends icebergs onto the lake. We kayaked across the lake from a put-in near the outflow, up to the glacier itself. The water is obviously pretty cold (about 34°) so be prepared for it and don't plan on swimming far if you flip. At the beginning you can't see the glacier all the way down to the water due to the rock peninsula sticking out, but once you get around it, it's amazing.


The Mendenhall Glacier from the Put In
The views were amazing from anywhere, even on a cloudy day. We put in at the West Glacier Trailhead and began kayaking across the lake. We could see some icebergs along with Nugget Falls on the other side of the lake.


Panoramic View from the Put-in
On the way across we went close to some of the icebergs. We had to be careful t…

Amalga Trail (June 2011)

Image
This trail is much rougher than the nearby Herbert Glacier trail, even though they start near each other. It follows the Eagle River toward the Eagle Glacier.


Much of this trail (like many in the area) is on boardwalks. They vary from planks on them ground to bridges with some broken and others in great shape. They were slippery. Some had roofing shingles or nets on the for traction.

Along one section near a pond we saw two porcupines on the trail. Unfortunately, they hid in the bushes a couple of feet off the trail as we passed and I didn't get any good pictures of them.

There is a forest service cabin down a spur trail about a quarter mile away from the main trail. It can be reserved for the night. At a viewpoint past the turn for the cabin we had a great view of glacier and waterfalls across the river in a side valley.


From here the trail gets rougher to the glacier. If you try this trail, it is a good idea to stay a night at the cabin or leave early in the morning.

Dire…