A very popular hike lies at the top of Vail Pass. A favorite for wildflower enthusiasts, Shrine Pass is short (only about 45 minutes to 1 hour to the summit), but a steady incline every step of the way. It is considered an “Easy” hike – but remember that you are starting at around 11,000 feet. So if you are from the “low lands”, just take it nice and slow….you will enjoy the wildflowers and the views all along the way.
At the summit, you will have a tremendous view of Mount Holy Cross. It is a nice hike, but you will be enjoying it with probably 100 of your closest hiking buddies (ha!).
I recently enjoyed this hike with a group of friends from the Real Estate Industry here in Summit County. I thought you might enjoy the beautiful flowers from along the trail!
Summit County and surrounding counties are home to some wonderful “hut” systems. The word “hut” is a bit of a misnomer, since they are mostly beautiful log cabins. But regardless, they offer a wonderful back-country experience that I highly recommend.
This weekend, my husband, Rick, and I joined our good friends in a cross-country ski trek to the 10th Mountain Hut. Described as, “Nestled at timberline below the majestic peaks of the Colorado Continental Divide, 10th Mountain Division Hut forms a perfect destination for a single hut trip or ski-through using other nearby huts. In summer, dozens of hiking and cycling routes start or end just outside the door.”
For us, we stuck our skins on our cross-country skis and made the 4.4 mile, 1,445′ elevation gain from Crane Park to the hut. Ok – let me be honest, we cut off around a mile (but not much elevation gain), by parking a bit closer to a small trail that connected to the main trail.
It took us around 3 1/2 hours to climb to the hut. And then we were treated an amazing weekend of being totally disconnected, heat via the wood-burning stove, an out-house that was just a bit chilly, and the opportunity to meet fellow skiers who enjoy the back-country probably even more than we do.
This hut is a haven for the AT skiers. As for me and Rick, we stuck to just trekking around on our x-country skis and enjoying the scenery.
If you are looking for a new experience, try out hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing to a hut. It is truly a wonderful experience!!
Oh – what a beautiful weekend we had in Summit County! Summer is such a glorious time of year in the high country. Having come from Nebraska with a 2 year stint in Iowa, my summers were usually very hot and very humid. But Summit County’s summertime temperature is usually around 74 degrees! Oh! So wonderful.
This weekend my husband and I decided we had time for a quick hike on Saturday morning. We started at the Ptarmigan Trailhead in Silverthorne (overlooking I70). Then we hiked for 2 hours and ended up at the Angler Mountain Ranch trailhead. The views were spectacular! Just see for yourself in some of the pictures I’ve posted here.
Now – I will admit that this isn’t one of my favorite hikes. You can hear I-70 and Hwy 9 for quite a bit of the hike (my dream hike is completely away from all civilization!) and you run across an electrical sub-station and several electrical lines. But – as I said, the views are worth it.
It is a very steep climb at the beginning – but once you are up on the ridge it is an easy hike. Just take the beginning a bit slower. You can hike to the peak, which we didn’t, and then hike back out to the Ptarmigan Trailhead – we just took a short-cut.
My favorite part of Summit County – and the reason I love living here – are the hiking trails. From easy walks in the woods, to an incline that gets your heart pumping, to the all-day destination hikes, I love them all. I wish my schedule allowed for more all-day hikes, but I squeeze in as many 1/2 day hikes as I can.
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful morning hike to Boulder Lake which is just north of Silverthorne. Quite frankly, the toughest part of the hike was the drive to the trailhead – but once there, you are treated to a wonderful trail full of wildflowers, views, the devastation of pine beetle, but the hope of the new growth under the dead trees, cute little streams of water, and finally, yes – Boulder Lake.
Enjoy these pictures from my hike – and feel free to call or email me for hiking ideas.
One of my favorite hikes was highlighted in the Summit Daily yesterday. Boulder Lake is a beautiful hike as well as offering a great reward at the end – a high mountain lake with the mountain peaks in the background.
If you are looking for a moderate hike, I highly recommend this Summit County hike. Check out the details at the Summit Daily article:
In enjoyed my Friday afternoon last week by taking my first hike of the season. Accompanied by my friend, a veteran hiker, we embarked on Shrine Ridge – a hike I haven’t done for many years. You access this trailhead by exiting I-70 at the top of Vail Pass (the “rest room” exit). Following the dirt road east, you come to the trailhead for this hike.
The wildflowers are just starting to bloom – which is typically one of the best parts of this hike. And, although we have had very little moisture this spring, we were surprised to run into some very muddy parts of the trail – and we even had to cross a field of snow!! But moisture is good, so we weren’t complaining.
There are several “Ahhhhh” moments on this hike. A point where you can look back to the west side of the Gore Range and my favorite – when you come up to the ridge and see Mt. Holy Cross. We enjoyed a quite moment at the top of the ridge viewing the forest un-marred by Pine Beetle. Although it was a windy day, it was a fantastic hike – and a great way to kick off the season.
If you are looking for a hiking companion, or want some ideas on good hikes around Summit County, give me a call!