93 – Castlewood Canyon

I recall hiking the trails through Castlewood Canyon once years ago when the snow was close to knee high, but this time not only was there fresh snow, but the temperature was nine degrees when we began our hike – and by the time we finished, had fallen to zero. These were extreme temperatures to be hiking in, but we were prepared. We layered up and headed out.

Castlewood Canyon trailhead . . .
Castlewood Canyon trailhead . . .

Go here – http://www.parks.state.co.us/PARKS/CASTLEWOODCANYON/TRAILS/Pages/castlewood%20trails.aspx –  to see all the trail options through Castlewood Canyon. We covered them all except the last mile of the Lake Gulch Trail. Kent took this photo of me up along the Rimrock Trail. With a couple of inches of new snow on top of a layer of ice, I dared not venture too close to the edge of that rimrock as the drop down to the canyon floor looked a bit frightening, but how refreshing to be standing there under that big blue sky.

(pic by Kent) . . . along the Rim Trail
(pic by Kent) . . . along the Rim Trail

Here I look up at what remains of the historic dam along the Dam Trail. That dam broke many years before, flooding Cherry Creek and the surrounding valley all the way into the city of Denver.

(pic by Kent) at the historical dam . . .
(pic by Kent) at the historical dam . . .

This is the old homestead along the Homestead Trail. By this time, we could tell that the temperature was dropping fast, and portions of the trail were nothing but a sheet of ice so decided it was a good time to turn around and call it a day.

The old homestead . . .
The old homestead . . .

Cutting through the valley floor, we passed several deer. They watched us as we walked by, probably surprised to see people along the trails on such a chilly day.

Wildlife . . . along the trail
Wildlife . . . along the trail

Crossing the last of the bridges over Cherry Creek on our way back to the trailhead.

Another bridge over Cherry Creek . . .
Another bridge over Cherry Creek . . .

Castlewood Canyon is a great place to visit and I highly recommend a hike there if you find yourself in the Denver area looking for a place to spend a few hours. More information on the park can be found here – http://www.parks.state.co.us/parks/castlewoodcanyon/Pages/CastlewoodCanyonHome.aspx.

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