Mills Lake, RMNP
Welcome to the Lamson Adventures Winter Hiking Page!
Welcome to the Lamson Adventures Winter Hiking Pages. I like to keep the pages simple and easy to navigate. We are going to learn together. We will discuss basic safety, maybe a product or two. At this point, I am using all the items my friends, who hike a lot, are using. We will work to perfect a winter packing list. Mine has brand names. I do not usually do this but I feel that if the product is working for me, a newby, I am going to put the name out there.
How should I dress for a hike?
Clothing is your first line of defense against the elements. In the cold, it insulates you, keeping you warm; in the hot, proper clothing keeps you cool. We seem to hit both during our hikes in colorado winters. I found a great acronym in my books to help me pack my clothes. The acornym is COLDER.
Mill Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Mills Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, 40°18'41.89"N 105°38'42.19"W, is located Less than 1 mile before Bear Lake along Bear Lake Road. SMALL parking lot. There are bathrooms there and we saw a ranger if you need directions. We went on a short hike to Mills Lake. It is 2.7 miles each way. Not much in the way of altitude gain but a very good hike. You will go past a few frozen waterfalls. It seemed longer, still having knee issues, but I did enjoy the hike. The only warning I would give is that coming back, that last 1/2 mile is all up hill. Throws you when you do not know it is coming. I would do Bear Lake, .6 miles away, first and then do Mills Lake. Check the map directory for the kmz file for google. Click the picture to see the whole album....
Seven Bridge, Cheyenne Canyon, Colorado
Seven Bridge Trail, Colorado Trail 622 is a pretty decent trail. The parking lot is located above the Helen Hunt falls at 38.790419N 104.903984W. The trail is well marked about .6 mile North-west from the link above, which is the parking lot. I found it even better in the winter then in the summer. The books will tell you all the bridges are in rough shape, that is not true anymore. Someone has fixed them right up. The trail is about 1.6 miles, one way and it meets with the Jones Park trail. If you have time, go up the hill after the trailhead and check out the tunnel and maybe St Mary Falls. That is also a fantastic trail with a winner view from the top of the north ridge you look towards hiking the bridges trail. I sure hope you enjoy. Pets are welcome on this trail.
Columbine Open Space, Castlerock, CO
This was a nice walk. Do not get me wrong, we can not train here but I really enjoyed the view and the walk. The trails in the snow are not well marked. The views are very good but be carefull not to cross the no trespassing sign. I was driving my son back to school and just pulled over to do this walk. I have to say, I am always impressed with the open area that Douglas county keeps up for the residents. Columbine Open Space has a 1.5-mile trail that is open to hiking, biking, and equestrian uses. The property is open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset and is equipped with restrooms. Users are required to stay on the established trail. To visit Columbine Open Space travel south from Castle Rock on the East I-25 Frontage Road; approximately six miles. A large red barn is visible from the Frontage Road, turn left and cross the one-lane bridge. Park only in the designated parking lot. Google Map to get directions.
Lake Gulch and Inner Canyon Trails, Castlewood Canyon State Park, CO
Castlewood Canyon State Park, 39.33690N 104.7486W, is located right outside Franktown on Route 83. This park is over 2100 acres of hiking. Todays hike were Inner Canyon and Lake Gulch Trail. As you enter and walk North-west, you get the view of the ranch and prairie below. As you continue down into the Canyon, you get the stellar red rocks around you. I wanted to see if this hike was different in the winter. It is. When you get down to the water, the bridge is not there. You need to go along the water side where it is muddy, icey, and deep snow. We loved every second of it. The Canyon surrounding you are beautiful. They are even more dramitc with the snow cover, the ponderosas, and the running water. I love this park in the summer, but it was way better in the winter. If it just snowed, I would definatlely bring some cramp-ons for the shoes and possible a pole. The pole is not-so-much for the hike but to check how deep the snow is on the banks by the water. We found drifts about 4ft deep. Luckily we took it slow with my knee injury still making this hiker beware. :-) Click the picture to see the whole album....
Templeton Trail, Palmer Park, Colorado Springs
Palmer Park is acres of land in the center of Colorado Springs. You think its a small park until you enter it and find hikes that challenge even an experienced hiker. I took Templeton Trail which is rated hard. I am not sure I agree with the rating but was surprised to see how many spurs off the main trail there were. I really enjoyed the views of Pikes Peak from here, as well as the view of downtown. The sounds of the birds and other wildlife make you forget you are in the middle of a city. Click the picture to see the whole album....
This hike is, at the moment, amoung the top ones we have taken. It is located up North Cheyenne Canon. If you want to a do short version, start at Helen Hunt Falls. After about 1.7 miles of hiking you come to a trail junction. A good, but less used trail goes right (north) off the main Columbine trail. This smaller trail goes up to Gold Camp Rd., which is an old railroad bed left from the gold mining days. This offshoot trail intersects the road near the location of a tunnel that was put through the bedrock. It's worth a look and adds 15 or 20 minutes to the hike. Along the way you'll encounter a trail going off to the right - stay left to go up to the Gold Camp Road. I do not have a page for this yet. My battery went cold on me. It was 6 degrees that day and had started to snow. Click the picture to see the whole album....
Spruce Mountain, Rt 53 and Rt 105, Palmer Lake, CO
Spruce Mountain is so cool because it has it all. Very few hikers go there so it is tranquil. The trails are short but many. You can climb the mountain or hit the open are with the shoe shoes. I love it here and will probably be spending the night very soon. The gear check went well. The only hitch is that you are not allowed to be there 30 minutes after sunset. I am going to park and hike in and up. I do not have winter shots of the Open area but if you go to my main page, there are summer shots of the 8 mile open area. Great view of the Rockey Mountains. Click the picture to see the whole album....
I love hearing hikers talk about the Garden of the Gods. Apparently, we have gone to different places. This is over 700 acres of hiking. If you want to chat with the tourist on the paved sidewalks, great. If you want to head up and over, even better. If you check in with the visitors center and let them know you want a challenge and that you have the appropriate gear with you, BINGO. I have loved every hike in this area. Even west of the main attractions, you can head up and hardly see a soul around. The photos in the winter are good too. Beware of the wind though, it will lift you off your feet. Click the picture to see the whole album....
It is rated black (hard) but we are not sure it is all that. The winter cover and icey brook did pose a challenge we loved but would not have put it black diamond. I would actually saw, bring your safety gear in case you need it. We had the poles, the yak traxs, and the all important, the stove and dinner. :-) The waterfalls at the top are absolutely breathtaking. I wish I could have captured them properly with my camera. I did not. My buddy Justin could have done it but he was not with us. The tip of the fall broke off while we were there and shot flurries over our dinner table. It was breath-taking. Click the picture to see the whole album....