The trail is short but steep, gaining approximately 1200 feet in a little over a mile (average of 19% grade), with the steepest section coming right at the end. Once I’m in better shape, it will be an excellent trail to run a couple laps to get steep hill training.
The trail starts along the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon, which is the largest canyon on the Upper Colorado River. Once it splits from the main Glenwood Canyon bike path, the trail ascends through a side canyon. Although the trail is steep, there are plenty of rest stops along the way. I, of course, didn’t use them. If you’ve ever been hiking with me, you know that I’ll stop to take pictures but hate to stop just “to rest”. The views along the way are pretty but rarely are they stunning. Only once you get most of the way to Hanging Lake does the canyon open up and and you see the beauty that you just hiked through.
The falls and lake itself are absolutely stunning. I’ve never seen them in the springtime when the wildflowers are blooming, but even covered under snow they will take your breath away. On this particular day, it was warm enough for some of the snow to melt and cascade over the ice cliffs. We ventured to the other side of the falls and I watched the tiny black swifts flitting around the falls while Jason took some amazing pictures. Seriously check out his Flickr page. He has some really spectacular pictures on it.
After snapping a couple more pictures, including this gem of the two of us, we started to make our way down. I even captured a video of Jason slipping and sliding down the steepest part of the trail. We made it back to the trailhead as the sun was setting behind the canyon walls. Jason caught this awesome picture of me.
On Sunday, we spent the day snowboarding. The snow was falling and the wind was howling so we ducked into the trees as often as possible. Unfortunately, I did something funny to my back and have been walking around like an old woman for the past couple of days. It’s getting better but it’s been a frustrating interruption to my running. Especially since the past two days have been sunny and in the 50s in Denver. Ohh well.
Mary just arrived in Denver from Virginia and we’re heading up to the mountains tomorrow. It should be a fun long weekend filled with skiing (if my back is ok) and maybe some snowshoeing. Hopefully I’ll have even more amazing pictures to share next week.