Colorado 14er Hike in Late June. Rockin ColoradoCool Apparel (of course) hiking Mt. Democrat. f you're looking to hit a Colorado 14er that's not too intense yet still has some awesome views and will make for a great half day, Mt. Democrat is an awesome choice. It is pretty common to hit Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Bross all in one as you can traverse from peak to peak without losing too much elevation, but as we had a few more inexperienced hikers in the group last weekend (6/24), we decided to keep it chill and just summit Mt. Democrat.
If you are looking for a mild hike and countless opportunities for great views and photos, Dream Lake is a great spot to hit. Make sure if you come when the weather is nice you get here really early, or its not gonna be enjoyable. (Unless you don't mind crowds). A must see at some point for everyone!
The trailhead is just right up the road from several camp spots and the hike to the lake is about 3.5 miles (to lower Blue Lake). It is a moderately difficult hike for frequent hikers, but you have constant excuses to take breaks. The views of the peak of Mt. Sneffels, the meadows filled with wildflowers, the wildlife and waterfall had us constantly stopping and taking in the views.
First off, I don’t know how this isn’t a better known spot...its epic. I had heard of it in passing but had no idea how amazing it is. The depth of the canyon is insane (deepest point-Warner Point-2,722 feet), with a flowing river at the bottom that echoes through the canyon, clearly audible even at the top.
Mountain Biking Reservoir Ridge - Horsetooth Reservoir - Fort Collins It's always a pleasant surprise when you find a trail right in your own backyard. What defines a trick ass trail you might ask? Well, the trail needs to be stimulating yet grueling. Long rock gardens, sketchy, narrow chutes and just a pinch of flow- usually the combo I seek out to fulfill my endless desire for adrenaline. Luckily for me, the amazing paradise of Horsetooth Reservoir sits right in my backyard and this place is jam packed with the technical trials I love. I, Mikey B., present to you an excellent adventure on the Reservoir Ridge in sunny Fort Collins, CO. Apparently some people don't get too stoked about slow, technical climbs. On the other hand, those who do will find this trail great for improving balance, line selection and pedal timing. Not every trail will be built with perfect, easily chosen lines. That is why its important to practice on complex trails.Then, when caught in a rigorous situation you'll be ready. Reservoir Ridge is a slow going, very technical single track with an emphasis on pedal timing. This trail receives terrible reviews for all the wrong reasons. Although it does require lots of balance and multiple rides to find the flow through all the rough terrain, to me it shines as a tough test piece for breakaway riders. Right off the bat the climb begins with a pedal timing sequence that sets the tone for whats to come. Next comes the mid section, here you will encounter long rock gardens with very little room for mistakes, in some sections it is impossible to start back up once you have unclipped. These bits will require flawless balance and powerful pedaling. From there you will come to a left or right split in the trail, take a right and continue up an extremely loose, rocky climb. Be careful here as there will most liekly be a rattlesnake or two hiding on the trail. Once you reach the top you will be welcomed with an amazing view of the epic, man made, Horsetooth Reservoir. This is a great spot to kick back for a minute and enjoy a "roadie" brewski. After you have soaked up all the views, its time to resume the best part of the trail. The famous ridge includes multiple precarious steps and off-camber sections that will easily throw off your balance if you do not stay on point. There are some sweet off line variations that will take you on a rocky bridge but will quickly set you back on the trail. Hit the flow section and bomb some gnarly rock croppings and take the first left you encounter - shift down quickly as you will be challenged with a steep washed out chute. Now at the top of this climb you will have finally reached the true start of the downhill portion. Jet down the first fast, loose section and take an immediate left. If you're like me you will be screaming down the trail trying your best to carry the momentum you have built. Quickly balance your way through one more tight right turn and haul ass down the trail you have traveled up. From this point, you should reach your vehicle in less than 15 minutes (depending on your ability). Remember, push yourself and keep your momentum, otherwise you will lock up your front wheel and endo like a loser. Thanks to the helpful hands at Overland bike Club there is a new variation in the middle of the trail, this variation is an amazing change of pace from the overbearing technical mid-section. They built it up with a couple fun drops and a great rocky ridge that will summon a great deal of stability. This is easily my favorite short trail to build power, balance and selection. Try it for yourself and let us know what you think! Cheers! Mikey B
Limbaugh / 715 Trail - Monument to Palmer Lake Labor Day weekend in CO is probably one of the most difficult times to escape crowds. Luckily, Colorado Springs is full of amazing forests. We know wherever there are some badass Ponderosa Pines there are likely some badass trails. Even better, a variety of them are within a few miles of I-25. The local spot we chose was a lengthy, super loose, wild ride. I didn't really expect this trail to take us as far as it did (12 miles), but when it was all said and done, man, you really feel like you have completed one hell of a task, adding a little extra flavor to the beers that follow. I, Mikey, B, present to you - the Limbaugh/ 715 Variation Trail. While Colorado Springs sometimes gets a bad rap for some sketchiness that may not make it a prime destination for hitting the bars, this area of CO is an absolute gem for anyone who loves to ride. We first decided to hit the Limbaugh/715 Trail due to the fact the trailhead is only ten minutes off I-25. Anytime we are experimenting with a new trail, we like to look for the best rated and being easy to access is certainly a plus. The dense forest and giant climbs smacked us right in the face when we pulled up tot he Nursery Rd. trailhead. Unfortunately, this is also the trailhead for a very popular hiking trail so the traffic was a bit overwhelming at the beginning. However, like always, the more difficult the trail becomes the less people you will find. We began our ascent up the far right trail and continued taking rights through a flowy, easy to navigate system that eventually dumped us out on a main dirt road. From there we followed the uphill trend until we reached another parking lot where we found a single track trail. This trail was also easy without many obstacles-- a great warm up for what was ahead. The luring mountain ahead was dawning over me. I gasped for air, realizing I was in for a strenuous climb with an outstanding view as a reward. The trail then led us to a maze, follow the beaten path heading left and up. At the end you will find yourself at another dirt road to ride straight across to start the tough climb. Limbaugh trail kicked off with oak brushes and small pines and eventually led us into a beautiful, lonesome, wonderful Ponderosa forest. At the top of the first climb we were gassed but happy to find a winding downhill that put a fat smile on our faces. Then we were hit with another fork in the road. Here we decided to head left up an extremely loose, steep climb. We were welcomed with more amazing views teamed with stream crossings which delighted our puppers! At the very tippy top w relaxed for a few then decided it was time to reward ourselves and slam the trail we just worked so hard to ascend. A little warning before you embark on this fast and furious downhill-- watch your speed as it is very tough slowing down due to all the loose rock-- but of course, do what makes you feel alive. Once you reach the Nursery Rd. Trailhead you will have earned a nice, big, frosty cold brew while you sigh with relief that one more epic trail has been conquered. Hope you enjoyed the article and I offere you a precursory congrats for completing the ride!! Come back again for another trail review from yours truly. Cheers! Mikey B
Hiking/Mountain Biking Hewlett Gulch Trail Hewlett Gulch is a beautiful back woods trail located just outside Fort Collins, about 30 minutes west in the Poudre Canyon. The scenery in the springtime makes for an absolutely breathtaking experience. The intense smell of columbines flourishing in this area and the refreshing sound of snow melt parades while you gasp for air churning up this challenging trail. Stream crossings vary with the time of year, in the spring you may have to hike your bike across the several slippery crossings of the roaring stream, but most of the time you will be fine to challenge yourself to ride through them. There is an abundant amount of rock gardens located along the trail with no shortage of difficulty. It is a ten-mile loop. For an average weekend warrior, you might have to hike your bike through some steep climbing sections. Luckily this trail has a few expert sections available for those who want to push their ability to the limit. Usually, I don't pack much water for the doggies because the streams will be running all year long. As for yourself, you will want to pack your normal amount. Like most single track trails in Colorado you may encounter bears and mountain lions, so prepare yourself for a possible mid-trail battle. Personally, I always bring my 9 mm pistol, you are allowed to shoot recreationally 150 yards off the trail with proper knowledge in regards to weapon safety. Remember to always pack out your trash!!!!! Keep it "Colorado Cool". Cheers, Mikey B
ColoradoCool Apparel featured hike: Uncompahgre Peak Alright, alright. This is a submission from one of our ColoradoCool Apparel OG's, Nick Gendill. Shout out to our boy Nick for trekking up Uncompahgre, the sixth highest summit in the Rocky Mountains and the highest the San Juan Mountains has to offer. Appreciate the submission brother! "So it started at about 5:00 in the morning on Saturday, July 23rd when I woke up in the back of my Trailblazer at the Nellie Creek trailhead outside of Lake City, Colorado. Ate a couple granola bars and some jerky, and met up with some other rad hikers at 5:30. From there we drove up 4 miles of a pretty muddy, intense 4WD road... took about 45 minutes to jossle us all awake, and we hit the trail by around 6:30. After pushing through switchbacks for a good solid hour, we approached the base of the base of the peak; it would take us about another hour and half and about 2000 more feet of elevation gain to reach the summit. After a short class 3 scramble as the trail wraps around the southwest part of the mountain, it leveled out to where the summit was in view... and there were definitely views an exposure! The San Juan mountain range is definitely one of the most lush and unique mountain ranges to hike in. You can get everything from smooth rivers and waterfalls, lush grassy slopes, to gnarly boulders, and extreme crags and arêtes. From the top of the 14309 foot Uncompahgre Peak, I saw roughly another 10 14ers. All together made for a fun adventure, and Lake City isn't too shabby of a mountain town to stop and get a burger and beer afterwards before a long drive back." Cheers Nick!!! Thanks for the DOPE ColoCool photos and submission!!
ColoradoCool Apparel featured hike: Seaman Reservoir ***PLEASE NOTE*** This blog post was written in 2016. Seaman Reservoir is now exclusively available to people fishing and hunting, and the rope swing has been taken down. Huge bummer! Loss of an amazing spot! But, hope the fishing is good! - - - For all you ColoradoCool homies out there who don't own a motorboat (props to those who do-holler at us-we should be friends) Seaman's is a kickass place to spend the day. Taking a motorboat out is about the only thing you can't do up there. Its located just north of Fort Collins up the Poudre Canyon. Right off Highway 14 alongside the Poudre River there is a great park area (grass, grills, picnic tables) that you walk through right alongside the river then along the path up to the reservoir. Once you get up to the reservoir, there is climbing, cliff jumping, hiking, fishing, camping, trail running (if you got the legs)...you name it. Once the water level drops, which is now has, there is a good amount of beach area around the bend. On weekends your guaranteed to find plenty of people puttin a few back and enjoying the water as well as plenty of people camping. There is a lot of space for everyone so while it is popular, it doesn't get too crowded. There are multiple spots to cliff jump with varying heights. If you look hard enough....you might be lucky enough to find what we consider to be the main attraction of Seamans. But make sure your game, we did witness a chick start to take off, hesitate, kinda just step off instead of getting a good jump and then bounce off some rocks like a damn pinball until she finally (mercifully) reached the water. She was a little banged up but took it like a champ. Not ideal though. Our advice is to approach it like you should everything else in life....if ur gonna go for it, go for it. Or, as our boy Mikey B put it, "Just pretend like you don't have a brain!" Elevation:Totally. Cheers. Keep it safe and keep it ColoradoCool.