Hiking in Colorado is Unpredictable

Hiking in Colorado is Unpredictable

Living in Colorado is a wonderful privilege. You practically have the mountains in your backyard and an abundance of outdoor activities at your fingertips. The winter, however, can put a bit of a damper on summer activities that you wish to do year round. For me, one of those activities is hiking.


While snowshoeing is loads of fun, most have to drive at least an hour to get to a good spot (unless it snowed yesterday). Not to mention, this is a day trip and can’t be done over a long lunch break. Luckily, I live less than twenty minutes from loads of trails. Since it hasn’t snowed since New Year's Eve (and has been fifty degrees every day since), I thought I was correct to assume the trails near me would be in great condition.


Today, I took my hiking buddy (aka dog) to Chautauqua Park in Boulder and was greeted with this view.

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Looks like a great day to hike, right? Wrong.

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What you see above is the main trail only five minutes into my hike. That’s about an inch of ice covering, what I’m guessing, the rest of the trail. Unfortunately, I don’t carry ice cleats everywhere I go. I actually don’t even own any. I feel like I need to rethink that.


Although this was disappointing, it reminded me that Colorado is truly unpredictable. Luckily, I was able to think of a backup plan right away.

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This is the Davidson Mesa Open Space; a bit closer to my house. It’s graced by sunlight for most of the day, which means all the snow had gone. We romped around the trails and dog park, and of course, ended up having a great lunchtime hike.


Colorado weather is uncertain, and we Coloradoans know this. However, I think that’s why some of us love it so much. One day it can be seventy-five degrees and sunny; the next it could be thirty and blizzarding.


My big takeaway today: although hiking conditions are unpredictable in this state, I would rather be outside not knowing what to expect vs. expecting not to be outside during the winter.


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