For this week, instead of living like a tourist, I experienced local life by doing what Coloradans like to do on the weekends: go camping. I went with the boyfriend as we were celebrating our official one year of being together. He surprised me on the location and campground – all I knew was we were going camping and I was going to need bug spray. I have never ventured into the Colorado mountains for this type of undertaking before and I was excited to see just how adventurous and rugged I could get. We brought along my Labrador, Owen, because I was told he is looking “pudgy” so I thought lake swimming and hiking would do him some good.
After driving for 2 hours and ending up at a location you can only get to by using latitude and longitude coordinates, we arrived at a charming campground west of Leadville called May Queen Campground. It was right on Turquoise Lake and had really pretty scenic views. Our campsite was walk-in, so we parked in the parking lot and then hiked up the hill to our spot.
I was excited for this weekend because I had a friend visiting me from out of town and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take a scenic hike and see some wonderful parts of Colorado. I decided on Lily Pad Lake because someone recommended it and said it was an easy hike with beautiful views. It is located in the city of Silverthorne and took about an hour and 15 minutes to get there. Silverthorne itself is a popular destination for outlet mall shopping so I hope to go back there one day and check all that out. When we got to the trailhead, I was surprised to see that even for a weekend day, it wasn’t that crowded. I also saw a lot of families, so that gave me the confidence that if a little kid could do it, I could do it too! We also brought my Lab, Owen, because what is a hiking adventure without his entertaining antics?
I was thrilled last weekend to finally venture for the first time to a couple of the most popular mountain towns in Colorado; Frisco and Breckenridge. They are located about 70-80 miles west of Denver and it took about an hour and 15 mins to get out there. I went on this trip with my main squeeze, Dylan, and we met with his family later and stayed in their condo for the night. The drive of course was scenic as cascades of water from the snowmelt poured down off the bedrock along the highway. I wish I was able to get a picture of the waterfalls, but they are those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of moments.
Our first stop was in Frisco. Frisco is a charming town located next to Lake Dillion and it offers a lot of things to do nearby for the outdoor enthusiast both in the summer and the winter. There is a Main Street with bars, restaurants, and shops and things so we headed towards that area. When we got there, the streets were jam-packed with people and we could smell the aroma of smoked meat. As it turned out, there was a BBQ challenge taking place in which over 70 BBQers were competing to win the coveted title of “Grand Champion”. By the time we got there around 2:30pm, most of the popular meats had already been sold out. And no, they weren’t handing out free samples, unfortunately. They did, however, have a very entertaining New Orleans funky jazz band performing, called Rebirth Brass Band, whom I just discovered are 2012 Grammy winners.
It is officially summer and that means Denverites are finally able to abandon their dwellings they’ve spent their first half year avoiding bipolar climate conditions. Today was pleasantly warm so I decided to pack a lunch and bring Owen the Labrador with me on a hike that I’ve heard is beautiful and only about 45 minutes from Denver. If you have never been to Maxwell Falls, you need to! It is located in Conifer, a cute little ranch town, off of highway 285. The drive up was beautiful as you pass through the Red Rocks and other scenic forestry. I decided to go with the Upper Trailhead because I wanted to do the Cliff Trail Loop which is 3 miles round trip so I figured that would give me an adequate workout for the day and also hit all the major sites. The trailhead was not hard to find at all, as there is great signage and a very obvious parking lot.
The hike starts out beautifully with much lush greenery and you can hear the flow of the creek alongside as you walk along.