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Take a hike, after Friday’s game

August 2, 2011 | 7:11 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

The USL teams are done for the season, college soccer has yet to start and the Rapids play on Friday night.

A native near the top of the Twin Sisters trail. (Photograph by Shaun Schafer/ColoradoSoccerNow.com)

This opens up a rare opportunity for the local soccer fan to get out of the house and head to the hills this weekend.

So, for The Tuesday List, we are taking it in a different direction this week. Rather than looking at statistics, upcoming opponents or outstanding performances, we at ColoradoSoccerNow.com are gearing up for at least one weekend foray in the colorful countryside.

In no particular order, here are some hikes to consider after the lone match on the schedule on Friday. Bring water and sunscreen, watch for storms, and have some fun.

1. Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls. Rocky Mountain National Park, near Allenspark. 6.2 miles roundtrip. This is a great day hike in the RMNP with few challenges but plenty of scenery.

2. Rattlesnake Gulch. Eldorado Canyon State Park, Boulder County. 5.3 mile loop. Great views of Denver, Boulder and the mountains are the reward for this hike. Plus, you can go cool your feet in South Boulder Creek afterward.

3. Canyon Loop Trail. Betasso Preserve, Boulder County. 3.2 mile loop. Most years this would rate higher, however, none of us have visited since the Four Mile Canyon fire in 2010. Fire damaged views are rarely charming, but they are a reality.

4. Blue Lake. Indian Peaks Wilderness. 5 miles roundtrip. This short hike to an Alpine cirque has a lot of up (1,000 feet over 2.5 miles), but the lake is beautiful. Plus, the more adventurous can start at the same trailhead and tackle Mt. Audubon (13,223 feet) instead.

5. Bald Mountain. Bald Mountain Scenic Area, Boulder County. 1.5 mile loop. Here’s the trail the kids can conquer. A 3-year-old ColoradoSoccerNow.com’er covered this trail with his folks and sextuagenarian aunt. You can see the Four Mile fire damage, but you also see tall peaks to the West and high prairie to the East.

6. Deer Creek Canyon. Deer Creek Canyon Park, Jefferson County. 5.6 miles roundtrip. Get ready for some sun. This is an exposed trail with a satisfying summit at Plymouth Mountain (7,295 feet).

The view from atop Torreys Peak. (Photograph by Shaun Schafer/ColoradoSoccerNow.com)

7. Grays and Torreys Peaks. Clear Creek Ranger District, near Georgetown. 4.2 miles to Grays summit. Why not bag one of Colorado’s 14ers over the weekend? Why not bag two? Start early (very early!) and you can mark Grays (14,270) and Torreys (14,267) off the list of the 54 peaks at or above 14,000 feet in the state.

8. Twin Sisters. Rocky Mountain National Park, near Estes Park. 7.4 miles roundtrip. The summit is at 11,423 and the hike is a continual up as you gain 2,400 feet over 3.7 miles. You spend a good deal of time on the lower portions in lodgepole pine forest. The top section is exposed. Regardless, this is a classic hike with wonderful views of Estes Park and the mountains beyond.

Enjoy the weekend!

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