Alan and Jonna's 2010 hikes

2010 started off with hiking and carried on through the year.

Here are some quick reviews and photos of some of our favorite hikes of 2010:

1) Graeagle, CA - January 1, 2010 - Once again, we started off our year with a trip to California to spend time with Jonna's brother Jamie and his three kids: Larkin, Brianna and Rosie. On our final day there, we again did a hike to Eureka Lake at the old Plumas ski resort, which is part of the Plumas-Eureka State Park.

2) Caribou, CO - January 9, 2010 - Holly's niece Megan was visiting so our hiking crew provided her with a medley of snow activities. We started with some snowshoeing but then switched to a snow hike when the trail proved too packed down to need the snowshoes. Then we did some sledding on one of the hills on the backside of Caribou hill. A short hike, only about 2.5 miles long, but we had lots of good fun doing it.

3) Golden Gate Canyon State Park, CO - January 16, 2010 - After a couple of weeks without snow, the hiking crew opted to hike rather than snowshoe. We headed to head into Golden Gate Canyon State Park from Lyle's hike and head down to Frazier Meadows. Despite the great weather, the park was empty so we had the place to ourselves. A scenic five mile stroll with only about 500ft of elevation change.

4) East Magnolia trail system, CO - January 24, 2010 - Our hiking crew reluctantly assembled on a brutally cold and windy day for our weekend hike. Despite the weather, we ended up having a very nice hike exploring the complex of trails in the East Magnolia trail system. It was still very cold but most of the hike was in the trees, so out of the wind. We hiked up to a beautiful point overlooking Boulder canyon before turning back. The total hike was about 4 miles with a surprising amount of elevation change from going up-and-down ridges and hills.

5) Brainard Lake Recreation Area, CO - January 31, 2010 - Our usual hiking crew wasn't available this weekend but our good friend Krista was in town, so she came up and joined us for the hike. We headed up and did one of our favorite loops up in the Brainard Lakes National Recreation Area. A 5.5 mile loop through the trees with about 600 ft of elevation change. It started out cold and windy but sunny, then gradually changed into calmer air with a light snow.

6) West Magnolia trails, CO - February 7, 2010 - A short and easy hike today, as we were welcoming a new member into the pack. Holly's new 12 week old puppy Poky has joined our weekly hiking group. We did a little 1.5 mile loop (with only 200 ft of elevation change) in the West Magnolia trail system, just to get Poky indoctrinated into the routine. Thanks to a heavy snow, we had three inches of fresh powder to play in during the hike so it was a fun, if short, hike.

7) Ceran St. Vrain, CO - February 13, 2010 - Another easy hike to break Holly's new puppy Poky into hiking. We managed to find a rare sunny spot, on a snowy day, on the Ceran St. Vrain trail. Jonna, Holly and the two pups did about a mile and a half before turning back to give the little one a break while Alan and Lyle hiked on a little ways further. About 4.5 miles total on the longer hike but only about 400 ft of elevation change.

8) West Magnolia trails, CO - February 21, 2010 - After three days of light snow, we actually had a chance to break out the snow shoes for this weekend's hike. We headed back to the West Magnolia trail system but this time tried out a new trail. Buster loved all the snow and Poky did great in her new fleece vest (she got chilled on last weekend's longer hike). This mellow, quick hike was only two miles long and mostly flat (just 200 ft of elevation change).

9) Caribou, CO - February 27, 2010 - Holly had a collegue, Isabella, and her partner Andre visiting from Canada so we headed up to Caribou to show off the Rockies. Warm weather and blue skies gave them a perfect Colorado hiking experience. Unfortunately, Alan forgot his camera so no photos are available! In addition to doing our normal Caribou loop, we also hiked part way up Klondike Mountain. All total we did 3 1/2 miles with about 600 ft of elevation gain.

Both photos show below from this hike were supplied by Isabella.

10) Golden Gate Canyon State Park, CO - March 6, 2010 - Perfect Spring hiking weather this weekend, so we headed back to Golden Gate State Park to try out a new trail. We hiked up the Horseshoe trail to Frazer Meadows, a trail we had hiked before. Jonna, Holly and the pupsters retraced their steps back out while Alan and Lyle took the long way back via Black Bear trail. This was our first time on this trail and it was spectacular. The views onto the Divide were beautiful and the trail was empty. It took some work, 6 miles total with 1200 ft of elevation, but was well worth it!

11) Lost Lake, CO - March 13, 2010 - With Lyle out sick, it was Alan, Jonna, Holly and the two pups for the hike up to Lost Lake. Perfect hiking weather for us, warm and sunny, to make the five mile hike (it was just slushy enough that we didn't need snow shoes) and to climb the 1,000 ft of elevation gain.

12) Sourdough trail, CO - March 28, 2010 - A little wind didn't stop the hiking crew from getting out and enjoying a warm and sunny spring day. We headed up to the Sourdough trail and hiked up to the CU research station. Short at 3.5 miles round trip with about 800 ft of elevation change.

13) Betasso Preserve, CO - April 11, 2010 - We decided on just a short hike this weekend but it was a perfect day for it. Temperature up in the 70s! We did the 3.5 mile loop at Betasso Preserve where we got to watch the snow melt and lots of folks out enjoying the great hiking weather. Despite the Betasso loop dipping into a valley and climbing up a ridge it totals just 400 ft of elevation change.

14) Golden Gate Canyon State Park, CO - April 18, 2010 - The crew headed back to Golden Gate Canyon State Park so that Jonna and Holly could check out the Ralston Roost trail that Alan and Lyle explored a few weeks ago. Another perfect Colorado hiking day: warm sunshine, blue skies, creeks coming to life with snow melt and tiny buds starting to form on the aspen trees. We skipped the Frasier meadow side trip so the hike was at 4.5 miles in length but with the 1200 ft of elevation gain from top to bottom.

15) Arapaho Lakes trail, CO - April 24, 2010 - After a late spring snow dumped a couple of feet of fresh snow up in the high country, our hiking crew headed up to East Portal to get in a little extra snow-shoeing. It was grey and windy in the parking lot but the skies turned calm and blue within 30 minutes. The sunshine made for wet, sticky snowi that, combined with energetic leashed dogs, made for a workout. Jonna and Holly turned back at the one mile mark, while Alan and Lyle tried for Arapho Lakes. Sadly, Alan tuckered out at the two mile mark so we turned back short of our destination. The total hike was 4.2 miles with about 600 ft of elevation change.

16) Walker Ranch, CO - May 2, 2010 - Spring in Colorado often means rapidly changing weather and this hike was a prime example. The hiking crew pulled into the Walker Ranch parking area to falling snow. Within a mile of hiking, the sun broke through the clouds and we enjoyed blue skies. Within another couple of miles, dark clouds were overhead and it started to hail. As we hiked the final mile back to the cars and the skies were grey but clearing. Even with the ever changing weather it was a great hike, totaling about 7 miles and involving about 1,500 ft of elevation change.

17) Ceran St. Vrain, CO - May 8, 2010 - A special hike this weekend as my parents were visiting from Florida. We took it easy on my parents (and their sea-level accustomed lungs) by headed out to the Ceran St. Vrain trail. We started the hike under clear (yet chilly) skies but has little snow flakes falling as we finished. About 4 miles total with about 300 ft of elevation.

18) Golden Gate Canyon State Park, CO - May 16, 2010 - We had lots of guests join us for this weekend's hike. Our friend Alex was visiting from the east coast and invited two of his friends, Keith and Star, along. Additionally, Holly's cousin Nick was in town so he joined us as well. We had perfect Spring weather and decided to avoid the residual snow in the high country by heading back to Golden Gate Canyon State Park. We did a short hike exploring the eastern edge of the park. 4 miles total, but relatively flat with only about 300 ft of elevation change.

19) Arapahoe Lakes, CO - May 23, 2010 - Third times a charm? Not if hiking to Arapaho Lakes is the goal. For the third time, an attempt to reach Arapaho Lakes has been thwarted, this time by having to post hole through calf deep soft snow. Gorgeous hiking weather, with temperature up in the high country up into the 60s but more snow than expected meant we tired out short of our destination. About 5.5 miles round trip but with a respectible 1,000 ft of elevation gain.

20) Forest Lakes, CO - July 3, 2010 - After a couple of weeks hiking without a working camera and a couple more weeks skipping hikes due to travel, we are able to start documenting our hikes again. With Lyle out of town Holly, Jonna and Alan got together to head up to Forest Lakes. The wild flowers, were popping out everywhere up in the mountains making for a perfect hike with puffy clouds providing shade, a rushing creek providing a soundtrack and beautiful wild flowers providing the color pallet. 6.7 miles in length with 1,500 ft of elevation gain.

21) James Peak Valley CO - July 11, 2010 - Niece Rosie was visiting so we decided to head somewhere spectacular for this weekend's hike. The valley below James Peak was the obvious choice. After bouncing our way up the 4WD road to the trailhead, we hiked down into the vally and out to James Peak Lake. A gorgeous hike with blue skies, big puffy white clouds, dramatic water falls, soaring mountains, an abundance of wildflowers and plenty of little critters. We had a nice picnic by the lake and then hiked back out before the afternoon rain showers rolled in. Just under 3 miles round trip with about 800 total feet of elevation gain.

22) Bear Lake, CO - July 18, 2010 - A gorgeous day of hiking up in Rocky Montain National Park for Lyle, Jonna and Alan. We headed up to the Bear Lake trailhead and did a 7.7 mile loop which took in six lakes: Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, Emerald Lake, Hiyaha Lake, and Mills Lake, plus a few different waterfalls. A little under 800 ft of elevation change from low point to high point but enough ups and downs on the trail to make the actual altitude gain about 1,200 ft.

23) Finch Lake, CO - July 25, 2010 - Another visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, this one via the Wild Basin entrance, for another great hike. A mix of sunny skies and quickly passing rain storms made for varying conditions but nothing too bothersome. We made a 10 mile loop, with about 1700 foot of elevation gain, that included a couple of big waterfalls and enjoying a snack on the shore of a beautiful alpine lake.

24) Sourdough trail, CO - August 1, 2010 - A short hike before heading out on vacation, this one an overcast hike up the Sourdough trail. We used the hike to create a story to go with a nearby geocache so that our friend Holly could bring her nieces on a treasure hunt next week. Fun, scenic and a nice way to stretch the legs before sitting on a plane for hours!

25) East Magnolia trail system, CO - August 29, 2010 - For our first hike after returning from vacation, we headed back to the East Magnolia trail system to do some exploring. We ran out of energy before we ran out of trail but we found a beautiful grove of aspen trees. We may have to go back in a couple of weeks to see how the grove looks once the aspen leaves start changing colors. 5.3 miles total with enough up and down to total about 400 ft of elevation gain.

26) Arapaho Lakes, CO - September 6, 2010 - The leaves are starting to change in the high country. We hiked up above 10,000 ft today and found that the Fall colors are starting to appear up there. With the crisp, cool weather and a yellow-ish tinge to the trees, it definitely feels like summer is on the way out and autumn on the way in. However, seeing the smoke from a forest fire in the mountains broke the relaxing mood. Oh, and for the fourth time we failed to make it all the way to Arapaho Lakes. Five miles of hiking with a little over 1,000 ft of elevation gain.

27) Fern Lake, CO - September 12, 2010 - With Holly travelling and Jonna sick, Alan and Lyle made another trip up in to Rocky Mountain National Park to do another new hike. Fern Lake trail parallels Fern Creek, past Fern Falls and up to Fern Lake. Perfect hiking weather, a beautiful wilderness and a scenic destination. 8.3 miles in length with just under 1,500 ft of elevation gain.

28) Frazer Meadow, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, CO - September 19, 2010 - The golden colors of fall in the Rockies! A beautiful hike today up in the aptly named Golden Gate Canyon state park. The aspen leaves are just starting to change but we found a few groves already bathed in yellow, orange, pink and red. The hike was around 5 miles in length with about 1,000 ft of elevation gain.

29) East Magnolia trail system, CO - September 26, 2010 - Another colorful hike, shared with our visiting friend Krista. We returned back to the East Magnolia trail system to finish the new trail exploration from the end of August. This time we found the end of the trail. Whoo hoo! We also found the aspen groves bright with changing leaves. A nice four mile loop with about 400 ft of elevation gain, then 400 ft of elevation loss, then another 400 ft of gain and another 400 ft of elevation loss.

30) Ceran St. Vrain, CO - October 3, 2010 - Our friends Una and Mauricio joined us this week, so we went back to our favorite "visitors hike"...Ceran St Vrain. This time though. we got to both catch the last of the aspen leaves and to explore the trail loop out at the end of our usual hike. One surprise on today's hike was finding massive fire mitigation work had been done along this trail resulting in hundreds of downed pine trees. 6.2 miles total with about 600 ft of elevation gain.

31) Beaver Reservoir, CO - October 10, 2010 - Another new trail this weekend, and with another new hiker. Holly's friend Dawa was visiting from North Caroline. This time the new hike was from Camp Dick up to Beaver Reservoir. With most of the aspen leaves falling from the trees and a few snow flakes falling from the sky this hike had the feel of winter. Four and a half miles with about 600 ft of elevation gain.

32) North Sourdough, CO - October 17, 2010 - The hiking crew headed out to continue our trend of exploring new trails. This time. we picked up Sourdough trail near Beaver Reservior but hiked south towards Brainerd Lake. We didn't hike far enough to connect this northern part of Sourdough trail with the sections we normally hike but still enjoyed a nice hike through the pines. A four mile hike but relatively flat with only about 300 ft of elevation change.

33) Eldorado Canyon, CO - October 24, 2010 - With Jonna and Holly both sick, Alan and Lyle headed out to explore another new trail. Starting in Walker Ranch and then down Eldorado Canyon trail to Eldorado Springs State Park with great views down onto downtown Denver. Overcast skies and cool windy weather but we managed to get the hike in between yesterday's rain and tomorrow's forecasted snow storms. 5.5 miles dropping 1300 ft in elevation but with a big 700 ft climb in the middle.

34) Balanced Rock trail, CO - October 31, 2010 - Alan, Jonna and Lyle headed back into Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend to try a new trail there. Perfect hiking weather and one of the most scenic trails this year made this one a great hike. We Made it most of the way to Balanced Rock but turned back before reaching the top. The hike was just under 6 miles in length with a little over 1,200 ft of elevation gain.

35) Wapiti trail, CO - November 7, 2010 - Our quest to hike new trails continues! This time we started at the Brainard Lake Red Rocks trialhead and hiked north on the Sourdough trail. Then did a loop around to the northwest on the Wapiti trail before returning to the Sourdough trail and back to the trailhead. This was also our first snow hike of the winter. We started in sunshine but had a storm roll in resulting in gusty wind and falling snow for the second half of the hike. 7.2 miles with just under 1,000 ft of elevation gain.

36) Bluebird loop trail, CO - November 14, 2010 - A neat hike this weekend, though just for Alan and Jonna and the rest of our hiking crowd as unavailable! We started out hiking on an old narrow gauge railroad bed from the Switzerland trail railroad, then went to the old DeLonde ranch homestead (which once housed the famous 1970s Caribou Ranch recording studio) where we found a geocache, then to a beautiful little waterfall on North Boulder creek and finally up to the abandoned Bluebird silver mine. A nice hike with the added bonus of some interesting history too. 4.8 miles in length but just a couple of hundred feet of elevation.

37) Shelter #1 trail, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, CO - November 21, 2010 - A morning snow storm gave way to beautiful blue skies for another new hike, this time an unexplored corner of Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Lyle was out of town for the holiday, so it was Alan, Jonna, Holly and the pupsters. No grand scenic vistas on this hike but lots of thick pine forest, fresh snow and a huge grove of aspens to literally top it all off. 3.5 miles with 1,000 ft of elevation gain.

38) Eugenia Mine trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO - November 28, 2010 - What a contrast from last weekend to this! From blue skies and sunshine to overcast and freezing cold. This weekend Jonna and Alan headed back up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike (the rest of the hiking crew was out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday). We did a short hike to an old gold mine which started at the Longs Peak trailhead and wound north through the woods. Sadly, the old mine site loses some of it's wonder when it is covered in a foot of snow but it was a pleasant hike nonetheless. Three miles in length with a bit over 500 ft of elevation gain.

39) Unnamed trail at Meeker Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO - December 5, 2010 - Another scenic hike up in Rocky Mountain National Park, this one overcast with just the lightest of snow falling. The trail appears to be unnamed but it winds from Meeker Park down into the Wild Basin section of the park, crossing over two ridges both of which gave some beautiful views. 4 miles in length with 400 ft of elevation gain but 700 ft of elevation loss.

40) Skate Ski lesson, Eldora Mountain Resort Nordic Center, Nederland, CO - December 18, 2010 - Alan, Lyle, co-worker Michael and Michael's fiancee Tamara all headed over to Eldora to take a two hour beginner Skate Ski lesson. All total, we ski'ed nearly two miles (mostly in circles around their "stadium" section and did about 150 ft of elevation gain (which was about 15 feet of climb done over and over). Very challenging, lots of fun, quite a workout and another new skill to add to our winter sports repertoire.

41) Unnamed trail near Como Creek, CO - December 19, 2010 - Lyle was out with a hurt foot (after the Skate Ski lesson) so Alan, Jonna, Holly and the pupsters headed out for our last hike of the year. Wanting to finish the year with our "hiking new trails" theme, we headed up to the Sourdough south trailhead but then headed south from there on an unnamed trail that went down into the Como Creek valley. Deep snow (with more falling) meant we broke out the snowshoes for our first snowshoe of the winter. We had the trail to ourselves and enjoyed hiking through some beautiful aspen groves. Just under 3 miles with about 350 ft of elevation drop (and then regained on the hike back out).

If you enjoyed these you may also enjoy checking out some photos from our 2009 hikes or 2011 hikes.

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Alan Fleming