Alan and Jonna's 2016 hikes

Here are some quick reviews and photos of some of our favorite hikes of 2016:

1) Plumas-Eureka State Park, Johnsville, CA, December 30 & 31, 2016 - While this technically wasn't a single hike and wasn't even in 2016 I'm still declaring it our first "hike" of the year. We spent four days in Graeagle, CA on our annual New Years trip to visit Jonna's brother and his family. This year it was Jamie, Brianna, Rosie, Jonna and Alan. We spent two days sledding up in Plumas-Eureka State Park at Johnsville which involved a lot of climbing hills so we could zoom back down on the hardened snow. There was also a lot of laughing, bouncing and crashing all of which added to the fun. Exact stats for the sledding days are hard to calculate but based on some incomplete GPS data I'm guessing we hiked about 3.0 miles total with about 2500 feet of elevation gain over a couple of dozen climbs.

2) Betasso Preserve, Boulder County Open Space, Boulder, CO, January 10, 2016 - It was just Lyle and Alan this cold, clear Sunday for a loop through the pines in Boulder County's Betasso Preserve. Fresh, crunchy snow meant the trail wasn't as icy as we'd feared and bright sunshine knocked the edge off the temperature in the open areas. We walked both the main Betasso loop as well as the Benjamin loop extension. A pleasant, peaceful 7.2 miles with 700 ft of elevation gain.

3) Peewink Mountain, Forest Service Road 332, Nederland, CO, January 17, 2016 - With snow clouds clinging to the big mountains along the Continental Divide our hiking crew stuck close to home for today's hike. We tried out a new "trail" - Forest Service Road 332 from Sugarload Road up to Peewink Mountain. A relatively flat, meandering road through open meadows that ends near the top of Peewink Mountain. It was bright and sunny but a light breeze was blowing snowflakes down out of the clouds to the west. An easy hike at 3.5 miles with a mellow 250 feet of elevatin gain.

4) Los Lagos Reservoir Loop Trail, Rollinsville, CO, January 24, 2016 - Alan was on-call again so our hiking group had to make it short and sweet this weekend. Fortunately, we also made it interesting by parking vehicles in two different locations and hiking between them. Last year we found the connector trail that links the Los Lagos Reservoir trail system with the West Magnolia trail system so we started at the Los Lagos Reservoir trailhead, hiked through to FS 105 and then from there hiked to one of the West Magnolia trailheads. There was a snow storm on the way with a spectacular wall of clouds on the western horizon but we had a gorgeous blue sky overhead for the morning hike. 3.4 miles with 300 feet of elevation gain.

5) Mt. Sanitas, Boulder County Open Space & Mountain Parks, Boulder, CO, February 7, 2016 - It was just Lyle and Alan for this weekend's hike. With it being crazy windy up in the high country we decided to get a jump on our annual spring training hikes by heading down to Boulder to hike the lowest of the five front range peaks - Mt Sanitas. Starting from Settler's Park we climbed over Red Rocks ridge, hiked up the Sanitas Valley trail, climbed up the icy east ridge to the peak and then slipped our way back down the south ridge, finally from there it was back over Red Rocks ridge and the return to the parking lot. As usual the views down onto Boulder were beautiful, especially with all the houses covered in snow and all the lakes frozen over with turquoise ice. 4.5 miles with 1,500 ft of elevation gain.

6) Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder County Open Space & Mountain Parks, Boulder, CO, February 14, 2016 - Our good freinds Desiree and Gaelin again joined the hiking group, this time for a climb up Boulder's Flagstaff Mountain. We parked at the bottom of Gregory Canyon and made the hike up the east face to the top. Once we made it to the summit we took the Rangeview trail across the top to the back side of the mountain. Finally, we enjoyed the great views of Boulder as we dropped (and at times slid!) down the Gregory Canyon trail to return to the cars. 4 miles with a climb of 1,200 feet.

7) Chapman Drive, Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder County Open Space & Mountain Parks, Boulder, CO, February 20, 2016 - Lyle and Alan had to make it a quick hike this weekend so we headed back down to Boulder to do the climb up the west side of Flagstaff Mountain via Chapman Drive. The old mining road took a real beating in the 2014 floods but is still hikable even if you do have to navigate a few deep ruts in places. Despite the obstacles the views of the mountains to the west are worth it. 4.7 miles with just a touch under 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

8) North Table Mountain Park, Jefferson County Open Space, Golden, CO, February 28, 2016 - Despite work keeping Alan up half the night he joined Lyle to try out a new trail - the North Table Mountain loop in Jefferson County's North Table Mountain Park. Thankfully, the mix of bright sunshine, a cool breeze and some nice views onto downtown Denver helped keep Alan awake on the hike up to the top of Mesa and then all the back around to the parking lot. 7.5 miles with 900 feet of elevation gain.

9) Green Mountain, Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks, Boulder, CO, March 13, 2016 - Desiree and Gaelin joined Lyle and Alan for the annual Hikin' 'O The Green - the hike up Green Mountain to nominally celebrate St. Patricks Day. We started at the bottom of Gregory Canyon but went up the Saddle Rock trail then up to the icy summit via Amphitheater and Greenman. From the top we had beautiful views down onto Boulder and to the west onto the snow-covered Continental Divide. After a quick snack at the top we came down the Ranger and Gregory Canyon trails to get back to the trailhead. Just under 6 miles with 2,500 feet of elevation gain.

10) Pandora Mine, Caribou townsite, Nederland, CO, March 20, 2016 - A late week, late spring snow storm that dumped a foot of fresh powder on the mountains combined with a perfect crystal clear day made for a great opportunity to dust off the snowshoes and find an empty trail. We chose the Rainbow Lakes road from the Caribou townsite and, once away from the trailhead, we had the trail to ourselves. The deep, pristine snow in the Caribou Creek valley was beautiful. From there we made the climb up to the Pandora Mine and the views from up on the ridge there were even better. 2.6 miles with 400 feet of elevation.

11) Bear Peak, Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks, Boulder, CO, March 27, 2016 - It was just Lyle and Alan this weekend and with lots of fresh snow on the ground we decided to make an adventure out of it by climbing Bear Peak. We nearly bit off more than we could handle! We started at NCAR and, thanks to our micro-spikes, we managed to hike the icy trails from there to the Mesa trail. From there we tackled the ultra-steep Fern Canyon trail up to the peak - always a good hike but challenging with all the ice and snow. Our reward was stunning views of both a snow-covered Boulder down below and the snow-covered Rockies to the west. The questionable decision was our choice to hike back down via the west face of the mountain. Only one set of foot prints marked the way through the waist deep snow but we plunged down anyway. After an exhausting five miles of busting through heavy, wet, un-even snow we finally made it through Bear Canyon and back to the Mesa trail. Despite the perfect hiking weather we shuffled the last mile back to NCAR like oblivious zombies. A challenging 8.8 mile loop with 2,700 feet of elevation gain.

12) 1st & 2nd FlatIron Trail, Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks, Boulder, CO, April 3, 2016 - After last weekend's epic, Lyle and Alan kept it a little shorter this weekend. Despite living in the area for decades neither of us had hiked one of the most popular trails in the area - the trail up to the saddle between the 1st and 2nd FlatIrons in Boulder's Chautauqua Park. It is a relatively short trail but with a very climb so a good way to get in a little elevation training even when doing a "short" hike. The spring weather was fantastic - sunny but cool, bright blue skies but only a slight breeze. As expected, the trail was jam packed with people but we still got a few minutes of solitude in up at the top. 3 miles up and back down but with a strenuous 1400 feet of elevation gain.

13) Mud Lake, Boulder County Parks, Nederland, CO, April 10, 2016 - There was no big hike this weekend because Alan was recovering from a mid-week appendectomy but Jonna and Alan still got out for a token stroll around nearby Mud Lake before an afternoon rain storm rolled in. Really, it could just be thought of as a little, vestigial hike - one that can be removed from our list of 2016 hikes with really changing anything. Nonetheless, it was nice to have it while it was there. A 1/2 mile loop with a nearly flat 30 feet of elevation change.

14) Sugar Magnolia trail, Nederland, CO, April 23, 2016 - Alan was on call again so we had to keep our hike short this weekend. Still Lyle, Jonna and Alan found time to explore a new trail: the Sugar Magnolia trail from Nederland High up to the West Magnolia trail system. The sky was overcast and the trail was covered in wet, slushy snow but it was nice to get out and hike nonetheless. 2.6 miles with 400 feet of elevation gain.

15) Ellsworth Creek trail, Rollinsville, CO, May 1, 2016 - On another late-Spring snowy weekend Lyle, Jonna and Alan slung our snowshoes on our backs and headed out into the woods to enjoy the beautiful white wonderland. We headed to the Ellsworth Creek trailhead where we found 4x4 tracks already plowed through the knee deep snow. The tire tracks were deep enough that we never needed the snowshoes but we had the pristine, misty woods to ourselves with just the softly falling snowflakes for company. A snowy 2.5 mile loop with a mellow 350 feet of elevation gain.

16) South St. Vrain trail #909, Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Ward, CO, May 8, 2016 - Holly and the pups once again joined our hiking group after months away so it was great to have her back with us. We waited out a snow flurry but then got out in the bright sunshine that followed to hike one of our semi-secret, quiet & secluded trails. The warm air and sunshine was turning the snow into a crusty, slushy mess which made for wet boots and challenging hiking but it was beautiful hiking through the woods with all the stark white aspens contrasting against a deep blue sky. Once we hit deep, soft snow the post-holing finally turned us back. 3.2 miles with 600 feet of elevation gain.

17) South Boulder Peak, Mesa trailhead, Eldorado Springs, CO, May 15, 2016 - It was just Lyle and Alan for this weekend's hike. We managed to find a window in between rain storms in which to try to check off the last of our annual Spring hikes - South Boulder Peak. With clouds hanging halfway down the mountains and fog floating across the trail we made the trek up Homestead trail to the bottom of Shadow Canyon and started climbing. Halfway up, Alan ran out of energy and we had to turn back before seeing what was sure to be a fantastic panoramic view of the inside of a cloud from the peak. Still, spring flowers were already popping out all along the trail and the streams were burbling away with rain run-off so it was a nice hike nonetheless. 6.3 miles with 1,600 feet of elevation.

18) Walker Ranch, Boulder County Open Space Park, Boulder, CO, May 21, 2016 - It was just Lyle and Alan again this weekend and, after Alan called it quits early last weekend, we headed out to do a long training hike so Alan could regain some endurance fitness. To that end we did the loop at Walker Ranch going counter-clockwise after starting from the Crescent Meadows trailhead. If last weekend was a rainy spring day, this weekend was the start of summer with blazing sunshine and wildflowers already blooming. A great hike and a big step in getting Alan ready to tackle some big hikes later this summer. A 7.9 mile loop with 1,400 ft of elevation gain.

19) East Magnolia trail system, Nederland, CO, May 29, 2016 - Lyle was out of town this weekend but our friends Desiree, Gaelin and Karen came up to join our hike. Jonna was fighting a cold so it was really more of a social stroll than a hike. Nonetheless, the spring buds were popping out on the aspens and the snow covered Rockies were shining in the bright sunshine so it was a scenic, if short, hike. A 1 mile loop with an easy 150 feet of elevation gain.

20) Little Hole trail, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Dutch John, UT, June 4, 2016 - Jonna was enroute to the Pacific Northwest with a planned stopover at Flaming Gorge so Lyle and Alan jumped on the motorcycles and met her there for a weekend of exploring the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Saturday morning Lyle and Alan headed out for a day hike along the Green River just below Flaming Gorge dam. Heavy spring run-off resulted in many parts of the trail being underwater and very warm sunshine had the reptiles out in force but neither dampened our spirits (though the flooded trail definitely dampened our boots). It was beautiful being down inside the colorful canyons hiking with (and, at times, in) the cool Green River. 8.7 miles with a constant climb alongside the river to an eventual gain of 400 feet.

21) Red Canyon Rim Trail, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Manila, UT, June 5, 2016 - Lyle and Alan decided to sneak in a second shorter hike Sunday morning before riding back to Colorado. The best views in the park are at the Red Canyon Rim visitor center, so we started there and then hiked along the top of the canyon rim for a few miles. Breathtaking views 1,400 feet straight down onto the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The plateau was covered in spring wildflowers, talkative marmots, soaring raptors and we even came across a little herd of Bighorn sheep! 4.7 miles with a mellow 250 feet of elevation gain.

22) Forest Lakes, East Portal trailhead, Toland, CO, June 12, 2016 - Jonna was still out of town and Lyle was off riding motorcycles but our friends Desiree, Gaelin and Karen came up for a hike. We set out to hike to Forest Lakes but snow, marshy ground from snow melt and an impending thunder storm turned us back while tantalizingly close to the lakes. Still, there was plenty of laughing as we slid, post-holed and squished our way from the trailhead up into the high country. 6.3 miles with 1,100 feet of elevation gain.

23) Pinewood Springs trail system, Pinewood Springs, CO, June 19, 2016 - Despite being on call this weekend Alan and old friend Todd still got out for a little hike/dogwalk with Todd's pups Joy and Rusty. From Todd's house we dropped down to the Little Thompson River and then looped around to the east to pick up the McGregor Toll Road for the climb back up. The abundance of spring moisture had the summer wildflowers bursting into bloom and looking colorful thanks to the bright sunshine. A nice walk and a great time hanging out with a good friend. A 3 mile loop with 650 feet of elevation gain.

24) Ellsworth Creek trail system, Rollinsville, CO, June 26, 2016 - After a long break, our friend Holly rejoined our hiking group this weekend and brought along with her boyfriend Rick. Also, our friend Karen drove back up into the mountains to hike with us this weekend. We headed into Roosevelt National Forest to further explore the maze of trails that are accessible from the Ellsworth Creek trailhead. Despite the mid-summer heat we found plenty of cool shade once crossed over to hike beside Colorado Creek and then basked in sunshine up in the flower covered meadows on the flank of Fairburn Mountain. A 5 mile loop with 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

25) Como Creek trail, Ward, CO, July 4, 2016 - Despite the crowds in the mountains for July 4th we managed to find a quiet trail we could have all to ourselves for a holiday hike. Our friend Karen joined the hiking crew this weekend for a meandering stroll through the trails around the Como Creek valley. The aspens were quivering, the wildflowers blossoming, the butterflies flitting, the creeks flowing and the sun was shining. A perfect mid-summer hike! Just a tad under 6 miles with mellow 425 feet of elevation gain.

26) Arapaho Glacier trail, Rainbow Lakes Trailhead, Ward, CO, July 11, 2016 - Jonna and Alan had last minute packing to do before leaving on vacation but that didn't keep us from getting out with hiking buddy Lyle for a quick hike. With the summer weather hot and breezy we decided to take advantage of the bright sunshine to hike up above tree line. We pushed through the masses of campers at Rainbow Lakes to get to the Arapaho Glacier trailhead and then did the climb up to the overlook of the Triple Lakes (part of the chain of lakes in the Boulder water reserve). The tundra above the trees was covered in yellow wild flowers and the lakes reflected the clear blue color of the sky. The trip up and back was 5.6 miles in length with 1,200 feet of elevation gain.

27) Lone Star Mine, 105 Forest Service Road, Rollinsville, CO, July 31, 2016 - The hiking group reassembled this weekend for our first hike since the big forest fire just outside Nederland as well as since Jonna and Alan returned from our summer vacation. We headed to Rollinsville for a short hike up Forest Service Road #105 to the Lone Star Mine. The shade from hiking in heavy forest, combined with cooler air from climbing up the side of Tennessee Mountain, kept us comfortable in the mid-summer heat. 3.5 miles up and back with a climb of 800 feet.

28) Buckeye Mountain, 512 Forest Service Road, Rollinsville, CO, August 7, 2016 - Alan was again on-call at work but still joined Lyle for a quick weekend hike. Last weekend we had spotted forest service road 512 forking off from where we were hiking on FS 105 so we returned this weekend to explore it. FS512 climbs up the side of Buckeye Mountain through a thick pine forest that has some beautiful aspen groves in it and past both the Fairheaven and Melett Mine sites. We kept hoping for a good panoramic view of the Divide but only got a few small glimpses through the trees before we decided to turn back for the trailhead. 4 miles out and back with 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

29) Peewink Mountain, Forest Service Road 332, Nederland, CO, August 14, 2016 - Lyle, Jonna and Alan got together this weekend so we could enjoy the warm, sunny summer weather. We decided to do a hike just outside Nederland were we could view the damage from the recent Cold Springs fire but it also gave us a chance to find the hiking trail that loops around Peeweek Mountain which we'd failed to find when we did the trail back in January. 3.7 miles with 350 feet of elevation gain.

30) Caribou Ranch Open Space, Nederland, CO, August 21, 2016 - Jonna and Alan had a busy weekend doing yardwork but once our friends Desiree and Gaelin said they were free, we dug deep to find the energy to join them for a hike. A beautiful late summer day and time spent with good friends made it well worth the effort. We headed over to nearby Caribou Ranch Open Space and hiked the loop there seeing the old Bluebird silver mine and the Caribou Ranch buildings. Just under 5 miles with 400 feet of elevation.

31) Pinewood Springs trail system, Pinewood Springs, CO, August 28, 2016 - Todd and Alan got out this weekend for another loop through the network of trails in the Little Thompson River valley in Pinewood Springs. When we did this hike in mid-June it was vibrant green and bursting with wildflowers but now Fall has arrived. Today the hillsides were brown and the red currant bushes were covered in bright red berries. Fresh bear scat on the trail showed we weren't the only ones appreciating the clusters of colorful fruit. The pups, Joy and Rusty, played in the trickle that was left of the Little Thompson while we took advantage of the dry riverbed to rock hop our way downstream. Great weather, great location, great friends and a great hike. 3.1 miles with 700 feet of elevation gain.

32) East Magnolia trail system, Nederland, CO, September 4, 2016 - Holly, Rick, Desiree and Gaelin all joined us for nice Fall hike. The first of the autumnal colors were starting to show - the grass fading to brown, the ground cover sprinkled with red leaves and the tips of some of the aspen branches turning yellow. Add in a crisp, cool nip to the air and it definitely feels that the seasons are changing. 3.9 miles with 500 feet of elevation.

33) Betasso, Boulder County Open Space, Boulder, CO, September 11, 2016 - With our Aunt Gail as a special guest visiting from Florida we chose an old favorite for this weekend's hike: the Betasso Preserve loop trail which Gail hiked many times back when she lived in Colorado. Lyle was back in town after nearly a month away and Desiree again joined our gang so we had a nice sized group for the hike. It was an emotional hike for many reasons - First, it was a hike on 9/11 with all the history that date brings. Second, it was the one year anniversary of our Uncle Bob's death so it was a day of rememberance for our family. Finally, there was the shock of encountering a terrible mountain bike accident on the trail where the life of a young woman was hanging in the balance. Our hikes usually have us appreciating the beauty of nature but this one left us pondering the fragility of life. Our thoughts are with Sam wherever she may be tonight. A 3.7 mile loop with 600 feet of elevation gain.

34) Como Creek trail system, Nederland, CO, September 17, 2016 - Alan was on call again so we didn't venture our far for this weekend's hike but with the leaves starting to change we had to venture into the aspen forest at Como Creek to show Aunt Gail the Fall colors. As a bonus we also explored a new side trail that gave us a chance to see an area we hadn't explored before. 2.5 miles with 300 feet of elevation gain.

35) Heart Lake, Toland, CO, September 25, 2016 - It was just Lyle and Alan this weekend and we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather to do a big hike up into the back country. The mountains had a fresh dusting of white snow, the aspens were glowing golden in the sunshine and the views up above tree line were spectacular. It was a long climb up to Rogers Peak Lake and Heart Lake and we were beat when we got back to the parking lot but it was worth it. 9.3 miles with 2,000 feet of elevation gain.

36) East Magnolia trail system, Nederland, CO, September 30, 2016 - Thanks to Alan working an all-nighter Friday night he was home during the making giving Holly, Jonna and Alan a chance to sneak out for a rare weekday hike on Friday morning. With the Fall colors still radiant we headed to our favorite stand of aspens on the East Magnolia trail and we definitely weren't disappointed! The area was glowing with golden sunlight and all the yellow aspens were periodically puncuated by a stunning peach, orange or red colored tree. Add in all the brightly colored ground cover, the carpet of fallen aspen leaves and bright green pine trees and it was feast for the eyes. A short 2.7 mile with a mellow 300 feet of elevation.

37) Lost Lake trail, Hessie trailhead, Nederland, CO, October 2, 2016 - Desiree, Philippe and Gaelin joined our hiking group for this weekend's outing. We decided to hike up to Lost Lake from the Hessie trailhead but due to a full parking lot we had to start in the village of Eldora. We had a nice walk along the Fourth of July road, down the old Hessie Road and on the climb up out of the creek valley. However, Jonna and Lyle both weren't feeling well so we ended up turning back early before making it up to Lost Lake. Still, it was a nice day to be out and the climb up onto the lower shoulder of Chittenden Mountain provided nice views down the Middle Boulder Creek valley. 4 miles with 550 feet of elevation gain.

38) Onahu Creek, Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake, CO, October 9, 2016 - Lyle, Jonna and Alan decided to take advantage of an unseasonably warm weekend to do a quick bike-hike trip. We rode our motorcycles up the Peak-to-Peak highway to Estes Park and then over the temporarily re-opened Trailridge Road to the west side of the Continental Divide. There we stopped at the Onahu trailhead and hiked up the Onahu Creek trail to the creek crossing. The trail wound through thousands of dead trees from the pine beetle epidemic a decade ago but it lead to a bridge over scenic Onahu creek - which this time of year was a pleasant babbling brook cascading over moss covered boulders. After returning to the bikes we rode to Grand Lake for lunch and then made a loop out of it by riding over Berthoud Pass and then back home via I-70. It was a 200 mile ride with a hike that was just under 3 miles out and back with 500 feet of elevation gain.

39) Mud Lake, Boulder County Parks, Nederland, CO, October 16, 2016 - Alan had to work maintenance windows two nights this weekend so we cancelled our weekly hiking group get together. Despite that Jonna and Alan still headed out Sunday evening to enjoy the lovely Fall weather with a short walk around nearby Mud Lake. A 1 mile stroll with a leisurely 100 feet of elevation change.

40) Caribou townsite, Nederland, CO, October 23, 2016 - Another short, local hike this weekend. Lyle, Jonna and Alan headed up to the nearby ghost town of Caribou for our first time this year. The Continental Divide was just a couple of miles away and a fresh coat of snow made it look quite striking against a cloud streaked sky. 2.4 miles with 500 feet of elevation gain.

41) South St. Vrain trail #909, Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Ward, CO, October 30, 2016 - With another weekend of unseasonably warm weather combined with low numbers of visitors up in the mountains we headed to an old favorite, Brainard Lake Recreation Area, for our hike. Our friends Desiree and Gaelin joined us for a loop on the eastern edge of the park through the thick pine forest along both sides of South St. Vrain Creek. A peaceful walk far away from the rancor of the coming election. A 5.7 mile loop with a climb of 750 feet.

42) West Magnolia trail system, Nederland, CO, November 13, 2016 - Despite Alan gimping due to a back injury we still managed to get out for a short hike. In an effort to avoid rocky, back-jarring decents we headed to the nearby West Magnolia trial system and walked a relatively flat loop there. A line of clouds covered most of the big mountains along the Continental Divide but we still got a few glimpses of the snow-covered peaks. 2 miles with a mild 200 feet of elevation gain.

43) West Magnolia trail system, Nederland, CO, November 25, 2016 - Jonna and Alan did a short hike on Thanksgiving Day but didn't think it warranted posting about it. However, we got together with long lost hiking partner Holly (and her two pups Buster & Pokey) to walk a little loop the next day to celebrate Green, rather than Black, Friday. The day was perfect for enjoying the outdoors - just the slightest hint of Fall chill in the air and warm sunshine from a cloudless sky. We did a short stroll through the nearby West Magnolia trail system...just enough to get some fresh air in our lungs, to get our blood moving and to calm our frazzled minds. 1.1 mile loop with 150 feet of elevation.

44) Royal Arch, Chautauqua Park, City of Boulder Parks and Recreation, Boulder, CO, December 4, 2016 - The temperature was just above freezing and the wind was blowing up in the high country so Lyle and Alan headed down to Boulder for this weekend's hike. It has been a few years since we last did the hike out to Royal Arch so we returned to Chautauqua Park to see the arch again. The weather was warmer in Boulder, the trail kept us out of the wind and the view was fantastic so success all around. 3.8 miles to the Arch and back with 1,400 feet of elevation gain.

45) Los Lagos Reservoir Loop Trail, Rollinsville, CO, December 11, 2016 - A December snow storm seemed like the perfect time to break out the snow shoes for their first use of the season. Lyle, Jonna and Alan decided the dense forest in Los Lagos trail system was a good place to avoid the gusting wind and we were right. The pristine powder among the pine trees was just the place enjoy the softly falling snow. 2.3 miles with 300 feet of elevation gain.

46) Pinewood Springs trail system, Pinewood Springs, CO, December 18, 2016 - Alan woke up to a thermometer reading 3 degrees and heard the windows shaking from gusts of snow-carrying wind. Not an auspicious start for a weekend hike. However, the sun warmed the air and the wind didn't get down into the Pinewood Springs valley where Todd and Alan met up for today's hike. A few inches of fresh powder blanketed the ground, the sun sparkled off the snow crystals and a bright blue sky contrasted with the towering dark green evergreen trees. Despite the morning's misgivings it turned out to be an enjoyable mid-winter hike. 2.1 miles with 600 feet of elevation gain.

47) South St. Vrain trail #909, Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Ward, CO, December 23, 2016 - Jonna and Alan snuck in a pre-Christmas hike so we could enjoy the beautiful sunshine the mountains were getting going into the holiday weekend. A avoid the gusting wind we headed into trees on the South St. Vrain trail. The trail was mostly packed snow but periodic drifts where the wind could get through trees kept it interesting. 3 miles with 600 feet of elevation gain.

48) Rusty & Robin's trail, Mossy Head, FL, December 26, 2016 - While Alan was home for the Christmas weekend we gathered some of the family at cousins Rusty & Robin's house for a hike on part of the trails they've built on their land. Alan, Brenda, Harvey, Heather, Robin and Rusty wandered through the "wild backyard" along their babbling streams (feeders into Mossy Head Branch), through their peaceful patches of forest and alongside their pond. We only got a taste of the hikes available on Rusty & Robin's land since we just hiked a short .6 mile loop with a mild 30 feet of elevation change.

If you enjoyed these you may also enjoy checking out some photos from our 2015 hikes or 2017 hikes.

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Alan Fleming