Colorado Trail -Segment 2
June 1, 2002
Distance: 11.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 2200 feet (if hiking west)
View Log - Log of all contacts made
This was our 3rd Colorado Trail Segment. Terry and I were inspired kind of at the last minute on Friday to go hike and decided to do this segment as a quick day hike. We hiked it in reverse order, hiking toward Denver, and this saved us most of the upwards hiking. Setting the cars was no problem in this segment
My radio equipment for this hike was the k1 and and my homebrew portable vertical. Band conditions were horrible and I felt lucky to make the one contact I did with KC0M in Branson, MO.
The trail begins in a nicely forested area and the trail is broad and gentle. We traveled in the easterly direction on this segment and it was mostly downhill. I think there was only about 500' of total elevation gain for the hike. This segment of the trail travels through a heavily burned area for at least half of the total length. This burned area is from the Buffalo Creek Fire of, I believe, 1997. The burned area is at both ends of the segment, with some very nice forested area in the middle. The trail is very well marked the entire distance but there is no water. Terry and I were on the trail at about 8:15 Saturday morning. We were carrying light day packs and made very good time... approximately 3 miles an hour for the first couple hours. The first 2 or 3 miles traveled close to the hiway, it then crossed the road and moved away from it. After a few miles we entered the erie, burned results of the Buffalo Creek Fire. The ground cover was mostly restored in the area but we were surprised to see no new pine seedlings. We wished we had an accompanying bioligist to explain the cycle of life in the forest after a fire. We reentered living forest during the middle of the hike and again entered a very burn out area for the last few miles. The last mile of the hike is a sharp descent to the South Platte River. There is a very well built foot bridge to take you across the river to the parking area. There was a gathering of new kayakers under the bridge and we spent a while enjoying cold beverages that we had left in the vehicle, watching the kayakers and cooling (freezing!) our feet by dangling them in the river.