Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Columbine Trail, Helen Hunt Falls and Heading West!

Garden of the Gods RV Resort/Outdoor Destinations
Colorado Springs, CO
July 20, 2014

Did you see it...it caught my eye...
I hope someone is missing a glove and not a hand!
North Cheyenne Creek
Imagine my excitement to hear running water as we headed toward the Lower Columbine Trail. Actually the Columbine Trail is three trails in one...Lower, Middle and Upper. We chose only to do Lower and Middle...a four mile trek to Helen Hunt Falls.
The trail traces the cut of North Cheyenne Creek as it climbs up the canon wall. We much preferred the Lower Trail as we were close to the creek...it was cool, shady, and green.






There were picnic tables all along the trail.
Eventually the trail comes back to North Cheyenne Road. There is a bridge over the creek and a marked road crossing for pedestrians.  



Lower joins middle just around the corner after the road crossing. 





From here, the trail begins its ascent on a narrow shelf... about 1,050 ft. total ascent from the Lower Columbine Trailhead to Helen Hunt Falls.















Helen Hunt Falls is a waterfall located on Cheyenne Creek. The falls are named in honor of Helen Maria Hunt Jackson, a poet and writer. Sometime after the death of her first husband, she visited Colorado Springs (1873-75) seeking rest at the Seven Falls Resort in hopes of a cure for tuberculosis. It was there she met and married William Jackson, a wealthy banker and railroad executive. During her several years in Co Springs, she spent Sundays at the site of the falls and was buried there when she died.




  We chose a take a different route back to town...we drove back to Helen Hunt Falls. Just past there, North Cheyenne Road ends at a parking lot for anyone who wants to hike or bike the Upper Columbine Trail (I read it is only a mile, but very steep.). An alternative dirt road, Gold Camp Road, picks up here.
Gold Camp Road
Gold Camp Road was originally a railroad. There are dozens of "cuts" thru the rock just wide enough for a train...or one car...and this is a 2-way traffic road with brave folks on bicycles going in both directions as well. Yikes!





Add in a couple of tunnels...









and some grand views for a fun 6.7 miles.


 Today is packing up day. Tomorrow we head west...about 240 miles to Montrose, CO. I can hardly wait!  I already know the 9 days we have planned there will not be enough! Between our friends Sue and Paul who are there and Mark who posts the most gorgeous pictures from Lovely Ouray on www.boxcanyonblog.blogspot.com , I know I will be in heaven or at least able to touch the clouds!
 
So until next time...
Gold Camp Road traveling top to bottom.

happy trails!

21 comments:

  1. Those picnic tables along the trail are a nice touch. A great place to have lunch.

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    1. The tables were all close to the creek with lots of shade too. I could have just sat right down and spent the afternoon Judy.

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  2. Love the picture of the trees making the archway over the path. And, of course, the waterfall pictures. Always love waterfalls.

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  3. What a lovely hike and fun road too! Montrose is lovely. We didn't actually stay there, stayed in Ourray and visited with Mark and Bobbie, but that whole darn area is wonderful! Ridgeway is pretty and the bike/walking path between Ridgeway town and Ridgeway State Park is excellent.

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    1. Thanks Lisa...I am so excited to head that way.

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  4. Another drooling adventure for both the feet and the Jeep! Anytime you can hike by water it is a great day. I love the sound. That Jeep road looked like fun. Travel safely! Can't wait for more exciting adventures:)

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  5. Lovely lovely hike, Keep it coming Gay!
    Safe travel to another beautiful place.

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  6. You will enjoy the Montrose area!! So many places to visit within driving range! We owned a three acre lot between Salida and Bruena Vista with hopes of one day building there. We changed our mind and sold it last year. Too remote for us now! The area is gorgeous!! Drive safely!!

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    1. It's so much fun going to a new place.....

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  7. Isn't it great that we have so many places to visit and so many places to enjoy?

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    1. It sure is Jeri! It's a beautiful country.

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  8. We are enjoying those hikes along with you, great pics of the scenery.

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  9. Thanks for taking me along. I've been housebound the past few days because of severe allergies & longing to get out. I see the gloves now, yesterday I thought that was just part of the trail sign. Be safe traveling. Looking forward to seeing Montrose with you.

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    1. Hope you are feeling better soon Gayle. We have also been taking Zyrtec with breakfast. Allergies have been worse this year for some reason!

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    2. Zyrtec has been my drug of choice as well.

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  10. Drive safe and enjoy the wonderful views along the way. The San Juans await you !!

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  11. I so enjoy "traveling" with you! Your descriptions and pictures are so vivid! I can almost hear the waterfalls and smell the flowers.

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