Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Crags...A Hike with Everything!

Garden of the Gods RVC Outdoor Destinations
Colorado Springs, CO
July 8, 2014

The following description sure sparked our interest...

"Sometimes rocks erode vertically into colossal collections of cusps, ready to take a bite out of any clouds that venture too close to the earth..."

Just south of Divide, CO (about 27 miles from our site) this kind of rock formation is called The Crags. Our morning (July 8) was planned!

This is me...what an awesome place!
Storms were predicted for the area so we were off to an early start. When we arrived at the trailhead, it was a bit 52F chilly with the sun behind thick clouds. But after about a 630 ft. elevation climb, the sun was shining and it sure felt good!

But first, back at the beginning...right from the get-go, I knew this was going to be a great day. The smell of the forest filled the air and Rocky Mountain Columbine was in full bloom. As luck would have it, the sun poked out just long enough to get a few pictures of this beautiful flower. Last year, Joe's favorite was the dainty Mountain Harebell. This year, the Columbine wins out!

The only big climb is the first little bit...maybe 4 tight switchbacks...thru a forest of pine and spruce. There is evidence of a fire maybe 5 to 6 years ago...but I chose to see the new saplings and wildflowers.

The narrow trail winds up a mountain in Pike National Forest.
 From the beginning, the trail hugs Four Mile Creek. As we climbed, we lost site of it, but we could hear it most of the way.
Crossing Four Mile Creek at the beginning of the trail...

Then the trail opened up...a wide-open grassy meadow, with a smaller Four Mile Creek, aspens, wildflowers, butterflies and rock outcroppings.
I wish photos could show the breeze blowing thru the aspens. I love watching the leaves dance. We could actually hear them dancing...the fluttering sounds like soft clapping.   
Aspen leaves
We saw a nice variety of wildflowers...
Alpine Mertensia Flowers

Dusky Beardtongue Flowers

Alpine Yarrow Plant
Shooting Star Flowers
Bistort Flower
Yellow Stonecrop
There are a kazillion different kinds of white butterflies in the Rocky Mountains...I couldn't make a positive ID.

And did I mention rock outcroppings?

 And aren't these trees absolutely beautiful?

The Crags...(my sunshield busted and I haven't replaced it.)

Before we knew it, it was time to head back...even though the sky was blue, we saw dark gray clouds in the distance.

We hiked 5 miles round in and out trail.

We all agreed this was one of our favorite hikes.

If you are ever in this area and hiking is in your plans, you might want to check out

So,until next time,

happy trails from Colorado Springs!

On the way home, just out of Divide, CO...the clouds were rolling in fast. Quite a thunderstorm too.


  1. Wonderful hike…expect more flowers in the coming weeks.
    Locals call aspen trees "quakes" for just the reason you described…
    Box Canyon Mark

    1. I know, quakes it is! Thanks Mark! I absolutely love the aspens! And more flowers you say? Awesome.....heaven on earth!

  2. You bet this hike will make it to our growing list of things to do in CO! As always great pictures of a beautiful columbine. Its July and the wildflowers are still in full bloom! What a treat.

    1. I've never seen such a variety of beautiful wildflowers MonaLiza! I hope when you come to CO, it's this time of's absolutely wonderful!

  3. Now that is a beautiful hike. Love those rocks! We just might go through that area next spring, I better Pin this!

    1. This hike rates high on our list of favorites Lisa!

  4. Love, love this place! What cool rocks! You look great in the hammock rock, Gay:) I must check it out next summer. You know how I love rocks:) Gorgeous flowers. Thanks for labeling them!

    1. I did think of you several times Pam...I know how much you love rocks! I enjoyed researching the was a lot of fun.

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! I can see why you were drawn to this place. Great photos too.