Hike to St. Mary's Falls and beyond

Hi Secular Hikers,

There will be a hike on Monday, March 24th on St. Mary’s Falls Trail.  The first 1.2 miles of the trail is almost flat. After that, the trail becomes steeper.  At first, it is not very steep, but the closer one gets to the falls the steeper it gets.  The round trip to the falls is 6.42 miles, with a starting elevation of 7491 ft., max elevation of 8933 ft., and a total of 1442 ft. elevation gain.  Some of us will be going beyond the Falls.  For the people who do not want to go beyond the falls, they will be turning around and going back to their cars either by themselves or as a group.  I consider this a somewhat difficult hike.  We will be returning the on the same route.  For the people going past the falls, we will be completing the hike by mid to late afternoon.

Some of us will be carpooling from the Woodmen Valley park-n-ride. To get there from Interstate 25 and Woodmen Road, go west to the first stop light, turn left (south) on Corporate Drive, turn right (west) at the first intersection onto Mark Dabling Blvd, take an immediate right turn into the parking lot.  We will be leaving this parking lot at 8:15 AM.

For those who want to meet the rest of us at the trailhead parking lot, it is located at the upper end of North Cheyenne Road at the intersection of High Drive and Gold Camp Road.  We will be arriving there somewhere around 8:45 AM.

There is a good chance that there will be snow and ice on the trail.  I highly recommend that everyone on the hike have micro spikes (available at REI).

Please bring enough water and snacks for the hike.

Please let me know if you plan on attending the hike and where you will meet us. If you change your mind, please let me know that also.

Rich [masked])

p.s. It costs me $72 twice a year to be a meetup organizer.  Would you please consider helping by sharing this expense?  If I receive about $0.50 per person (including guests) per hike or (to avoid a bunch of quarters) $1.00 per person about every other hike you attend, I would come out roughly even.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I will have to do this hike again to see if I can do the 'beyond' portion. Just getting up to the frozen falls and back felt like a pretty good workout for me. I really enjoyed the company!

    March 25, 2014

  • Elena M.

    Great hike, awesome people, lots of fun

    March 25, 2014

  • Rich B.

    The six of us went up to St. Mary’s Falls, an elevation gain of about 1400 ft. and a round trip distance of around 6.5 miles. John, Kym and I went past St. Mary’s Falls up to the shoulder of Mt. Rosa. We reached an elevation of a little over 11,000 ft.. With a starting elevation of just under 7500 ft., we had a total elevation gain of over 3,500 ft.. Our round trip distance was around 11 to 12 miles (felt more like 15 to 20 miles). The portion of our trip beyond St. Mary’s Falls was very difficult and I could easily tell that it has been a while since I have hiked a trail so difficult.

    March 25, 2014

  • John and Kym S.

    Correction: The "and beyond" portion of the hike was a mere 2.5 miles UP. (It just felt like 4 . . . or more.)

    March 24, 2014

  • John and Kym S.

    The hike to St. Mary's Falls was lovely. The falls, still primarily frozen, were quite impressive. The "and beyond" was punishing - another 2100 ft elevation gain over 4 miles. I whined most of the way. Rich and John just marched on and on and on. Thank goodness deep snow prevented us from proceeding to Frosty's Park and on to Jones Park.

    March 24, 2014

  • Gene O.

    Per John's altimeter, the falls were about 1400 feet above the trailhead.

    Sky and weather: It was mostly cloudy, though the Sun occasionally popped through the clouds. There was no wind to speak of, though it was chilly (20s/30s) and we saw a few wimpy snowflakes on the way down.

    Gene

    March 24, 2014

  • Gene O.

    Elena, Don and I stopped at the falls, then headed back to the trailhead. Kym, John and Rich continued on.

    As expected, the steeper parts of this trail were pretty strenuous for me. And I just gobbled up some oxygen and kept goin'!

    My pedometer reported 6.5 miles traversed.

    Pictures are in the photos section.

    Gene

    March 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Am I at the wrong park and ride? Woodman and corporate

    March 24, 2014

  • John and Kym S.

    Rich, John is now considering the hike, but since he did not mention it until 7:30 PM, it is too late to shop for micro spikes. Will the full hike be out of the question for him?

    March 23, 2014

    • Rich B.

      Since he is a mountain goat, he may be able to make it. The amount of ice is likely to be somewhere around the same as the last two hikes.

      March 24, 2014

  • Gene O.

    Rich, I'll be carpooling from the park-n-ride.

    Gene

    March 22, 2014

  • Rich B.

    For anyone who is interested in the Monday hikes and has not attended for any reason, the hike to St. Mary’s Falls would be great opportunity. If you need to return early, it is easy to return to the trailhead parking lot either by yourself or in groups. If you do not have micro spikes, you can go as far as the trail allows and return to your car. You will most likely not make it all the way to the falls.

    March 21, 2014

  • Gene O.

    Rich, have you selected a trail for the March 24th hike?

    Gene

    March 19, 2014

  • Cheryl P.

    We would love to do this but we work thru the week. We will keep watch for other times. Thanks

    March 19, 2014

    • Rich B.

      Some of the Sunday hikes will be almost as interesting as the Monday hikes.

      March 19, 2014

  • Elena M.

    Hi Rich,
    Just a friendly heads up, I'll need to be back by 3:00 pm

    March 19, 2014

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