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New Meetup: Saturday Morning Chief Mountain Hike

From: Margaret
Sent on: Monday, July 26, 2010 9:49 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Contemplative Hiking Along the Front Range!

What: Saturday Morning Chief Mountain Hike

When: Saturday, August 28,[masked]:30 AM

Where: Chief Mountain
Squaw Pass Road
Evergreen, CO 80439

Join me on this spectacular hike. This is a minimum of a 2 hour hike, but will probably extend to 2-1/2 or 3 hours if we take it slower and enjoy the scenery at the top. I'll bring along an essay for optional reading and pondering when we summit Chief Mountain, leave room for quiet time at the top, then some discussion before we head back down again, silently.

This hike starts along a forest service trail road that's flat, then after 20 minutes intersects a steeper trail up through the woods. In another 20 minutes you're up above treeline, and at the top you'll be treated to a view of Mt. Evans to the west and Denver to the east. I would classify the difficulty level of this hike as "average"- there's no rock scrambling or anything too scary. But you will be walking up a steep hill for at least a half an hour to 45 minutes.

As always, please NO DOGS.

A few years ago, I did this hike before sunrise when there was snow on the ground, to watch the sun come up over the horizon behind Denver. That was one of the most memorable hikes of my life, and a little intimidating at first. Perhaps we can repeat this hike at sunrise someday and you'll see for yourself what it's like to get up at 4 am and feel like the first person to greet the day from the wilderness. But for now, enjoy the hike on a summer morning and start the day feeling expansive and peaceful (with some exercise thrown in).

DIRECTIONS: I'd like to meet at the Starbucks off the Evergreen Parkway/El Ranch exit off I-70 at 8:30 am. The Starbucks is located on the east side of the Parkway, in the strip mall that's around the WalMart. I'm pretty sure you'll see the Starbucks from the road, but don't hold me to that because it's been a while since I've been to that one. I'll stand next to my car, which this time will be a dark blue VW Golf, and post my white MEETUP sign on the window. After we find each other, we can carpool up to the trailhead. It'll take another 30 minutes or so from the Starbucks to the trail, so we'll start the hike at 9 am-ish. If you miss us at the Starbucks, call me at[masked] and we'll meet you at the actual trailhead.

Directions to Chief Mountain trailhead: For those of you who don't want to meet at the Starbucks or come late, please be at the parking area at 9 am: From Denver, take I-70 west to the Evergreen/El Rancho Parkway exit. Go left (south) on Evergreen Parkway a few miles. Turn right on Squaw Pass Road, or Road number 103. You'll go for a few miles and then you'll start to see mile markers. Pay attention to the mile markers, because immediately past mile marker 18, you will see a turnout-type parking area on your right, where you'll want to park. You'll walk across the road to an abrupt driveway to what looks like a narrow, rocky forest service access road. That is the start of the trail. After 20 minutes, you'll see a trail sign for Chief Mountain and you'll turn right UP the hill.

No "maybe's" RSVPs on this one, because if there are no takers the day before, I reserve the right to not go myself, either. So I need to know one way or the other. :-)

Duration of hike: 2-3 hours

What to bring: The usual. Jacket, water, backpack, snack, sturdy shoes.

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