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Vista Trailhead is located one half mile south of the intersection of HWY 93 and HWY 128 between Golden and Boulder on HWY-93 Unless you have Boulder tags there is a 5 dollar parking fee. Here's a map ( We'll begin the hike at the Flatirons Vista Trailhead. Here are the trail directions if you arrive late: You’ll want to take the Flatirons Vista-North Trail for 2.1 miles. Stay on the Flatirons Vista-North until you arrive at the Doudy Draw Trail and take a left towards the Spring Brook Loop North for .3 miles. When you arrive at the three-way for the Doudy Draw Trail, Spring Brook Loop North Trail and the Spring Brook Loop South take the Spring Brook Loop North for 1.2 miles until you arrive at the trail junction of the Spring Brook Loop North and the Goshawk Ridge Trail. Here we’ll be entering El Dorado Canyon. Continue hiking on the Goshawk ridge Trail for 1.7 miles until you arrive at the Fowler Trail, continue onto the Fowler Trail for .5 mile where we’ll connect with the Spring Brook Loop South Trail and again to the junction of the Goshawk Ridge Trail, Spring Brook Loop South Trail and the Spring Brook Loop North Trail. We’ll take a left onto the Spring Brook Loop North Loop Trail for 1.2 miles, connect with Doudy Draw for .3 mile and then connect with The Flatirons Vista-North Trail for 2.2 miles which will bring us back to the parking lot. This hike is a very easy/low moderate photographer’s stroll. I hope we get a bit of snow to add to the personality of the hike! I have estimated this hike to be a 7.5 mile round trip with a very minimal elevation gain. Be sure to bring snowshoes just in case we need them CARPOOLING. To save money on parking fees and parking space we should meet at the large parking area at the intersection of HWY 93 and Hwy 170. This is the intersection for the El Dorado Canyon State Park. I'll meet you there around 9:30. I could carpool with three others if you would like to meet me there. I look forward in hiking with you. Don

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Here is a list of items Diane made up for the group which you should always keep in your car, this way you'll never have to ask what you need to bring. Don't forget snowshoes, cleats and goggles during the winter season.

Water: Don't underestimate how much you will need. We will be at elevation which means thin air and drier climate, so plan on drinking half a liter per mile

Map and compass:

Hat, eye protection, sunscreen: Even during the winter, at the higher elevations UV light is stronger because there is less atmosphere to filter it so you can get sunburned more easily. Sunglasses in summer, ski goggles in winter will protect your eyes from wind, which can get pretty fierce in the higher elevations.

Food/Snacks: A snack will help if you are feeling the effects of the higher elevations, too.

For winter hikes, wear real ski pants over long johns, stretch pants, or regular pants. Ski pants are water resistant and made for the cold climate. Blue jeans are not really good for hiking, as they offer little wind protection and take forever to dry out if they get wet.

Layering is a good idea in case you get hot, wet, or it is very windy. Wind chill is not to be taken lightly. Winds of 10-20 MPH can make you feel up to 20 degrees colder, depending on how cold it is to begin with. Prepare for gusty wind always in the mountains. On a really cold day, bring a scarf, face protector , or balaclava (a ninja mask-looking headgear that covers your head, face, and neck).

Proper hiking shoes: Regular athletic shoes are not rugged enough for hiking in rough or steep terrain. You want hiking shoes or boots that will protect your feet from banging up against rocks and give plenty of traction on steep or slippery surfaces. Gloves: Preferably ski gloves, which are padded and water resistant, or mittens, which actually keep your hands warmer than gloves do.

During the winter hikes you should always have these items in your car: Hand and foot warmers, Snowshoes, traction devices, Snow goggles and water resistant gloves.

Optional items: bug repellent, small first aid kit, whistle (for bears) if you can't whistle without one, a hiking pole (reduces uphill and downhill effort), tissues, chapstick, and a camera.

Disclaimer Information:

When Meetup members sign up and accept the Meetup Terms of Service, they are agreeing to the Release found in Section 6.2: This Release basically states that members attend events at their own risk, and release The Organizers, the assistant organizers and Meetup from any claims that may result in injury or death.


Purchasing a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) Card. Why Buy a CORSAR Card? Colorado residents and visitors are well served by dedicated volunteer search and rescue teams, but mission costs are often in the thousands of dollars. By purchasing a CORSAR card you are contributing to the Search and Rescue Fund, which will reimburse these teams for costs incurred in your search and rescue. Funds remaining at the end of the year are used to help pay for training and equipment for these teams. Anyone with a current hunting/fishing license, or boat, snowmobile, ATV registration is already covered by the fund. The card is not insurance and does not reimburse individuals nor does it pay for medical transport

Medical transport includes helicopter flights or ground ambulance. If aircraft are used as a search vehicle, those costs are reimbursed by the fund. If the aircraft becomes a medical transport due to a medical emergency, the medical portion of the transport is not covered. The CORSAR cards are available for $3 for one year and $12 for five years, and can be purchased at over 300 retailers in the state. You may also purchase cards online. Please visit one of these links: Purchase Card Online With Credit Card.
For the cost of the card, you have helped ensure that trained and well equipped search and rescue teams will respond should you become lost or in need of rescue. Furthermore, volunteers will not have to incur undue expense due to your emergency.

To add to the disclaimer the organizers of Second Wind Getaways are not reponsible for transportation to or from our destinations, reserving lodging including motels, hotels, campgrounds and resorts. Be sure to purchase a CORSAR Card.

I hope you will have not only a good time but an educational experience as well.

See you on the trails!

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