It’s glorious in the back country
With a simple set of cross-country skis or snowshoes, you can access some spectacular close-in Colorado terrain that feels a million miles away.
A friend and I headed up Flagstaff mountain to Walker Ranch this weekend, and had the five mile in-and-out Meyers Homestead Trail pretty much to ourselves.
It was epic. And free. Sun, great snow, and a pure blue sky came with the package.
We parked 10 steps from the trailhead and commenced an easy pace using traditional cross-country gear. The send-off here is a gradual, glorious plunge that lasts about five minutes. The terrain then transitions to a steady climb and we spent an hour or so alpining to the top, setting a heavy-breathing, arse-toning, pure-zen rhythm that laid waste to any and every negative thought. We dressed lightly and were still unzipping jackets and peeling off gloves. There’s no feeling quite like being beach warm in the snow.
The turnaround was pure bliss at about 80% downhill, except those last five minutes which made for a strong ending. No exaggeration – the scenery throughout was absolutely breathtaking.
Hesitant to venture out? Don’t be. Check Boulder County’s web site to start. This terrific resource includes suggested properties, trail maps, etiquette tips, and up-to-date condition reports. Bring a friend along, a bottle of water and some easy calories (you’ll be amazed by the burn), and prepare to experience Colorado the way it’s meant to be experienced – close up and brilliantly quiet.