Even though weekdays are my writing days, I knew I had to adjust my schedule when I woke up this morning to bright blue skies and a fresh blanket of snow. Immediately, I decided I ought to venture out to my favorite park in the greater Denver, Colorado area: Roxborough State Park. I never go hiking without my driver/navigator, but Kevin had to work today – meaning if I wanted do a winter shoot at Roxborough, I would have to go by myself.
Luckily, getting myself and my camera to the park required no highway driving and only, like, two turns – minimizing the chances I’d get lost in Denver’s hopelessly confusing suburbs – so I was able to spend a few hours this morning exploring!
I must say, what a nice change of pace from my typical Tuesday.
Red rocks + white snow + blue skies = perfection. Colorado truly is the perfect year-round destination. Since I don’t ski, I was slightly concerned when we moved to Denver that I would be trapped indoors during the winter. Nope! So far, I’m loving the off-season here in Denver. Gorgeous weather – what a difference those blue skies make, compared with the East Coast’s trademark grey I’m so accustomed to – combined with zero crowds make me happy.
Also…hiking in five or six inches of snow this morning was quite the workout. Sometimes, during the winter, exercise can be more elusive than it is during the summer. As much as I love to grab my camera and head outdoors, there’s nothing like a cold, snowy day to make me want to curl up indoors with a hot chocolate chip cookie and a good book. I’m happy I fought the urge to stay indoors today, however.
Whoa. I know, today’s visit reminded me why I love Roxborough State Park so much. Kevin and I first visited the park back in June (in case you missed it, you can read my full-length piece about Roxborough here) and it was love at first sight. Honestly, photographs don’t do this place justice…meaning y’all should just visit Denver and spend a day hiking here yourselves.
After all, that’s why I work on this blog every day – I enjoy introducing travel-lovers like myself to new places that might otherwise have stayed off their radar. And I know the impulse for those visiting Colorado is to head straight from Denver International Airport to Estes Park or Vail, and while each of those mountain escapes are lovely, there’s plenty of gems just a short drive from Colorado’s capital city.
Like Roxborough State Park! These red rocks are less than an hour’s drive from downtown. And if I can drive myself to the park without getting lost, you can do it, too.
This historic Persse Place cabin (pictured above) roughly marks the halfway point along Fountain Valley Trail, an easy 2.3-mile loop that takes hikers into the heart of the park. If you only have the time (or energy!) to hike one trail in Roxborough State Park, make it the Fountain Valley Trail. During the summer, there are plenty of wildflowers along the trail, but the scenery is just as spectacular in the winter. Furthermore, the trail takes hikers to each of the park’s two scenic overlooks, which I strongly don’t recommend skipping.
The only nuisance I encountered today was while paying the park’s admission fee. All Colorado State Parks charge $7 per vehicle for a day pass, and visitors usually pay with cash or a credit card at the park’s entrance. I traveled to Roxborough State Park this morning expecting nothing to be different. When I arrived, however, there was no attendant on duty – but the park was still requiring visitors to pay the fee! Of course, without an attendant, I couldn’t use my credit card. Luckily, I had a ten dollar bill in my wallet, so I had to slip that into the self-pay station, meaning I over-paid my entrance fee by three dollars. If parks are going to charge admission, they should have an attendant stationed at all times. Most people don’t travel with cash anymore (the sign today also read that visitors could pay the entrance fee with a check, which is so outdated I actually laughed upon reading it) so I can easily see this causing visitors unnecessary stress.
ANYWAYS, my point is this: arrive with seven dollars in cash, and you’ll save yourself some scrambling. Or, in my case, three dollars.
For more information, visit Roxborough State Park’s official website here.