Colorado is heating up. Personally, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. I tend to say that about every season, though, so this won’t be the first time you’ll hear that phrase out of my mouth. But with the weather warming, it becomes harder to stay indoors and not take advantage of the plethora of outdoor activities the Centennial state has to offer. To kick off this year’s hiking season, Kimberly and I headed west, just outside of Denver, to an area that in my 29 years in this state, I had yet to see: Eldorado Canyon.
The morning started early for us, as it tends to do, so we had ample time to pack what we thought we would need for a morning on the trail. The Topo Designs Daypack, made with love in Colorado, was stuffed with 4 water bottles, a package of beef jerky, the DSLR, travel water bowl for the pup, an apple, our phones, keys and a few other this–and-thats. Everything fit with ease. We grabbed the dog, the leash and the sunglasses and we were out the door and on the trail by 9:30.
The canyon is of unspeakable beauty, as is the case with many of the hiking areas throughout Colorado, and it never ceases to amaze how the views of and from the hills can still be so striking – as if seeing them for the first time. We headed up the Towhee trail, in tow of a pulling Birdie (the pup for future reference), equipped with a comfortably-fitting pack, and in the company of a chorus of bird calls, a babbling brook and smells of blooming wildflowers and fresh pine.
The view back out over the plains
Navigating our way to the top we stumbled upon purple butterflies that Bird favored for chasing, a hawk out for a mid-morning soar (we watched for a good 10 minutes and did not see a single flap of his wings), and one guy with a beer…and perfectly gelled hair…wearing black jeans and a tucked in t-shirt…just out for a hike(?). That was a nice deviation from the typical, “I got my walking poles out and am geared to the nines,” Colorado hiker. We reached our destination and hung out on top of the hill for a bit, looking back out over the plains. After a bit of a rest atop the perfect sunning rock, we trekked back down.
On the march back to the car, I commented that it’s sort of unfair how hiking works: The backpack is heavy going up the hill and substantially lighter coming down as the sustenance is consumed and water bottles emptied. Not that the Topo Daypack was ever uncomfortable at any point– the opposite actually. It was just a “No Shit, Sherlock” moment I had.
Looking out into the canyon. Topo Designs Daypack.
Recommendations from this trip: