Saturday, January 18, 2014

The East West Region Trail - A Wilderness in the Midst of the Suburbia

Warm southern winds have pushed the temperature in the Denver area well above normal in the last week.  This morning was no exception as the day dawned sunny, bright and warm.  Today was a day made for hiking!

Around 11:00AM I headed out for a long hike along the Douglas County East West Regional Trail.  In the last year a new trail head at Ridgegate Parkway was established that has opened up access to the high bluffs above the city of Lone Tree.  The trail head is in a well populated area where the new Cabelas Store opened in August of last year.  Despite the business of the area, once you set out upon the trail, it is though you have journeyed from the middle of Denver suburbs to a desolate ranching area.  Leaving the parking lot of the trail head behind, the trail quickly ascends to the top of the bluffs that dramatically rise up at the southern edge of the Denver metro area.  The elevation change is abrupt and significant as the high point along this ridge rises to almost 6300 feet, which is 1000 feet higher than Denver.

Getting up on top of these ridges is amazing as the view of Denver is fantastic and you really do feel removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.  The trail makes it's way to the west and all through out your journey there is a barbed wire fence on your left (to the south) that marks the boundary of a working ranch.  It is an interesting ranch because in addition to cattle, they also raise ostriches.  Today I was privileged to see two of the great birds strutting in one of the fields.  It is not a normal sight to see ostriches in Colorado!

Here are some photos that I took along the way.  I made use of a new Nikon Coolpix camera I received as a Christmas gift from Lisa.  It takes some pretty great pictures!

Thanks and peace to all! ~ J.

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