Spring has finally reached Colorado again, bringing with it flowering trees, the promise of warmer weather and longer days. The experience of watching the mountain faces change from powdered white to jagged and purple is always beautiful and exciting, while also opening up a fresh, outdoor playground with a whole new set of activities. While being in the mountains to ski and snowmobile is a blast, warmer weather brings with it a whole new scope of exploration, adventuring and connecting to the beautiful mountain paradise, all accessible with as little as a 20-minute drive. This is the time of year when I begin to feel invigorated again, and my old hiking boots seem to practically scream for some attention and use.
There is no way to tame these mountains, but hiking is a lovely way to spend a morning or an evening, and the peaks are always among the most beautiful of subjects for photographs. Access to mountains and hiking trails from the Springs is incredible, with places like Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, and Cheyenne Canyon providing beautiful landscapes with access to trails and climbs of every skill level!
That being said, growing up in Colorado, you get used to the weather being 70 degrees one day, 35 and snowing the next day… or even in the next few hours – and then right back to 70. This diverse and unpredictable weather is part of what makes Colorado great. There’s a wildness to the state that people who live here begin to understand, respect and expect.There’s really no way to predict the outcome of a system as it comes bumbling over the Rockies… I always thought being a weatherman in Colorado would be an incredibly difficult job. As an avid outdoorsman and explorer, it is important to keep in mind that the weather can change on a dime – especially on top of mountains. Understanding how weather works here can keep you from getting into a bad situation.
My advice: if you’re going on big hike, make sure to bring some hearty snacks like trail mix and jerky plus a little extra water than you think you’ll need. Start early, summit early. Enjoy the feeling of the endorphins rushing to your head at 14,000 feet… there’s nothing like it in the world. But also bring a jacket, because when a storm materializes over the mountains and you find yourself sprinting against the wind to get back to your car before the lightening and rain starts, you’ll be happy you have it.
Just a tidbit that may or may not have been learned from personal experience.