WOODLAND PARK — In our exclusive new series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems, and well-known spots.
With June already here and summer just around the corner, it's time for another hiking adventure.
This week, we hit the road in search of the Red Rocks Trail in the Pike National Forest.
The trail can be found off of Highway 67 only four miles north of Woodland Park
To gain access to the trail, you'll need to park in one of two parking lots at the Red Rocks Group Campground.
From there, we travel east on a trail through gorgeous aspen groves and towering pine trees.
Even though we're expecting a short hike, we're ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at us.
After all, prior planning prevents poor performance. That's a little gem that I learned as a college athlete at the University of Alabama.
With that in mind, I recommend on any hike that you fill your backpack with things like sunscreen, non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, and extra layers of clothing.
The Red Rocks Trail is well maintained, mostly flat, and easy to navigate.
Our hike to the first of the rock formations is around a quarter of a mile, and once there, we see what resembles a mini Garden of the Gods.
Not quite as grand as the original, but still stunning. The boulders here are smaller and are more or less camouflaged within the heavily forested area.
Numerous trails weave around, between, and through the giant rock formations.
Massive boulders appear in clusters one after the other and extend into the woods for hundreds of yards.
After we reach the last of them, we return to the main trail and work our way back through the forest.
Our return hike to the parking lot is gentle and peaceful, with a slight downward slope.
Smells of fresh pine emanate from the trees around us and with spring soon changing to summer, the aspens are turning green and the wildflowers are blooming everywhere.
Our scenic hike on the Red Rocks Trail ended up being around a mile and a half, with a 240-foot elevation change.
It's a great hike for all ability levels, and it offers a certain level of seclusion that's sometimes hard to find.
Now we'd love to hear from you! Email me with your favorite hike at Alan.firstname.lastname@example.org.