Tuesday, August 5, 2014

way up high

Before we get started here, do yourself a favor.
Grab a pencil and paper and write this down:
Visit Colorado.
I can't believe this wonderful place is our neighboring state and we are just now getting around to spending some time together--what terrible neighbors we have been.

We left Mesa Verde (check out part 1 HERE) and headed north--up up up the mountains on a windy road with views of rocky peaks and wild forest. We spent the day around Silverton--we threw our tent up in a meadow and wandered around the wilderness dodging rain and chasing waterfalls.
colorado // the little red housecolorado // the little red housecolorado // the little red house
The next morning we woke up to sunshine, grabbed our packs and headed to the trailhead for Ice Lake. As excited as I was to explore these mountains--I was a little nervous. I had no idea how our day would go--the hike was only 7 miles but we would top out over 12,000ft--I was curious as to how the kids would do at that elevation. (the highest we have ever hiked with them is 10,000ft). We packed extra water and snacks, rain jackets, and agreed to take it slow.
colorado // the little red house
Did I say slow? Not these two. They powered up the mountain like it was no big deal. While my lungs felt heavy and crowded, they jogged and chatted away like we were at sea level. We hiked through the pines for a while--the trail moderately steep with some switchbacks. The forest then faded out to this view.....!!!
colorado // the little red house
We were there July 5th--the wildflowers were just starting to open. Waterfalls poured onto the valley floor from all directions and we passed snow slowly melting on the trail.
colorado // the little red house
colorado // the little red house
During our final climb the kids made mention of there "being no oxygen", but they still managed to pass a few adults who had stopped to, ahem...puke their guts out.
colorado // the little red house
ice1 ccolorado // the little red houseopy
colorado // the little red house
colorado // the little red house
We had hoped to make it up to Island Lake--about a half mile further than Ice Lake, but the thunderclouds were rolling in, so we quickly made our way down the mountain--we got to the car just as the first raindrops started to fall.
colorado // the little red house
On top of the world! 12,300 feet!
colorado // the little red house
Ice Lake Trail Details
Trailhead: out of Silverton. Take County Road 7 (off of 550) and follow it to South Mineral Campground at the end (about 4.5 miles on gravel) There is a parking lot and the trail is well marked--this is really popular hike.
Distance/Elevation: 7 miles round trip to Ice Lake with about 2400 ft of elevation gain.
Bring: extra water and fuel. You burn more at higher elevations and will me more susceptible to altitude sickness if you are dehydrated.....don't get dehydrated!
Also bring: pack a rain jacket--clouds can roll in quickly.
Note: Start early. Thunderstorms happen almost daily in the mountains and you don't want to be caught up there when a storm hits.
Shoes: I wore my Trail Runners (I wasn't sure how rocky the trail would be) but I wish I'd worn my Chacos There was a pretty big stream crossing so I had to take my shoes off (Robby just carried the kids across to save on time). The kids wore their Salomon trail runners --super awesome shoes for little hikers but the laces are ridiculous and jam up too easy. Get the shoes, replace the laces with regular tie-laces.
Lots more handy trail details: HERE
After Party: We grabbed a burger at Maggie's Kitchen in Ouray followed by ice cream at Mouse's Chocolates. (Ouray is the cutest little town and we are already itching to go back).

We loved this part of the country and feel like we only saw a fraction of it's beauty....we hope to get back soon!



Headed out for a hike? Check out my post on Trail Etiquette

16 comments:

Anne Hill said...

wow absolutely gorgeous! I really really want to go hiking in colorado now!

Sarah said...

That is so gorgeous!

Amelia Wallace said...

love love love your blog. and am so envious of your life

alison said...

We've been taking our boys to Colorado for the last 12 years (I grew up hiking those mountains). This was the first year we opted to try a new destination. While it was lovely, we missed our time in the mountain air. Gorgeous images! Looks like you had a wonderful time together.

thecityspace said...

These photos are breathtaking! They look like Switzerland. I am definitely in the mood to visit Colorado now.

Paige @ your trainer paige said...

Next time I'm in Silverton, Im doing this hike!

likeschocolate said...

gorgeous !

Danielle Huddleston said...

Gorgeous! Now I want to go! I am glad there are others out there that share hiking with their young kids!

Olivia Snell said...

Sheena! First of all, I admire your family and your values so much. I hope to live a lifestyle like you guys someday! As for now, I'm still 21 and studying in college... so someday ;)

I wanted to ask a quick question about the chacos you guys wear... How do you feel about the toe straps? I follow you on Instagram as well, and I think you have a pair with them, but mine drive me NUTS! I've had them for a few years now, but I always slightly regret not buying a single strap pair without the toe straps...

I've tried loosening them and even just stepping on top of them as I wear my pair. Do you ever have issues with yours? Maybe I have big toes?!?

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