Backpacking in Forgotten Valley

With a name like “Forgotten Valley” how could I not want to check this place out? Luckily, it’s located in the Golden Gate Canyon State Park which is less than an hour from my house so it’s a pretty convenient place to explore!

This was a great first backpack of the summer – we’ve got more planned including a 4-night trek in Yellowstone at the beginning of September so I wanted to make sure we started slow and simple. This trip was more about exploring a new area, checking that all my gear made it through the winter, finding out what needed to be fixed or replaced, etc. 

The hike in was only about 2.25 gorgeous miles. Wildflowers were blooming everywhere, the blue skies allowed us to see all the views and birds were singing along every step of the way. After we ditched our packs we hiked to City Lights Ridge – a steeper but very rewarding 2+ mile round trip. From the ridge we could see 360 degrees including our campsite, the pond and homestead and another small loop trail we wanted to tackle after we got back.

Needless to say, the pond and restored homestead were gorgeous. Even waiting out a small bit of rain in our tent allowed us gorgeous views of the valley. The swings on the porch of the cabin certainly provided a perfect spot to start off the day with some knitting.

Do you like to camp, backpack, hike and explore? What are some of your favorite memories being outside?

Backpacking in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

4 days and 3 nights spent in the mountains with family is easily one of the best ways to spend a long weekend. (even if the first half of that weekend is filled with snow and rain and wind and super cold temperatures that you weren’t quite prepared for)IMG_4840

Saturday we began our trip and had planned to summit Yale that day but as we reached the top, the weather turned and wind and snow picked up and forced us back down the mountain.  We spent that night by Hartenstein Lake and the view in the morning, after the storms had cleared, was incredible.IMG_4874

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Sunday saw a bit more of the cold and grey weather with wind gusts up to 50 mph as we were heading over Browns Pass. We were lucky enough to find some time to visit Browns Cabin and the nearby mines before grey skies appeared again.IMG_4935

Monday we hiked Mount Harvard and let me tell you, that was absolutely gorgeous and a great hike – I highly recommend it.  A bit windy in parts, as mountains can be, but not nearly as bad as the previous day.IMG_5130

Tuesday we hiked out over another pass whose name I can’t recall and followed up our exhausting weekend with pizza and beer before I made the gorgeous drive back to Fort Collins.IMG_5086

Oh, and you know I brought my knitting!  It still smells like campfire and for that, I cannot complain.