A Walk in the Woods: Spruce Mountain
By Bill Bruner
When I take the time to walk in the woods, to me, is an exploration of myself, because, no matter how busy the world seems, I reconnect with who I truly am.
I take the time to appreciate the beauty that the natural world holds for me, and I understand the glory of watching a hawk soar. I know that through nature we are all connected.
Each journey I’ve embarked on is unique in its own way. I hope that the joy I find in each hike inspires you to get out and enjoy everything the natural world has to explore.
This month’s hike is Spruce Mountain.
Getting there: Spruce Mountain is south of the Denver metro area. Go south on I-25 to the Greenland exit (167), turn right (west) at the end of the ramp, and you’ll snake around and cross a couple railroad tracks before coming to a stop sign at Spruce Mountain road. Turn left (South), and travel about 1/4 of a mile. Parking and the trailhead are on your right.
This is a popular place to go; to get a parking spot, I would suggest arriving before 10:00am.
The hike is approximately 5.5 miles in a nice loop. The hike begins at approximately 7,100 feet, and the highest point is approximately 7,500 feet, for a total elevation gain of 400 feet. This hike will take you 2.5 to 3 hours at a comfortable pace. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
The trailhead is at the end of the parking lot. We headed due west along a well defined trail for approximately 1/3 of a mile, then we turned left and began the ascent to the top of Spruce Mountain. Within a few hundred feet of the turn, you are welcomed by a forest full of pine trees.
This hike is a perfect place if you enjoy the smell of pine trees. The entire hike weaves in and out of the pine forest. The trail up to the top is easy to follow, and there are several switchbacks to make the climb even easier.
Along the way, there are beautiful views of the Front Range, and there are many places to pull off of the trail to take in the valley and mountains around you.
Once you’ve reached the top (approximately 1.5 miles), you are on a wonderful flat-top mountain. The next 2.5 miles is just a magnificent stroll along this large flat-top mountain. The views on every side are incredible, and the walk along this path is easy and enjoyable.
To the south, there are views of Pikes Peak.
To the south, a beautiful valley and the foothills. To the north, more views of the Front Range.
This experience was one of my favorite hikes so far. Overall, it’s a hike that anyone can do, even though it’s 5.5 miles. I would suggest to pack a picnic lunch and sit up top halfway through your hike to enjoy the views.
At the end of the loop, you’ll need to take a sharp left to head back down the mountain. There is a trail sign at this point, but it points to the right for those coming up the mountain. As you continue back down the mountain, you’ll come across a point, about halfway, where you can go to the left or to the right. The left trail will lead you back to where you came up the mountain, and the right trail is an easy descent back to the parking lot.
Thanks for taking the time to read this month’s adventure! I look forward to your feedback, and always encourage you to contact me with your suggestions. My email is: Timberwolf123@yahoo.com.
'Til next time,
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