A Walk in the Woods: The Bluffs
By Bill Bruner
Often in my life trying to find time to get away and enjoy the outdoors is a challenge, since I’ve moved to Colorado that challenge has grown because I long to be out in the beauty we have around us every day. I have enjoyed exploring this state, and look forward to continuing to find the best places to go and be a part of nature. I thank all of you for your comments and suggestions, and hope over the coming years I can see all the places that you each hold so dear.
Even though the mountains are close for many of us, when I don’t have the time to run away to even the foothills, I’ve found a place that warms my heart and allows me to see the front range in all its glory! This place is called Bluffs Regional Park, it’s located off of I-25 south of Denver. The easiest way to get there is to get off at Lincoln Avenue go west to Yosemite turn left (South) there’s a sign approximately ¼ of a mile on your right side to turn and go to the end of the road. The park is free and accessible with dogs or by bike if you prefer.
The hike itself allows you to see panoramic views of Denver, the Denver Tech Center, and much of the front range. There’s plenty of parking most days, and the path is fairly easy. The total hike is approximately 2 ¾ miles with an elevation gain of only 250ft or so. The trail is well marked, and there are two separate side trails you can take to overlooks that are amazing.
When leaving the parking lot, the trail splits to the right and left (this is a loop trail), I have always gone to the right by doing this you avoid the greatest elevation gain till about halfway through the hike. If you choose to go to the left the elevation gain is immediate.
The trail is very winding, and moves through an urban area that is surrounded by many houses. The rolling hills that make up The Bluffs hide and reveal these houses at various points throughout the hike. After walking for 1/3 of a mile or so, you get your first look at the City of Denver off to your right. As you continue on the path the front range opens up in front of you, and all the glory of mountains can be seen.
The path continues to meander through these rolling hills as you reach the halfway point you make a turn back towards the parking lot; this is when the hike can become a bit difficult, as within approximately ¼ of a mile you walk up the highest of the Bluff’s hills. Once you reach the top there is a path to your left that leads to one of the two lookouts; I encourage you to check out both of these view points as you can see for miles in all directions. If you choose to continue to the right in a few hundred feet, there is a trail that goes to the left to the second lookout. I enjoy this spot the best as you can see the trail below.
After leaving the last lookout, you work your way back to the parking lot. The total hike should take you between 1 – 1.5 hours, and is lovely in any kind of weather. In the summer months you’ll want to pay more attention to the bikers, but, overall, for an urban hike, this one can’t be beat.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and may 2012 bring you more joy and happiness. I look forward, as always, to hearing from you, and hearing about other places I should explore. You can reach me at Timberwolf123@yahoo.com.
Till next time,