Pikes Peak Group to offer new hiking opportunities
By Jim Lockhart
Pikes Peak Group Outings Chair
The Pikes Peak Group (PPG) in Colorado Springs is planning three new types of outings in 2013: Sierra Club Rambles, Local Favorites Hikes and Wilderness Anniversary Hikes.
Sierra Club Rambles
The rambles are scheduled on weekdays and are shorter and less strenuous than our regular outings. While rambles are designed with older folks in mind, anyone nine or older is welcome to join us. We take time to explore and learn about the natural world, including observing birds, identifying wildflowers and stopping for photos.
The first ramble, a Ute cultural trees hike led by Carol Stansfield, was held on a weekday in April. The Ute people who roamed the Pikes Peak region for thousands of years often “modified” ponderosa pine trees, bending or carving them to create directional indicators or mark ceremonial sites. Participants met at La Foret in Black Forest, where one of the staff led them on an easy hike to visit and wonder about some of these special trees.
Local Favorite Hikes
These local hikes focus on the immediate vicinity of Colorado Springs and are aimed at helping people learn more about the hiking and recreational opportunities in our own backyard. The first hike, along the Paul Intemann Trail on the west side of Colorado Springs, was led by Bob Wagstaff in February.
Participants hiked from the trailhead in Section 16, at the southern end of the trail, to a hilltop overlooking Crystal Park Road. A second hike, also led by Bob Wagstaff, visited Cheyenne Mountain State Park in March. Like the La Foret Ramble, it was held on a weekday to accommodate people interested in hiking during the week.
Bob’s next Local Favorites Hike, on Saturday, June 15, will go from Green Mountain Falls to Catamount Reservoir on the north side of Pikes Peak. It will pass through an area known locally as the Garden of Eden for its wildflowers.
Wild Anniversary Hikes
Also beginning this year, the PPG, in conjunction with Wild Connections and the Central Colorado Wilderness Coalition, is leading a series of hikes marking 2014 as the 50th anniversary of the American Wilderness System. The first of these commemorative hikes was to Lost Creek Wilderness on Saturday, June 1, and was led by John Stansfield. The hike was on a trail initially constructed by PPG members in 1974. Other hikes later this year and in 2014 will visit other wilderness areas in the region.