An Unexpected Trail to Myself at Herman Gulch, CO

I am the only person within miles, I have this whole wilderness to myself and I feel so fortunate to be sitting here.

Today was a surprise. Over the past few years I've grown accustom to pulling up to a trailhead and there being 10 to 100 people already in the parking lot, wanting to hike the same trail as I do. Colorado has become quite the popular place in the recent years, and with so much opportunity for outdoor adventures, it's very rare that you get to enjoy a trail to yourself. Well today I was fortunate enough to experience that.

I woke up this morning not having a plan for the day, I made myself a pot of coffee, and I fed my dog. As he finished eating, I looked down at him and said "Do you want to go snowshoeing today?" 15 minutes later I loaded up the car and we took off towards Herman Gulch, a trailhead about an hour from my house. As I pulled off onto the exit and turned right towards the trailhead, I noticed the parking lot was completely empty. I said out loud "You've got to be kidding me, I have this whole trailhead to myself?!" Giddy as I possibly could be, Riley and I bundled up, grabbed the snowshoes and took off on the trail.

We found a perfect spot in the snow to stop for lunch, I pull out my granola bar and peanut butter and jelly sandwich as the sun shines upon me and I stare at the vast mountains, and the beautiful snow covered trees. I am the only person within miles, I have this whole wilderness to myself and I feel so fortunate to be sitting here. Everything around me is so peaceful, the occasional bird chirps, the trees creak, the snow shimmers, and all I can think is that there are so many untouched areas of snow, giving me an uncanny urge to want to run through them all. As I begin to lose feeling in my butt from sitting in the snow, I am extremely happy that I got up out of bed this morning and spontaneously decided to go on an adventure.

Published: January 2, 2017

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Kalli Hawkins


Passion for the outdoors | Always exploring with my four legged friend

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