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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.

By: Kalli Hawkins + Save to a List

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.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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