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Korey TaylorExplorer

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

Wow! This trail leads you through the Cibola National Forest to the Tree Spring Lookout and it’s worth the trip. When you’re heading up the trail, you’ll reach the crest and intersect the Sandia Crest and 10k trails. Keep heading straight to the lookout point. From there you have incredible views of the crest and Albuquerque.

Loved the history of this Park. Visited in the winter time and it was definitely the best time to visit. We went on a Saturday and there were very few people and no worries of rattlesnakes.

Excellent trail for views of the arroyos and the mountains bordering Santa Fe in the distance. Very little elevation gain, so easy for the whole family. There are a few trails that divert to make it a longer hike, just follow the signs. Beware, there are coyote dens in the area, but they typically leave humans alone. Keep doggos on a leash.

This little hike has some minor elevation gain in the beginning through the Cibola forest, then flattens out on the backside of the loop for some nice views of the surrounding towns. Went on a Tuesday and didn’t see any other hikers. Giving it 4/5 because the beginning and end is walking along the road instead of a trail. There were cars passing us and little shoulder room. Otherwise, this is a year round trail and great option in the fall to see the leaves change colors.

If you can only do one hike while in Fort Collins I would do this one. The proximity to the town and the view from the top make this an awesome hike. You gain elevation quickly over a short distance but it is definitely worth the effort.

This is an absolutely beautiful winter hike that I recommend doing if you’re in the park. I actually managed this hike with only snow boots in early March, but for earlier in the winter season you’re definitely going to need those snow shoes.

Guanella Pass truly offers a spectacular sunrise. I would recommend camping in the dispersed camping along the road and set your alarm early to drive to the top of the pass before sunrise. Another excellent way to watch the sunrise is to start hiking Bierstadt with a headlamp before the sun comes up.

These are some of my favorite dispersed camping spots in Colorado. They offer great views of the milky way and the best way to get an early start on summitting nearby fourteeners. These are primitive sites, so no facilities and everything must be packed in and packed out. They can become full on weekends so I always recommend to get there early to ensure you have a camp spot for the night!

I loved hiking Mt Evans because of the high altitude trailhead and short distance to the summit. It’s a beautiful mountain and if you have time it’s worth making the hike up! I will reiterate what the previous review said and be aware of weather rolling in. I hiked this in July and a storm rolled in that produced snow on the summit. However, this lead us to hitching a ride from a couple who drove to the summit and that was a hell of a quicker way to get down!

St. Mary’s Glacier is a beautiful spot but because of it’s relatively short distance from Denver and short trail length it can become overcrowded quickly. I would not attempt this spot on weekends unless you plan on arriving early in the morning to get a parking spot and experience a sparser crowd. However, it’s a Colorado classic and worth the visit. If you make it up to the lake, I recommend taking the trail to the right of the lake that heads up to the side of the mountain. This offers a spectacular view of the valley below.

This is a great hike to see the huge rock formation known as "The Shield". The first half of the hike can be strenuous because you're just gaining elevation, but the views are absolutely worth it. I would definitely recommend this hike if you're a first time hiker in the Sandias.

The Embudito Canyon is an excellent place to watch the sunset over Albuquerque. However, there are so many trails crossing over each other near the trailhead that without a topo map I would have been very confused. I would definitely recommend having an exact idea of where you want to go before starting this hike.

I hiked only to the Picacho Peak (~3.5 miles RT) the first week in February. Lower parts of the trail required spikes and I saw a few other hikers with poles to help. Otherwise, this was a fantastic winter hike close to Santa Fe. I was actually surprised at how few people I saw on a trail so close to town, but that's one of the many things I love about New Mexico.

My group decided to do the driving option and it indeed took about 6-7 hours with traffic from Nairobi. However it was completely worth it! We saw some incredible animals, many “circle of life” occasions, so be prepared for that. Also the Rhino is included in the Big 5 but since it’s endangered and considered a shy animal by the locals, I wouldn’t set expectations to see one. Regardless you will see plenty of other animals to satiate your needs!

It was a wonderful experience to feed the giraffes at this center. If you want you can even put a piece of food in your mouth and get a “giraffe kiss”. Beware of Daisy though, she doesn’t like kids!

Make sure you plan to get there at least an hour early if you want a spot in front! You get to interact with the elephants and it’s an amazing experience.

A challenging hike especially since I opted to go back down the incline which was hard on the knees! Be prepared for a challenge and bring lots of water!

This would be a perfect trail to watch the sunrise (which is on my list). Incredible view of downtown on a clear day and was blown away by how far I could see.

I did this hike recently on a summer morning to avoid the heat of the day. It's a perfect way to start the day and finish by tubing down Clear Creek. The only downside for me was the presence of rattle snakes and having my dogs with me. I was unaware of these dangers until I showed up and saw the sign. After asking around, they are very prevalent in the hot summer months so it might be best to leave the pup at home.

Explorer

04/20/17

Hiked to the falls in late April and most of the waterfall was still frozen over, but still so beautiful. The road out there was REALLY rough on my 2WD car, but it made it without falling apart. Win! If you're already in the area for the Great Sand Dunes I highly recommend checking the falls out as a part of your trip!

I loved this hike! The views were amazing in all directions and the weather was so nice at the top that we were able to hang out there for a while. I would get there as early as you can to beat the crowds, even on a weekday the overflow cars went up the road about a quarter of a mile!

I was shocked when I drove up to this spot, it was so picturesque. Once you reach the day-use parking lot there is a road that continues along through the woods. There are tons of secluded spots within the trees, but I kept driving further down the road. You'll eventually come to an opening and there are fire rings set up in a beautiful meadow with a view of the nearby mountain tops. I went during the week and had no problem getting one of the 4 spots in the meadow.

Completed this hike on a Thursday in May and it was the perfect weather for an afternoon hike. Dogs are allowed off leash if they are under voice command which I love! There were still a lot of people on the trail even for a week day, but that didn't take away from the experience. We had some great conversation and made some new friends as we spent an hour just hanging out around the arch. Afterwards we grabbed a couple beers at the Santias brewery- which has an awesome dog-friendly patio and a great selection of beers!

Definitely worth visiting at sunset. I agree with all of the other reviews about visiting on weekday if at all possible. I was there on a Monday and was virtually the only person for miles around.