Hike Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area
When viewed on a map, the Beaver Creek State Wildlife Area (SWA) looks, for the most part, as though it were haphazardly drawn. It extends north and south for miles but much of it is nothing more than a line, following Beaver Creek, with the exception of a wider area at the south and the Skagway Reservoir at the north end.As the Beaver Creek SWA winds it's way up to the reservoir, it bisects the Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area (WSA), which belongs to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. A "Wilderness Study Area" is an area that the BLM manages and protects as if it were an actual wilderness area, pending it's designation as a Wilderness Area, or before being released of it's status and becoming a non-protected area. There's not much in the wilderness, which is in line with it's purpose; to be a quiet, roadless area.There are few trails in the Beaver Creek WSA, and it's remote location and lack of notoriety keep what trails are there off the radar for most hikers. These trails can be difficult to navigate and physically strenuous, but the solitude and spectacular views are your payoff — just be prepared to work hard and get wet. This hike uses the Beaver Creek Trail, Powerline Trail and Trail Gulch Trail, for a hike of about 7 miles and a bit more than 1,300-feet of elevation gain.
Hike Sharptail Ridge
Located adjacent to Roxborough State Park north-west of Castle Rock, the Sharptail Ridge Trail is a delightful hike among tall, wild grasses over gently rolling hills. Part of the Douglas County Open Space system, the trail cuts through the far southeast corner of Roxborough State Park, and intersects with other trails. This blog describes the hike going from the trailhead, at the north end of the trail to Douglas County Road 5, and back, for a round trip hike of about 8 miles. This is a kid- and family-friendly trail.Note: The trail is closed periodically in the fall by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, so I suggest you call Douglas County Open Space at 303-660-7495 before venturing out in the fall months, Also, no pets of any kind are allowed on the trail.To get there: Take I-25 north to the Founders Parkway exit in Castle Rock and turn west (left). At Santa Fe Drive (Hwy 85), turn north (right). Exit at Titan Road and turn left. After approximately 2.miles, turn left onto Roxborough Park Road and take the gravel road south for approximately 3.7 miles to the trailhead/parking lot.
Now that the Republican National Convention dumpster fire has burned out, I’m looking forward to representing Colorado Springs as a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week. The RNC in Cleveland was a crazy mixture of anger, hate, bigotry, disorganization and no new ideas.
Good speeches articulating a conservative vision that, by the way, I disagree with, but were clear statements of conservative principles, were ignored or booed.
In my geeky prep for the RNC, I listened to Tricky Dick Nixon’s acceptance speech from 1968 in Miami Beach and it sounded like he had the same speech writer as Trump: “I am the law and order candidate!”
Democrats get together next week to articulate a very different philosophy that supports individual freedom but also honors the importance of our obligations to each other and the fact that we are always stronger together.
Democrats have a had a very spirited nomination process. I’m looking forward to voting for Bernie Sanders at the DNC and supporting Hillary Clinton to beat Trump in the fall. While Bernie and Hillary disagreed on some issues, Democrats overwhelmingly see eye to eye on nearly all the important ones.
This is my third DNC in a row. The DNC is a lot more diverse, star-studded, intellectually stimulating and uplifting than the RNC. But the main reason those of us elected as delegates are going to Philly is to launch the effort to stop Trump and his hatred. I’m looking forward to helping with this effort, adding to my button collection and to blogging about what I see from the floor of the convention and the streets of Philly next week.
Hike Cheesman Canyon
Winding its way on along the Jefferson County side of the South Platte River, the Gill Trail through Cheesman Canyon is a pleasant hike with great views, good fishing and plenty of solitude. To get there from Colorado Springs: Take US 24 to Hwy 67 in Woodland Park, Turn right (north) and take Hwy 67 for 23 miles to Deckers. At Deckers, keep left onto County Road 126 and take it approximately 4 miles to the Cheesman Canyon Trailhead, on the left side of the road. The trail starts at the east end of the parking lot, near the bathroom.This hike can also be done as a two car shuttle. Turn left off of County Road 126 onto Forest Service Road 211 (it will be the road just prior to the trailhead on 126) and take it to the Upper Canyon parking lot at the reservoir. Return to County Road 126, and turn left a short distance to the Lower Canyon lot.