This past weekend I was lucky enough to go on a hike in the Rocky Mountains with my family. We started the day fairly early (while it was still cool out) and headed up Highway 7 to our favorite spot just outside of Estes Park. We parked at Wild Basin and started our adventure on the Ouzel Falls trailhead. This hike is relatively easy, traveling about 4 miles total, with the exception of one steep climb up the mountain. I recommend this hike to anyone traveling to Colorado for the first time or looking for a fun activity to do with friends or family. You don't need to worry about bringing lots of hiking gear and starting at the crack of dawn, much like any 14ner hike.
As we hiked, we stopped at various points along the trail to observe the beauty of my home state. As I marveled at the rushing river and golden Aspen trees, I realized how blessed I am to call Colorado home and to call myself a native. Even though I live in Boulder, I am able to drive 30-40 minutes to the Rockies and breathe in the fresh mountain air any time.
As mentioned, we saw the Aspen trees turning gold on the trail. This is one thing I was looking forward to because it is a sight unlike any other. The golden Aspens represent everything about fall in my mind. The beautiful yellow and gold colors, and since there are a ton in the mountains, I associate the cool, crisp air you feel with the trees as well. Again, I love everything about nature in Colorado. Those of us who live here should not take it for granted.
We wrapped up the day by stopping in Lyons, which is a small town down Highway 7 as you leave the mountains. It’s actually about 15-20 minutes away from the town I grew up in. We stopped for lunch at Oskar Blues, which is a must if you visit the area. All the beer is brewed locally and they have some of the best grub ever. I was super hungry from the hike, so I got a delicious burger and fries.