1/1/2011 – Cripple Creek – 703

Date of Hike: 1/1/2011
Location of Hike: Cripple Creek Trail
Trail Number: 703
Weather during Hike: Overcast and cold - Sun made a few breaks in the clouds
Hiking Buddies: Kirk and Don
Start Time: 9:30 AM
End Time: 2:15 PM
Hike Distance: 5.75 miles
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
The plan for this hike was to start the new year out right and do a new hike. Although I’ve hiked the upper section of the Cripple Creek trail, I had never hiked up this “alternate” starting point for the trail. It started down at highway 224, went up to an old camping area, across an old (broken) bridge across Cripple Creek,

then down and old Railroad grade and eventually up to the “official” trailhead for this trail.

The new route was VERY easy to find, and was interesting to see more history of the area, even though you couldn’t see any of the historical artifacts (other than the railroad grade).

Once on the regular trail, I was surprised at how much snow was down low, but even more surprised at how little snow was up higher. We ended up getting up the trail to almost 3000′ before we decided to turn back, with the snow being about a foot deep. It was fluffy, light snow so even in the places on the trail it was 3-6″ thick, it wasn’t too hard to walk in. Where it got to be a foot deep, the upper layer was the fluffy stuff, and the stuff lower was crunchy, which made you post hole.

The weather wasn’t as clear as I had thought it would be, but it was still nice. Rather cool, being probably below freezing when we started, and warming up a bit to a little above freezing by the time we left. The hike was a constant struggle to keep warm, and then not get too warm. Some nice viewpoints along the way, along with good company, good weather and beautiful snow in the forest made for a great day in the woods and a great way to start 2011.

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