Two Great Western Colorado Trails for Those Who Hike After Dark
November is almost here and days are getting much, much shorter. If you enjoy hiking, but have a hard time hitting the trails before the sun goes down, you might enjoy these trails.
For the record, I am not encouraging anyone to hike late at night. Hiking, even on established trails, can be dangerous even under the best conditions. That, plus a number of other factors, can increase the danger level.
Speaking as someone who tends to get a late start, and then walks too far, I tend to find myself on these trails hours after the sun has set. While it's not intentional, it does happen.
In reality, many of these trails are ideal for hiking after dark. With the aid of a modest flashlight, you can easily make your way through the loops. Stars, city lights, peace and quiet, and a little solitude are all among the perks of a nighttime hike.
Again, I'm not talking about a stroll through the boonies at 2 a.m. Rather, I'm suggesting you not be discouraged to hike just because it's 6:00 in the evening and you have less than an hour of daylight left. Set out on your hike ASAP, and enjoy a portion of the hike under starry conditions.
You can set out from a pullout on the east side of Little Park Road and make your way to this trail. Keep in mind, there are several portions to this network. I enjoy hiking to the point where several trails converge, and then head south up Widowmaker Hill, and back to the trailhead. Please note: one dangerous element to consider is Widowmaker Hill. It can be dangerous under any conditions. I hate to admit it, but I did a face plant the last time I walked this trail in the dark. Estimated round trip = 1.5 hours.
This is an excellent trail, well maintained, and free of any hazards. The trailhead is excellent, and the path is well marked and easy to follow. Estimated round trip = 1 hour
Again, a degree of caution is warranted. There are weirdos out there. Hikers have even been known to encounter wildlife. I grew up on Little Park Road, and in my lifetime, have seen only two mountain lions in the area. In both cases, I encountered them in the daytime.
Don't let a lack of sunshine dissuade you from enjoying a great hike. It's going to be a long time before we see the sun setting at 9 p.m. Pack a flashlight, water, and a little extra caution, and enjoy a fantastic evening hike.