Took a trip out to Pine Grove, Colorado and hiked the Pine Valley Ranch Park. This was truly a tale of two hikes. When I got there it was cold, overcast and a little misty. (more on this in “Last Words” a little later.) There was a sign at the entrance saying that mountain lions had been active in the area which ups the ante a little bit. Also there were only 2 other people there and they fishing at Pine Lake which is right off the parking lot so it was pretty much me vs. a lion in a battle of wits…uh oh. Then the hike itself was a little foreboding. The entire area had a wildfire in the past and large chunk of the hike was looking at burn scar, trees gone or burnt. I even saw another one of those demonic black squirrels. Then all of a sudden I saw the Bluest bird that I have ever seen. It kinda came out of nowhere and landing on a tree stump in front of me.
After I saw that bird, the clouds burnt off and the sun came out and it got nice out. The back half of the hike hadn’t had as bad of fire damage and looked much more alive, or it was just that the sun came out. I even got a chance to see these deer, a mom and 2 kids it seemed, as I was getting close to the finishing.
As far as the hike goes, it was very much like a nature walk. There is some elevation gain but not too bad. The toughest part was that the trail itself is very sandy gravel. It got a bit slippery at times. You will also likely leave the Pine Valley Ranch park and enter into Pike National Forrest. For reference, the route I took was Buck Gulch- Strawberry Jack – Park View – Skipper Trail – Buck Gulch and it was just over 8 miles. Overall there isn’t too much difficulty to the hike other than the elevation gain and the always fun dodging of bikes. Here are some pictures.
And finally in this episode of Last Words, a lesson for the kids and a reminder that mom’s are smarter than technology and are always right…eventually.
After the hike I had a great lunch at Crossroads Pub and Grill. If you are in the area give them a shot.
If you have a suggestion for a hike that you would like me to try, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow me on the below social media platforms. I have also added this hike and all the hikes to the interactive map that you can find here.