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March 9, 2014

I suppose the only thing better than a 70 degree winter day is a 70 degree summer day (in my opinion).   That way snow wouldn’t be looming around the corner!  Having said that, we enjoyed an awesome hike through the snow today at Alderfer/Three Sisters Park.

There are a variety of trails to choose from at this park!  Luckily, Kelley has hiked here several times, and she picked out a good trail for us to follow despite the trailhead being hidden by some snow.  We started out on Wild Iris Loop which lead us through the snowy meadow and the cloudless sky to Evergreen Mountain Trail West.

Evergreen Mountain Trail West undulated and zigzagged through the lodge pole pine forest until it met up with the Summit Trail, which was obviously at the top of the mountain and offered lovely views of the valley below and snow-capped mountains in the distance.

We took a short snack break on the rock ledge as we admired the scenery on this spectacular, sunny winter day before we descended the trail, this time on Evergreen Mountain Trail East. We found out that choosing the East way down through the mud, instead of the West way down on the crunchy snow dropped us out of the woods at the Highway a mile away from our car! (We had the map with us, we just chose not to consult it as we knew we wouldn’t be far off).

Not wanting to follow the road back, we crossed the street and found a selection of trails that would lead us back to the West parking lot.  We trounced across Ponderosa Trail through the Evergreens, switched back up the mountain past some rock formations, and once again descended, this time along Silver Fox and Meadow trails toward the parking lot.

Just before we reached the car, we passed the old ranch house which was purchased by the Alderfer’s in 1945.  They raised cattle and foxes, grew vegetables, boarded and bred horses, and cut hay while operating their ranch until they sold it and the surrounding 243 acres to Jefferson County Open Space in 1977.  Since then, the park has expanded, and as luck would have it, we got to play in the mountain snow.

The fun didn’t stop at the 5.2 mile hike though.  We devoured tasty burgers at the Little Bear in Evergreen.  Our waitress, from Wisconsin, was awesome, and Kristin, JB, Scott, Kelley and I had a lot of laughs before heading back to Denver.  What a fun day!  I’m so ready for summer and more hikes…ETB

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