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March 12, 2014

Today I joined a group that was hiking Meyer Ranch, a 575 acre park which is part of Jefferson County Open Space. The land was homesteaded by Duncan McIntyre in 1870. He later sold the property in 1883 to Louis Ramboz who built a house in 1889 and operated the ranch for hay, timber, and cattle until 1912.

Throughout its years, the ranch has served as the winter quarters for the PT Barnum Circus animals as well as a ski hill. Jefferson County Open Space acquired the land from its most recent owners, Norman and Ethel Meyer, in 1986.

We got to enjoy just about every trail in the park today. We strapped on our MicroSpikes and blazed the trail through the newly fallen snow. It is the first time this season I have gotten to hike the day after a nice snow, which made for beautiful scenery.

IMG_3302 tree

The trail, Owl Perch, softly coated in fluffy powder led us through the open meadow past a grove of bare aspens and into a lodge pole pine forest. The evergreens, coated with the fresh flakes, reflected the light from the morning sun as we switched back and forth beneath the clear blue sky.

As we climbed Sunny Aspen Trail to Old Ski Run Trail, we eventually found a small overlook where we enjoyed the view of the snow-capped mountains across the valley. We also took a few off trail excursions around rock formations before trouncing down Lodgepole Loop and back to Owl’s Perch Trail. Overall, we gained nearly 1,500 feet along our five mile hike, much of which included breaking the trail. It was kind of fun to be the first to leave footprints in the snow on this glorious fifty degree day!

After lunch at Three Margaritas, I took a small detour to Tiny Town, which is just and area with a variety of tiny buildings…a perfect size for little kids. I snapped a photo as I drove by and headed back to Denver. Happy hiking…ETB

IMG_3304 tiny town

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