Guides and Trips

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Indian Caves, Pawnee National Grassland
by jimlarkey on Jan 18, 2015
Raymer, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 5.0 miles
The Indian Caves are part of the Pawnee National Grassland, a high plains managed by the USFS.  They are located in the easterly unit, on a 150' escarpment, a cliff which separates the upper plateau with a flat cap rock, from the low plains (Colorado Piedmont) which has eroded away over time.I had just finished reading "The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend", so...
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Castle Rock (6,139'), South Table Mountain
by jimlarkey on Dec 07, 2014
Golden, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 4.5 miles
Castle Rock...there are at least 20 Castle Rocks in Colorado.  So what is different about this one?In 1906, an entrepreneur built a cafe on the top,overlooking Golden below.  Guest either hiked up the north slope, or rode a burro to the summit.  A year later the cafe burned down.Another entrepreneur in 1908 built a new cafe, and serviced the facilities with a burro train and road.  A Stanley Steamer was the first...
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Lake Hartenstein (11,451'), Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
by jimlarkey on Nov 09, 2014
Buena Vista, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 6.3 miles
Four years ago when I climbed Mt Yale, I noticed a sign at the junction of Denny Creek and Delaney Creek that indicated Hartenstein Lake to the left.  Our goal was to the right...a Fourteener on our mind.  But I always wanted to return to explore the lake.The trail to Hartenstein Lake is well-maintained, as makes for a good Sunday walk.  It appears to be well used by equestrians.Hartenstein Lake lies just...
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North Loop, BV Trails
by jimlarkey on Nov 08, 2014
Buena Vista, Colorado, United Staes
Walking | 2.1 miles
The North Loop is an easy walking trail, part of the Barbara Whipple Trail, in the Buena Vista Open Space Trail system.It was a great day to view the Collegiates, and to take comfort that I have been on the summits of all the Fourteeners I could see.  And, I could share those experiences with my grandson, who was my hiking companion today.The Barbara Whipple Trail is on the east side of,...
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Half Mountain (11,482'), RMNP
by jimlarkey on Nov 06, 2014
Estes Park, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 5.8 miles
Half Mountain is one of those peaks that tantalizes you from the trails down below, it for another day.  Well, the north slope is pretty much a walk-up, classified as a Class-2 climb.  The west face is a bit more daunting it for another day!We had great weather, and could spend plenty of tome on the summit.  Great views of Rocky, and definitely worth the effort, since you're unlikely to...
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Ranked Peak 7509 + Extra Credit "Cubbie" Mtn
by jimlarkey on Nov 01, 2014
Lyons, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 3.4 miles
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Ranked Peak 7012 (7,012')
by jimlarkey on Nov 01, 2014
Lyons, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 1.0 miles
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Arthurs Rock (6,780'), Lory State Park
by jimlarkey on Oct 23, 2014
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
Walking | 3.4 miles
A popular, and well used trail by Fort Collins locals, Arthurs Rock is well worth the +1,200' vertical.  At the summit, you'll be treated to a view of where it all begins...the Larimer foothills, transition between the plains and the mountains.
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Big Bend
by jimlarkey on Oct 04, 2014
Kinikinik, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 6.3 miles
"Bump" is the creative name Joe Grim gave to this +1,400' vertical, whose "thunder" was stolen by the neighboring 9980 ranked peak. The Big Bend, is the major change in course of the Cache la Poudre river, above which the "Bump" rises. The summit of the "Bump" also has the distinction of most northerly corner of the Comanche Peak Wilderness boundary. And it offers the hiker some great views of the...
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Longdraw Ranked Peaks, Pts 10820, 10980, 10736, & 10472
by jimlarkey on Sep 24, 2014
Bellvue, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 8.4 miles
These minor 10er ranked peaks were 100% off-trail, with modest dead-fall in the lower elevations. As minor as these peaks may be, they were visited by some very significant mountaineers. The baby-food jar summit registers logged visits by Ken Nolan 09/10/11, Teresa Gergen 07/17/10, John Kirk 09/18/11, Carolyn Randall 08/14/07, Steve Martin 08/14/07, and many other noteworthy Northern Colorado climbers.We got some great early Fall views of Corral Park, with...
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Red Mountain Summit (7,110') of Larimer Open Space
by jimlarkey on Sep 01, 2014
Wellington, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 5.5 miles
The Cheyenne Ridge trail and Bent Rock trail was/is closed due to flood damage, so we were forced onto the Salt Lick wash trail which goes around the north base of Red Mountain.  I've always wanted to explore the summit of this interesting peak, situated in the middle of "The Big Hole".From our approach, it's only a 400' vertical stroll to the top, on a soft, gentle, grassy slope. “Red Mountain” is a local name for this interesting massif....
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Middle Mtn (9,344'), Ranked Peak, Laramie River Valley
by jimlarkey on Aug 10, 2014
Bellevue, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 6.8 miles
Middle Mountain is another Soft, gentle, easy “mountain” in the Laramie River Valley, that is actually a 4-mile-long ridge, rising 1,000' above the valley floor. But it has the distinction of being a ranked-peak....+300' of prominence. It is kind of like an island, situated between the Laramie River and Nunn Creek. No doubt, Nunn Creek is/was part of the flood plain of the Laramie. We started at Rawah TH, which has plenty of parking, and even a...
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Red Mountain (9,103') , Ranked Peak, Laramie River Valley
by jimlarkey on Aug 09, 2014
Crazy Mountain, Colorado, United States
Offroading | 0.0 miles
Yes, I'm going to claim I've been to the summit of Red Mountain, even though I didn't climb it....but I felt like I did. I was chauffeured to the summit in my partner's X-Terra, and it was some trip. If you plan to drive to the summit: high-clearance vehicle a must, and make sure you select a dry time of the year. Red Mountain is a dominant feature in the Laramie River Valley, so you'll experience some...
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Middle Bull Mtn (8,260'), Soft Ranked Peak, Laramie River Valley
by jimlarkey on Aug 09, 2014
Glendevey, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 2.1 miles
Finding the true summit of Middle Bull Mountain was an interesting bushwhack.  There are 3 closed contours, one of which likely is the highest, and the other 2 are false.  The first contour (SW'ly) involved bushwhacking through aspen saplings, which were a challenge for our packs.  Could not see the other 2 candidate summits so the hand-level was useless.The second (middle) contour offered was near a point named on the topo...
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"WIRO" Wyoming InfraRed Observatory, Jelm Mountain (9,656')
by jimlarkey on Aug 08, 2014
Jelm, Wyoming, United States
Hiking | 0.2 miles
Our base-camp for tagging the following nearby Laramie River Valley summits, was located at 8,950', just 700' below the University of Wyoming summit observatory on Jelm Mountain: N Middle MtnMiddle Bull MtnRed MtnMiddle MtnWIRO, acronym for Wyoming InfraRed Observatory is a student run facility.  You can view details about the observatory at U of W's website, here.  You'll note that you can download a 1/2 hour narrated video by Robert Gehrz that...
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North Middle Mtn (8,864'), Ranked Peak, Laramie River Valley
by jimlarkey on Aug 09, 2014
Glendevey, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 9.4 miles
North Middle Mountain is a actually a 6-mile-long ridge on the west side of the Laramie River, with the highest point on the south end.  It's and easy, soft, gentle summit that can be accessed from County Road 80c. The approach from CR 80c is only a little over a ½ mile to the summit, a mere 20 minutes of steady climbing. An old, faint USFS trail will take you to the top. We sought to explore the...
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Mt Galbraith (7,169') Abort, Jeffco Open Space Park
by jimlarkey on Jul 15, 2014
Golden, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 2.0 miles
Got bummed out by the weather: Colorado monsoonal pattern began a few days ago, and thunderstorm was approaching.  Hope to get back to this hike in cooler, more stable weather.Mt Galbraith Park was Jefferson County's (Jeffco) first hiker-only park.....and our favorite 4-legged friends are permitted, on leash.As short as the hike was, one of our group spotted Ms Moose just below a neighboring ridge line.The mining history of the area is interesting,...
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Steep Mountain (9,538') Celebration, 1,000th Summit, RMNP
by jimlarkey on Jul 06, 2014
Estes Park, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 3.5 miles
"Mountain Jim" chose Steep Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park to celebrate his 1,000th lifetime summit, and celebrate his 75th circuit around the Sun."Howard" was unable to join us on the climb, but he did leave a note for Jim on the Summit, from a previous day's climb.  We feasted on sandwiches, G&T, chips, brownies, special gorp, and amazingly a "BD cake"......Hostess Cupcakes, complete with a BD candle.  It would have been...
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"Golgotha" (11,176'), Sky Ranch
by jimlarkey on Jun 21, 2014
Bellvue, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 7.7 miles
"Golgotha" ???What's in a summit's name?You won't find "Golgotha" on any government or commercial maps.  It's a local name that the nearby Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp chose for this rocky outcrop on Comanche Peak's (12,702') east shoulder.The outcrop is prominently visible from Sky Ranch, and was the site of 3 crosses built by the campers, commemorating the biblical Calvary.  The US Forest Service removed the crosses from the public land.The Beaver Creek/Fish...
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Fort Collins First Water Works
by jimlarkey on Jun 14, 2014
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
Walking | 0.1 miles
Once a year, the First Water Works of Fort Collins is open to the public, hosted by the "Friends of the Water Works", a Poudre Landmark Foundation auxiliary.  Also the Poudre Fire Authority was present and offered a demo of their equipment.The Water Works was built to improve the water supply for fire fighting, a problem which plagued the young city's wooden buildings.An interesting "factoid":  the Water Works pumps were driven by...

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