Fort Morgan Power Plant

Fort Morgan Power Plant

The power plant, a concrete post-and-beam industrial structure clad in red brick, was constructed in 1923 under the supervision of its designer, George Cox, Fort Morgan city superintendent. The building housed the highest pressure steam plant in the state at the time of its construction. The construction of the plant reflects the maturity of the city, as it provided critical infrastructure for the growing community. Source: History Colorado

Castlewood Canyon State Park Hike

Castlewood Canyon State Park Hike

We hiked around Castlewood Canyon State Park this year on my birthday. This is one of my favorite State parks in Colorado. There are nice mountain views, canyons, and a creek. This park has been called the best for accessibility in Colorado, since there is pretty extensive paved trail which goes through a good bit of the park.

Castlewood Canyon Dam

The park has two separate entrances, on this day we arrived at the East entrance, and hiked from the farthest parking lot. We started on the Lake Gulch trail, which is a nice mostly declining walk that takes you from the top of the park down to the creek that goes through the entirety of the park. There are some cool views along the way of the Rocky Mountains. At the end of the trail you reach the creek, which as far as I can tell is only passible in the Winter time. I haven’t hiked this area any time other than winter because of my fear of rattlesnakes, which this place has a ton of.

The Lake Gulch trail eventually leads to the creek, which was one of the icier parts of the trip. Tommy and I both fell, and went sliding just short of the water. After crossing, there is an overlook on the other side of the creek, which has a nice view to watch others do the same fall you just did. It seems like every 4/5 people lost their footing in that area. Stacey and Lucy somehow managed to navigate the icy areas without falling all day.

Overlooking the creek

Across the creek, the trail forks and you can choose to go visit the dam, or take the Inner Canyon trail. We opted for the dam trail, to go see the old Castlewood Canyon Dam. I wrote up some history behind the dam here. After the dam trail, we headed back towards the Inner Canyon trail. This trail goes up and down the canyon following the creek. There are a few nice cave-like rocks to explore along the way. This trail also conveniently brings you back to where we had parked. Overall it was great hike, icy at times, muddy at other times, but a very enjoyable way to start the year.

Tommy standing in front of a small cave

The trail info for what we hiked, from the Castlewood Canyon State Park website:

Inner Canyon and Lake Gulch Trail

  • Overall:1.16 miles, moderate
  • Lake Gulch trail: 0.80 miles, moderate
  • Inner Canyon/Lake Gulch Loop
  • Permitted uses: Foot only
  • Miles paved:  0
  • Miles non-paved: 1.96
  • Total distance: 1.96
  • Usage: High
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Elevation: 6400
  • ADA accessible: No
  • Comments: Takes visitors into the canyon by the creek and back out for nice views
  • Pets: Yes-on a leash

​​The Dam Trail

  • Overall: 0.35 mile, moderate
  • Permitted uses: Foot only
  • Miles paved: 0
  • Miles non-paved: 0.35
  • Total distance: 0.35
  • Usage: Medium
  • Degree of difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 6400
  • ADA accessible: No
  • Comments: Takes visitors around the Castlewood Dam ruins.
  • Pets: Yes-on a leash

Roxborough State Park

Roxborough State Park

As part of my time away from work, I’ve been able to do some exploring around the local state parks… here are a few pictures from Roxborough State Park. I’m starting to have a large collection of these, so I might create a new gallery.

These photos are from the Fountain Valley Trail — its a pretty easy trail, worth checking out if you’re in the area.

Here is some information on the Fountain Valley Trail from the Roxborough State Park website:

Fountain Valley Trail

The Fountain Valley Trail begins at the main trail head next to the Visitor Center. It is considered easy to moderate for hiking difficulty and consists of approximately 2.5 mile loop that winds through the Fountain and Lyons rock formations with a moderate change in elevation.  ADA accessibility is minimal, though most wheelchairs can maneuver the Fountain Valley Trail with little or no difficulty during good weather conditions. The average hiking time is 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

The Trail includes 2 overlooks (Fountain Valley Overlook and Lyons Overlook), and a Historic Site (The Persse Place).

  • Fountain Valley Overlook
    • The Fountain Valley Overlook is only 100 yards from the Visitor Center and provides spectacular views of several beautiful rock formations, including the Fountain Formation, Lyons Formation, and the Dakota Hogback. The Fountain Valley Overlook features a viewing platform approximately 10’x8′,and includes 2 benches. 
  • Lyons Overlook
    • ​The Lyons Overlook in approximately 1 mile from the trail head and sits on top of the Lyons Formation, providing a view of the Fountain Formation. Both Overlooks can be reserved for special events and are often reserved on weekends throughout the summer.

Chatfield Dam

Chatfield Dam

Tommy and I took a hike along the Chatfield Dam Trail at Chatfield State Park. Here is some trail info from the Chatfield State Park website:

  • Permitted uses: Foot and bike
  • Miles paved:  2.4
  • Miles non-paved: .3 
  • Total distance: 2.7
  • Usage: Low
  • Degree of difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation: 5,500
  • ADA accessible: Yes – Asphalt
  • Comments:  Access trailhead at Dam Overlook parking lot. Connecting trail links include the Highline Canal Trail, Columbine Trail, and Centennial Trail.
  • Pets: Yes, on leash

The trail overlooks the Chatfield Reservoir which is located just south of the town of Littleton, CO. The reservoir was built in 1967 as a way to provide water to the Denver area, and prevent large floods. The intake structure is one of the highlights of the trail, as it is massive, and seems to be high security. The Dam and surrounding area is a great place to get pictures of the Southwest metro area and concertina wire.

Mt Garfield

Mt Garfield

Mt. Garfield is the high point of the Book Cliffs, north of Grand Junction, and overlooking the town of Palisade. Two classic hiking trails ascend the mountain. The mountain was named after President James Garfield a year after Garfield’s death.