My Mom came out in September to help celebrate Kristina’s 21st birthday. While she was here, we had agreed Mom should have a bit of the Colorado ‘Fall flavor’ so our first stop was the REI store to fit her in Merrell brand ‘trail’ shoes. With Mom properly equipped, we headed west to Mueller State Park to do a little hiking and check out the brightly colored aspen trees. Mueller State Park is located on the picturesque west flank of Pikes Peak; a high mountain park with average elevation over 9,000 feet. We headed a half mile down Outlook Ridge Trail, turning south onto the Raven Ridge Trail which ends in scenic overlook.
Although the trail is wide and well tended, Mom quickly grew to appreciate the Merrell’s grip on the loose surface and exposed rock. The trail winds through the forest among the aspens, various pine, and fir trees. The smell of the forest is always present but varies depending on whether you are passing by cedar trees, pine trees, or walking in groves of aspen. Glade air freshener may have tried to bottle the forest fragrance in aerosol form but… trust me… it’s not quite right 😉
Raven Ridge Trail descends a little more steeply for another 1/4 of mile while providing numerous glimpses of the surrounding mountain vistas. Eventually we made it to the overlook, found a few logs to sit on, and admired the view. In the surrounding mountains and valleys there were large patches of gold and orange aspens. In the distance, approximately 60 miles to the Southwest, stood the awe-inspiring snowcapped Sangre de Cristo mountains. We never tire of their breathtaking beauty!
I climbed down amongst some rocks in search of interesting formations to become part of my photo compositions. We belatedly realized we had left our snacks in the car and so decided to head back. On the return trip, the trail was mostly uphill but we maintained a steady pace and took numerous breaks to admire the scenery, before long we were back at the car. Overall it was a mile and half hike and Mom did a super job!