#60HikesDenverChallenge – Westminster: Colorado Hills Trail

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If you caught my 2017 New Year’s resolutions post, you found out that one of my resolutions is to get through all the hikes in the “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles” Denver Edition book. I thought I would get a good start on this goal and get one crossed off on the 1st day of the year! (I’ll be doing these posts all year-long. You can find a lot of info on the trails in the book, but I’ll highlight some things each time. The number is associated with how they are labeled in the book if you have it.)

After working a race New Year’s Day with 3W Races, I hit the trails by our work headquarters. It just so happens it is one of the trails in the book. Very convenient!

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Trail #30 – Westminster: Colorado Hills Trail
Completed: 1/1/17 | Mode: Run/walk
-Location: Approximately Simms & 107th Ave in Westminster (just northwest of Standley Lake)
-Distance: 4.4 miles (but there are a lot of other paths in and around this area)
-Difficulty: Easy (it’s pretty flat for the most part)
-Surface: Packed dirt with lots of loose rocks
-Exposure: No shade!

My Experience: 
Described in the book as a quiet, lonely trail with beautiful views. Depending on when you go, you might not get the same experience. I went on a Sunday, New Years Day to be exact, and there was a ton of people. However, most were congregated pretty close to the trailhead which is also an open, off-leash dog park. After leaving the congestion, you have peaceful double track trails surround by grass blowing in the wind and beautiful views. I ran in to a few more people, but there was plenty of room to run around them.

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In the distance you see the Flatirons and mountains behind them. It’s beautiful, even on a partly cloudy day winter day!

Pros:
-Beautiful views – I bet they are even more pretty in the summer!
-Easy and flat
-Lots of options to extend or decrease your mileage

Cons: 
-Lots of off-leash dogs! (Although, could be a pro if you’re like me and love dogs. I definitely paused my run to pet a few). Though, everyone was super respectful and I didn’t run into any issues.
-No facilities, not even a port-o-john. No water either.
-This area is prone for rattlesnakes. If you visit in the summer, be aware of where you’re stepping!
-Big, loose rocks. You can’t just zone out, you have to watch your step so you don’t roll your ankle.
-No shade whatsoever!
-Can be pretty crowded (with people and dogs)

Tips:
-If you’re just there to run (as opposed to bringing your dog) park in the southern lot.
-Make sure you bring water for this one! It’s very exposed and there is no fountain.

Overall:
I’d give this trail a 3/5. You can get decent, easy mirage but it’s really exposed and can be crowded. I wouldn’t travel to this trail, but would run it again when I’m at work since it’s literally across the street.

The turn around spot to the trail, Mower Reservoir

The turn around spot to the trail, Mower Reservoir


Check out the book:

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