Monday, July 26, 2010

Chief Mountain

Saturday was once again hike day with the kids. A co-worker had recommended Chief Mountain near Evergreen, so off we went. As advertised, the trailhead was ridiculously hard to find. No apparent marker visible from Squaw Pass Road.

I was disappointed when I was first clicking through my pics and saw this one of Rock Saxifrage was out of focus. But Danelle saw it and said, "Oh, cool." Like I'd done it on purpose to be artistic. So here it is.

Tansy aster.

The summit was just a 1.5-mile hike, and had a lot of rocks to climb when you got there. That's Elk Meadow Park down below, with Zak and Taryn on the rocks in the middle of the picture.

And climb they did...

The view to the north from the summit.

Zak explained that his favorite hikes are ones with rocks to climb at the end.

I thought this was some sort of fritillary, but it doesn't look like any of the pics I can find. Paging Mike Fisher...

Mike comes through yet again: "That's the Hoary Anglewing - Polygonia gracilis - the Rocky Mt. subspecies is zephyrus, also known as the Zephry Anglewing. This is the summer form with browner underside that looks more like tree bark and is a common character of these butterflies. The underside of the fall generation is distinctly grayish, almost silver in appearance. This is one of 4 species that are resident in Colorado. All are similarly
marked. A fifth one - the Questionmark - P. interogationis also occurs in Colorado. It is the largest of the Polygonia or Anglewings and more common in the eastern and southern U.S."

Back down we went once practically every rock had been climbed.

This sign is near the beginning of the trail, and I'm not sure what the "2" is for. Kilometers? Since when did distances in this country start being given in the metric system?

It took us about 2:15 to get up and down. The trail never really seemed to get that steep; I'd definitely recommend this for folks with visitors in town due to the short drive from Denver and spectacular views. Just keep a sharp eye out for the pullout on the north side of the road. If you reach mile marker 18 coming from Evergreen, you've gone too far.

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