Before I jump into my blog, I want to say thank you to all the fire fighters nationwide who face enormous danger to save property, people and pets. This year has been riddled with horrific fires in states like Arizona, Colorado, California and Oregon. It breaks my Shiba heart to know beautiful places have burned up and will never be the same. To all humans, please remember to be careful when in nature so that everyone can enjoy it for years to come.
Although it is October, our temperatures here in Phoenix are still quite warm. I’m waiting for the time when we can do our local hikes again, but for now, I thought I’d share about my adventure of hiking up Grey Rock from my Colorado days. Grey Rock is located up the Poudre Canyon, and unfortunately, the Cameron fire is blazing up there right now. Right now, the trail head is closed to give firefighters access. We hope and pray the trail remains intact. So much forest has already been lost.
From Fort Collins (Norther Colorado), you get on highway 287 north and follow that past LaPorte and connect with the 14 West. That will take you to the trail head. Grey Rock has two trail options. The first is called the Grey Rock Recreational Trail and is a three-mile loop, and the second is the Grey Rock trail, coming in at 7.2 miles roundtrip. Both are graded difficult due to steepness. Don’t let the shorter one fool you as it has the same incline just less miles to do it in! We did the shorter loop as the longer loop wasn’t available then – it’s a fairly new trail.
From the parking area of Grey Rock Mountain Trail at Colorado Highway 14, cross the Cache la Poudre River through a pedestrian bridge. Follow the trail heading west until the junction of Grey Rock Mountain National Recreation Trail and Grey Rock Meadows Trail a few hundred yards away from the trailhead.
Dogs are allowed on leash, parking is free, and the trail can get busy. About 39 vehicles can park, so you want to get an early start.
Going in the winter months reduces the crowds and prevents overheating. Humans may want to put those sharp things on their shoes that dad calls Yak Trak’s just in case. If your dog has sensitive paws, be sure they have booties on. As I have mentioned before, I hate booties! If you want to see wildflowers, then plan a trip in the spring. Either way, it will be breathtaking.
FYI, signs warn of Giardia in the water and poison ivy along the trails. If your dog does not have the leptospirosis vaccine, don’t allow him/her to drink out of the river. Humans should always filter their water to remove impurities.
The trail climbs up 2,039 feet in elevation up to the top of Grey Mountain going through lush forest and cool mountain streams. If you aren’t used to the altitude take it slow and drink plenty of water. It’s a steady incline and has a tough spot at the top. We stopped on the way down to enjoy lunch and some hot tea for mom. The snow wasn’t too deep but sure was pretty. I love playing in the snow. Woof!
We took it slow and made our way back down. Depending upon the time of year and weather, the river might be high. Hiking poles always help humans with crossings. As for me, I am thrilled any time I can jump into fresh water!
We drove back down the Poudre Canyon back to Loveland where we were living at the time. I’m glad we got to see it before the Cameron fire. Once they get it under control and reopen the forest, it will be a charred mess. Praying for rain!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!