My little hike with Sophie didn't start out the way I planned. I slept late and had to run errands in the morning, so we didn't get up to the mountains until early afternoon. Even though I knew there was weather coming in.
Really, you ignore weather warnings at your peril here. At Echo Lake we got out of the car to the rumbling of thunder. Ten minutes later there was lightning and thunder right overhead. Then a torrent of hail. (If you click on the photo above, you can see it coming down more clearly.) We beat a hasty retreat.
Farther down the road it was wet and windy, but I figured if we got into the trees we'd be all right. I left a Burger King bag on my car seat to prove I wasn't a hippie and set off on the Devil's Gulch Trail. Mine was the only car parked there; it's not a well-advertised spot.
The trail is really a road, albeit a very steep and rocky one. I wouldn't dare try taking the Subaru up it. I only saw one guy in a pickup, hauling an ATV, and later two girls heading up as I came back down.
This is what I came to see:
Sophie has a taste for beauty, too. But just a little taste.
I set my camera on a rock to take this.
Though the road is initially quite steep and rocky, once you get near the top of the ridge it levels out and is easy walking.
That's Mount Evans in the distance.
Had I started earlier, I could have gone much farther, but I didn't want to drive back in the dark, and Sophie doesn't have quite the stamina she used to. But all in all it turned out to be a nice day.
To get to Devil's Gulch, take I-70 to Idaho Springs, and then the Mount Evans Road (Colorado 130). There's a hairpin-ish turn at Ponder Point, and Devil's Gulch is about a quarter-mile above that on the left. There's just a wide shoulder for parking.