Trails Traveled: Independence Mountain Trail at Pence Park
Difficulty: Blue (Moderate)
Distance: 2.2 miles / Elevation Gain: 750 feet
Time: 1 hour
- Changing Colors
- After Work
Tonight after work I took a spontaneous hike at Pence Park up the Independence Mountain Trail. It’s a short, steep hike, but the overall length is why I figure it is rated as a moderate hike. Going around 6:00pm, there were only a couple other people out on the trail. I saw a solo hiker coming back to her car as I was ascending the trail and a guy with his dog doing the loop near the parking lot, but besides that I had the park to myself.
The weather is changing here in Denver, and if you don’t take advantage of the Fall now, then it might pass you by. Tonight the temperature was about 60 °F and in some parts of the state there is a freeze warning overnight as some higher elevations expect to get the first snow of the season. Some years our weather can go from 90+ °F hot, dry days to snowing, cold miserable winter weather in only a matter of days, some times in just hours.
The trees are noticing the change in the weather too. On my hike I saw the first golden aspen leaves on the trees. I saw something posted on a local news page the other day that the height of fall colors in the mountains will be starting as soon as next weekend. I am making plans now for a fun drive with the kiddos to the forest. I took this picture of those golden leaves.
This hike was strenuous because of the steepness at times on the trail, but also short and quick. Start to finish it only took me an hour to reach the top, enjoy the view and make my way back to the car. It made for the perfect after work hike to enjoy the fabulous weather and the breathtaking views. This last picture is the view to the north of the summit, where you can see the Denver skyline at dusk peaking through the mountains.