Trails Traveled: Meadowlark Trail, Plymouth Creek and Plymouth Mountain at Deer Creek Canyon Park
Difficulty: Blue (Moderate), Black (Hard)
Distance: 7.1 miles / Elevation Gain: 1,480 feet
Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
- Panoramic Views
I have done this hike every year for the past four or five years. Some years I have even done it more than once in a year. I love this hike. It is not too far from my home and it offers lots of options and trails for length, difficulty and elevation gain. It is also a great gauge of my physical fitness early in the season to know how much work I need to put in to get ready for a “big hike” later in the Spring or in the Summer.
The weather on this hike was perfect. It was in the high 60s, there were a few clouds, and a little breeze. I went out in the afternoon and the crowds had mostly receded from the park. The evergreen trees added a pleasant green hue to the hike, however, many of the deciduous trees have not yet begun to bud. I expect that to begin occurring later in April and May based on the amount of rain we might get and how much it warms up in the next few weeks.
The hike offered a beautiful view of the nearby hogback ridge in Jefferson County as well as a view of the skyscrapers in Downtown Denver since it was such a clear day. The melting snow and ice along Plymouth Creek also provided a soothing babbling brook alongside the trail. Much of the hike provided tree cover and later in the afternoon the intense sun was mostly shaded on the east side of the trail.
As the afternoon drew to a close, the park was graced by a beautiful sunset. While it wasn’t the strong oranges and reds of some mile high sunsets, the bright yellow contrasted with the dark gray clouds. They shifted into various shapes as night approached making for a special display in the sky. It was a show that I alone indulged in as mine was the final car in the parking lot when I left the park around 7:30pm local time.