Easy to Moderate Hikes

Apishapa Trail

Distance: Approximately 5 miles
Difficulty: Easy

Logistics are difficult, because you have to park a car 3 miles below Cordova pass before you start hike from Cordova Pass.The Apishapa Trail is one that the Cuchara Valley Recreation program does not do very often due to the logistics issues. This is hike that is mostly down hill! Nice!! Trail head starts at the Cordova Pass parking lot. It follows the same trail that goes to the tree line (or to the top if so desired) of West Spanish Peak for about 1 1/2 miles. The W. Peak trail turns left and upward to climb to the tree line, while the Apishapa trail breaks down. At this point on the trail your elevation is just above the Cordova Pass elevation of about 11,000. The remainder of the trail is all down hill through spruce and aspen forest. The trail’s end hits the Cordova Pass road about 3 miles below Cordova Pass (on the Aguilar side). There is not any water on this hike until the very bottom where you will follow a small stream for the last 3/4 of mile or so.

Blue to Bear to the Ridge Above

Distance: 3 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

We start at the Blue Lake parking lot after meeting at the Rec Hall. After “circling up” for introductions, we hike past several lakes the lie between Blue and Bear lakes. Approximately 3 miles long, the tail is a gradual climb from Blue Lake to Bear Lake. Between the lakes there are many ponds and beaver dams to see. Once we hike pass Bear Lake we start the uphill climb to the ridge. This will be a very special lunch with this view, one of our favorites. It can be cold and windy so remember to bring layers. We retrace our steps back to Bear and Blue Lakes on our return trip. Often a favorite hike!

Dike Trail

Distance: 3 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

In my humble opinion, this trail has the wrong name attached to it. The ridge line that the trail follows from the Spanish Peaks neighborhood down to Cuchara is called a Hogback, not a Dike. A Hogback is a sandstone ridge that has been uplifted during mountain making. A dike is a volcanic intrusion. So, this trail should be called Hogback Trail. Enough said. I won’t make a mountain out of the issue.

After meeting up at the Recreation Center, we drive up to the Dikes Trail head in the Spanish Peaks neighborhood. Our start is a steep one, as we climb to the top of the hogback. It is filled with switchback and plenty of rests so don’t let that scare you. On the way up we get some pretty views of the southern part of the Cuchara river valley the Culebra range (Snowy range). Once to the top of the ridge, we will have lunch with a view. We sit in amongst the sandstone boulders that overlook the White river valley that runs in front of the 3 White mountains (3 Sisters). After lunch, the trail is all down hill! This hike a can be a bit warm and dry so bring lots of water. We end up behind the Recreation Center, on the road up to Eddy’s Acres. Come join us!

Haunted House Meadow

Distance: 3 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

For all ages! After meeting at the Rec Hall, we start at Spring Creek picnic area and make our way to Haunted House Meadow for lunch. The trail starts a bit steep before it eases up to be a gradual climb to some great views of the valley. Along the trail there are many great photo opportunities including some great climbing rocks for the kids and great views of th everyone! Our lunch spot affords a classic view of all three of the White Peaks with the West Spanish Peak in the background. After a relaxing lunch in the meadow, we will make our way to the site of the old homestead and hear the story of the “haunted” house. Our trail back is different from the one up and has some great vistas of the Culebra range, the valley and the 3 White peaks and West Spanish Peak.

 

Lower Purgatory 

Distance: 4 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy

An easy 4 mile (round trip) hike, mostly flat, with lots to see!. The trail follows the Purgatory river and has amazing wildflowers lining both sides of the river and the trail. We cross the river at several points and feet can get a little wet. The trail takes us through wonderful towering Apsen groves, Engleman Spruce forests and wildflower filled meadows that just seem to sparkle. There is a bridge to get over the river in case you don’t feel like crossing in the water or on a log or two. Some find it easier and a little more exciting to wade across the river instead! We have lunch in a meadow full of wildflowers, an old log cabin and a great view of the Culebra mountain range. Lots of water and wildflowers on this hike. Come join us!

Tyke Hike

Distance: Short Walk
Difficulty: Easy

The Tyke Hike is a short stroll in the Spring Creek picnic area for children up to 8 years old. It is intended to help children meet other children, learn a little about the natural world around them, and to get some good exercise. We do not travel very far, but we see lots of things. We eat lunch near Spring Creek, climb on some rocks, learn about the rocks we climb on, investigate critters that live in the creek, and meet new friends that could last a lifetime! Bring a lunch!