Cold weather training hike at Staunton State Park


We hiked today in our role as volunteer trail hosts at Staunton. The weather was cloudy and cold with temperatures hovering in the single digits. Needless to say the park was not very crowded. In fact, when we arrived we were the first car in the parking lot. So, instead of trail hosting we decided to hike into the back country to provide the park staff with up to date trail conditions so the park’s Web site could be updated.

The trails were in really good condition considering the recent snow. Over the length of our hike the snow depth was between one and three inches.

Along side Mason Creek Trail we were treated to some really neat weather related sights, from beautiful ice coveted waterfalls to rocky outcrops with icicles.

The trees were all spectacularly frosted and they looked ready for the season.

We are always amazed at Staunton’s spectacular views!

Just above the old mill there are some really neat rocks. I am surprised the local climber community hasn’t started climbing here yet.
Overall, we ran into only two other hikers on our 7.6 mile trek. What a great experience! We decided that hiking during less than ideal weather days is a lot more fun than those picture perfect days when the huge crowds come out.

Buen Camino!



Filed under Mark & Sandy's Camino 2014

8 responses to “Cold weather training hike at Staunton State Park

  1. That’s it, I think I am hitting this one this weekend? I was think ing of stringing together a couple of trails to get 10-ish miles? I am crazy for doing this?

    • Not at all. There are plenty of great hikes in the park.
      One option would be hiking Mason Creek MC to Border Line BL (take the spur to the overlook) then back downhill on Staunton Ranch SR. Another option would be starting out on Staunton Ranch SR to Scout Line SL (steep, but my favorite trail) to Marmot Passage MP go right and back to Staunton Ranch SR.
      For a longer hike, take SR to SL to Marmot Passage and go left to the Elk Falls Pond where you connect with Bugling Elk BE to Staunton Ranch SR. The further you get Ito the back country, the more spectacular the park is.
      Trust me, you will return to see the 100′ waterfall, old mill site, etc.

      • I meant to reach out last weekend…We took your suggestion and did the longer hike…. WE LOVED IT!!!!! Thank you so much for the advice, it was a spectacular hike all thanks to you! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday!

      • I am so glad you enjoyed the park. It truly is a gem in the state park system. Wait until you see Elk Falls. Hiking up the climbing access trails to watch the technical climbers attach Staunton Rocks is also quite a treat. 25 miles of trails and more coming in 2014.

  2. This is really neat – we’ve never hiked in the snow before, new to Colorado and all, and will look to you all for great tips! Thanks for sharing – the pictures are fantastic!

    • Just dress in layers and wear good waterproof hiking shoes and you will really enjoy your experience. Today, we followed coyote tracks for miles and then had a great opportunity to hear them yelping and howling to one another. It was a special experience for sure. One rule of thumb in cold weather hiking is to remember that once you get going you will warm up. Today’s temp was 9 degrees when we started and we dressed like it was 39 degrees. We stayed warm the whole hike. Of course, bring extra layers in case the weather goes south while you are miles out. Enjoy!

  3. You 2 are ready. I always like to train the way you are. Training in harder conditions than what you will actually face on the trail! Good job.

    BTW- on the Camino people were raving about hikers wool.

    Blisters were the major problem for the hikers. They can be disabling . Can become infected and stop a hiker in their tracks.

    Also, when I have hiked in rainy areas in the past (New Zealand, Bhutan) I brought with me one of those small umbrella, light, easy to carry and they kept me dry, and a hat with a wide brim helps.

    Galicia WILL BE WET!!!!!
    Like you mention, the layers concept is important. I tried hard to NOT get soaked from sweat and I stayed much more comfortable. So, as soon as I was kind of warm, I would take off a layer.

    My last day of riding was 33 miles in a downpour! No way to stay dry so just gritted my teeth and got through it!


    • Thanks again Barry. I am prone to blisters, although developing some callouses now in the usual spots due to us ramping up our hiking distances. Just went online and purchased a pack of the wool. I like the fact that they promote its sweat/water wicking properties. Like you mentioned, we know we are going to be trekking in their version of our Colorado monsoon season. Better to have it and not need it – especially since it is so lightweight.

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