My first hike on Green Mountain was two months ago, so this post would seem very outdated. However, I also hiked Green Mountain two times after–the most recent being within the week. Hence, this is a specialty post: one mountain, three hiking reviews!
Hike One: From the Neighborhoods, S. Foothill Dr. (East)
When my fiancé and I visited Colorado in May looking for condos and apartments, we had a very busy schedule. We flew in Friday, hung out with the realtor all day Saturday, re-met with the realtor Sunday morning, crafted two offers, made one offer, and then we had about four hours left of our time in this beautiful place. Because we had made an offer on a condo in Lakewood, we were at the base of Green Mountain. Although my fiancé lived close to this spot during all of undergrad, he had never hiked Green Mountain, so we went for it. Who can come to Colorado and not enjoy some aspect of the outdoors? This was how we chose to spend the last couple hours of our trip.
We parked in a neighborhood nearby and started the climb. In May, the weather was beautiful. We experienced a sunny day, with 90 degree temperatures. Although we had not acclimated to the elevation change, the hike was very doable. I did find myself a little out of breath, but we were still in a comfortable zone. The hike had some steady inclines, but once we reached the false-summit, it was a relatively flat walk. The views, however? Stunning. The first view we had was of Denver and the surrounding metro area. Never had I thought this city was so small. The greenery made me appreciate how a city can be enveloped by beauty of the outdoors. This is something I never felt in Chicago. Next, we saw Red Rocks, Look Out Mountain, and snow-covered peaks. The sight was inexplicable.
One thing I was very impressed by was the number of runners and mountain bikers. For one, I asked how it was possible that these people were running and biking up a mountain. Apart from the jealousy of wishing I was in that great of shape, I was in awe of this new opportunity. Running and mountain biking are so accessible here…not just the run-out-your-front-door-onto-the-street running, but running on trails and in challenging contexts.
My first hike on Green Mountain reminded me of why I was so excited to move to Colorado.
Hike Two: From the Parking Lot off S. Rooney Road (West)
We arrived in Colorado on a Wednesday night in July, and the Monday to follow was our second hike on Green Mountain. I had completed my first day at my new job, and we had decided to do something outdoors afterward. Because of Green Mountain’s prime location relative to my fiancé’s condo, we decided to go on a hike. We parked on the West Side of the mountain this time, and boy, was this a different experience than the first.
Because we left later in the evening, we were limited to about an hour of hiking before the sun would set and we would have to descend in the dark. However, this hour was quite the treat. The whole 1.4 miles to the first summit were a steady incline. If you ever lack motivation to go on the stair-stepper at the gym, please visit Green Mountain instead! My calves were burning, but as I occasionally glimpsed back at my fiancé, I was able to capture some of the most beautiful views and the physical fatigue wore right off. Again, we had not been acclimated to the elevation since we had just moved to the area, and it was a feasible climb…more challenging than the first hike!
At this time of day, we made it to the “summit” just in time to watch the sunset. After taking a few pictures and soaking in the beauty around us, we started the descent. We made it back to the parking lot just before dark, and again, we had seen runners and mountain bikers. Boy, do I love how active people are out here. It was the perfect short hike, and it made my first work day in the state absolutely memorable.
Hike Three: From the Parking Lot off Alameda (Right in Between)
In my last hiking review post, I mentioned how the people you hike with can add to the hiking experience. My first two hikes on Green Mountain were with my fiancé. As cheesy as it sounds, I would have fun on any hike with him. This third hike, I did on my own though. And so I have a whole new spin on hiking for you after this experience.
To start, I am navigationally-challenged. Yes, that means I am the opposite of a human compass, and I am frequently getting lost. My four-mile hike turned into a five-mile hike…yet the “wrong trail” that I took at the end still lead to the Alameda parking lot, so I will call that a win 🙂
Apart from getting lost, hiking on my own was really fun. Instead of focusing on conversation and the company of others around me, I was able to both get stuck inside my head and travel outward. I was blessed with the chance to take in each moment and to fully ruminate on all of the things that had lead me to that exact place. I was also able to look around, take my time, and take in the landscape.
Because this hike was located in between the two previous hikes mentioned, I did actually overlap particular parts of each trail. This was cool because it showed how the same trail can be so different on various days. Green Mountain Trail is very wide, so if you want to travel in a pack, there is more than enough room to walk alongside each other as opposed to some other trails that are very narrow.
I did complete the five miles in 90 minutes. The starting elevation was 6,185 feet, and the highest point I reached was 6,831 ft. This hike did not have a huge climb, but the start of the trial was where most of the incline did occur. Like the first hike in May, I did walk on level ground once reaching the “summit.” The beautiful thing about Green Mountain is its intricate trails. I could have walked all day if I wanted to. There are also so many trails that fork off of Green Mountain Trail, so there are plenty of opportunities!
Now that you have read about three of my hikes on Green Mountain, here are some tips:
- I highly recommend hiking Green Mountain. It is for any level of hiker, and again, it is family, pet, bike, and horse friendly! Pretty cool.
- Hike it at least twice, starting at a different trailhead each time. You will be amazed at how unique each adventure can be.
- Bring water…it does get hot up there!
- Remember to take in the landscape. Whether you hike in the morning, the daytime, or during sunset, each view is incredible. Remember to look up, to capture the moments, and to enjoy the outdoors!
Have you hiked Green Mountain? Do you have tips and tricks? Feel free to comment them on this post! I would love to hear feedback from my readers.