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Douglas Creek, Wyo with Will, October 13, 2007

December 28, 2007

Posted December 28, 2007

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Will and I took a trip to Walden, CO to see his grandma and aunt in early October of 2007. It wasn’t the best weather, but we decided to stop and do a little hike on the way since there was not much time left in the year for walking around the mountains (without snowshoes or skis : ).

Before I go any further in the trip’s description, here is my standard comment. Please check my photo galleries here for all the larger and higher quality photos for this trip. The photos in the gallery are a quantum leap in size and quality compared to the little teaser photos I put in this site’s trip narrative.
I have two other links that will help locate the area if you are interested in making the hike yourself. A Google Earth map can be found here. Use the scale bar on the left side of the Google map to help zoom in or out to help locate the area based on where you live. (Look on the right side of this web site for a link to a Google map that shows ALL my trips.)
In order to help you with the actual trail itself, you can use this link to view a topo map of the Douglas Creek trailhead.
All links open a new browser window.

Photo of upper Douglas Creek taken from the parking lot on an earlier trip.

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So, we took off early (relatively) Saturday morning and I introduced Will to the Pelton Creek valley which you drive through on the way to the Douglas Creek trailhead. You head NW up the Pelton Creek road (forest access road # 898) by turning off of Wyo 230/Co 127 right where the highway crosses the border back into Colorado from Wyoming (on the road between Laramie, Wyo and Walden, Co).

I have been here before (see https://orrn.wordpress.com/2007/06/28/platte-ridge-trail-platte-river-wilderness-wy-may-27-2007/ ) and relayed my thoughts on the general area, so I won’t repeat myself other than it is a gem of an area. Last time I had headed up another trail and this trip I actually wanted to hike a short distance down the Douglas Creek trail just to get an idea of the layout of the trail.

The trailhead does begin very close to the boundary of the Platte River Wilderness area, so you don’t have to worry about seeing anyone on motorized vehicles. Actually, from what I have seen, you don’t really have to worry about seeing anyone at all : ) As I found on the previous hike in the area, it’s not a heavily used trail system.

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As can be seen from above, Will is checking out the wide river crossing : ) and we were able to make it over the first stream without too many problems. But, my first real view of Douglas Creek itself made me think twice (or more) about the possibility of trying to cross it today. More water in the creek than I was expecting for this time of the year.

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Here we are crossing the willow flats that follows a lot of Douglas Creek. In fact, it stretches upstream from here for a good mile or more. Very nice for photos and fly fishing. This is looking downstream right before you get to the bridge……

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Hmmmm. Or not. Yes, well, this is definitely not Rocky Mountain National Park. If it was, there would be a bridge.

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O well, in the summer I would have considered walking across in my bare feet (I really need to start carrying a pair of kayak booties : ), but it was too cold for that now. So, as I find myself doing quite often, we hiked downstream hoping to find a convenient log to cross on.

However, after a short ways of trying to walk alongside the river, we found ourselves in the middle of the orc marshes. Since it was daylight (and the orcs are generally underground), we were in no danger, but it was still hazardous in attempting to keep our feet dry (in fact, my feet did get wet : ).

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I found it difficult to capture the above photo with the correct exposure to capture both the sky and the landscape (the above photo shows the sky correctly, but the grass and bushes do not have the correct exposure/color). So, here is the same photo, but black and white. I kinda like it.

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We moved away from the river onto higher ground and continued downstream. At least that gave us a nice view of the area; including the river, ducks, beaver lodge, and the beaver’s dam (one of many).

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Zoom in on the ducks.

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Here is another photo of the area (looking back upstream).

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Will and I continued on downstream about another half mile or so, but we never did find a log (or rocks) to cross over to the other side (where the trail was). So, as we needed to get to Walden in a timely manner, and the weather was beginning to look as if it might start dropping water on us, we headed back to the truck.

So, I did not get very far in my investigation of the trail, which means I will just have to come back sometime with enough time (and the correct footwear to cross the river) to hike a good section of the trail. If I do an overnight trip, I think there is a good loop for the hike.

Anyway, nice way to spend a couple of hours in some very pretty country.

– Geoff Weatherford

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