Sunday, April 4, 2010

Evergreen Mountain - Long Run

Time: 3:09
Distance: 19.1 miles
Effort: Easy/Long
Body: Good
Weather: Mostly sunny & cool

Looking out our window across the hills and dales of Evergreen, Evergreen Mountain occupies a prominent place in our viewshed. It's a rounded, north-facing mountain with a rocky bald spot, bright with April snow, that makes for a familiar hump three miles to the south.

Today's plan was to run from home to the top of Evergreen Mountain, with a few interesting stops along the way.

From the house, I ran through a local neighborhood, then jumped on the People's Path, a paved sidewalk that parallels Evergreen Parkway. I followed this a couple of miles to Dedisse Park, a Denver Mountain Park on the north side of Upper Bear Creek Road. A dirt road snakes through park and dead ends at a final picnic spot. Here a nice single track winds down the south-facing hill to Upper Bear Creek Road. Across the road, the Dedisse Trail winds its way uphill, around the Evergreen Golf Course and into JeffCo's Aldefer-Three Sisters Open Space Park. 

Once in Three Sisters, I ran to the trail high point in the park, just below the Three Sisters, which are prominent rock outcroppings looming up above Bear Creek (there's a Brother, too, but it's across Buffalo Park Road in the Evergreen Mountain open space park). After a few more miles in Three Sisters, I made a pit stop at the upper parking lot and then headed across Buffalo Park Road and around the meadow in front of Evergreen Mountain.

To this point, the trail had been virtually snow free.  Once in the trees of Evergreen Mountain, however, it was all packed snow. I took the trail up the west side of the mountain and made quick work of the switchbacks up to the intersection with the two-mile summit lollipop out-and-back. On the south side of the large, rounded summit, one is treated to an amazing view of Mt. Evans and its surrounding peaks. I paused here for a few moments of mountain-gazing before returning to the main intersection and heading down the east side trail and back into Three Sisters.

I returned on the Dedisse Trail, ran up Upper Bear Creek Road to the Lakehouse and into downtown Evergreen to refill my water bottle at good ol' Beau Jo's Pizza. For the final stretch home, I did the big climb on Douglas Park Road and wound through Hiwan Hills and back home.

Beautiful afternoon. Whetted my appetite for more snow-free trails!

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