Middle of October. In Colorado. And we’re wearing shorts and tanks? Whaaaaaaat?!

For our first official hike here in Colorado, we went simple. Like, it’s-only-a-mile-and-a-half-total-and-in-the-foothills simple. And we still got rewarded with some great views and even a little bit of wildlife!

We decided to hit the Trading Post Trail which is in the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. It’s just southwest of Denver – not a far drive at all. This place is known for its amazing concert venue, but it also has some incredible views. According to this super helpful hiking site, the trail took us around 10 giant red rock formations. (I definitely didn’t count.)

So you park near the Red Rocks Trading post building which has a great gift shop. We got the cutest ornament there to celebrate our move to this beautiful state!

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You can’t miss the trail head. It’s right there – perfect for those of us who get turned around easily. (I’m clearly talking about James.)IMG_3549web

One thing I noticed right away about the trails here in Colorado – there is so much information available about them. Between info you can find online and signage at the actual trails, it really reduces the anxiety I often feel about exploring unknown areas. IMG_3550web

However, with all of the information available, I still can’t tell you about any of these formations (which seems to be a theme of this blog). But look – it’s so pretty! And big!IMG_3554e2web IMG_3555web

There were various signs around reminding us to stay off of the rocks. Probably good advice for our little climber.
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It was so unexpectedly hot! It turns out that the sun is a little more intense when you’re a mile closer to it.IMG_3561web IMG_3562web

Walking, walking…I like mostly-flat hiking. Seriously.IMG_3564web

We brought the pup along and he was LOVING it.IMG_3574web

Oh look – there’s me. Naturally standing there with my hands on my hip. As you do.IMG_3577web

From some areas on the trail, you could see the eastern plains. And I swear it looks like the ocean a little.IMG_3581web

Oh – look at that! More rock formations that I can’t tell you about.IMG_3582web How cute are we?! I love when our photos don’t reflect the complaining that usually is happening just before and just after the shot. In this case though, a friendly stranger snapped the photo for us which meant I didn’t waste time setting up the tripod and I couldn’t make them sit through fifteen minutes of various angles.IMG_3583e2web IMG_3589web As we were nearing the end of this super long 1.4 mile loop, we came across this structure. Any idea what it is? (That’s a genuine question.)IMG_3594web IMG_3598web IMG_3599web

We actually saw three deer, but this is the only halfway-decent image I got of one of them. They just chomped and lazily watched us. It’s not like deer are rare, but any kind of largish land wildlife is exciting after living in Hawaii and rarely seeing anything!IMG_3609eweb The trio. I like them.
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One more look back as we were wrapping up the trail – it was a good first hike!IMG_3624web

I grabbed these next two shots from the back of the trading post building.IMG_3629e2web IMG_3635web

We decided to leave the ampitheatre for our next trip out to Red Rocks (or possibly a future concert!) But this place really is beautiful and we noticed a few more trails on our way in that we’d like to explore. For newbies to the area, I think this was a perfect intro to the Colorado hiking scene.

RMNP: Snowshoeing to Emerald Lake
Peak to Peak Highway