Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hike Me: Top Trails Near Vail and Beaver Creek

After spending nearly two weeks hiking in the Canadian Rockies, my office back at home feels like a hell hole. It's summer. It's sunny. It's warm. I know that these days will be gone all too quickly and I'll be regretting not spending more time outside when I wanted to. And I know that I'd easily trade a desk day for a hiking one. I might not be able to make it back to Canada anytime soon--and judging by some of the weather we had while we were there, cold and rain while a heat wave hit Chicago, I'm not sure I'd beg to return right away--but I can keep my eye on pursuits a little closer to home. OK, not so close since they're in Colorado, but at least if I go to the state that I hope to call home, eventually, I don't have to bring my passport and convert kilometers and Canadian dollars.

When my husband and I plan out forays out into the forest, we're all about tracking down some of the hardest. For him, I don't know what the reward is unless it's seeing how much he can tire me out. For me, I feel like I earned my ice cream sundae (hey, a girl's gotta splurge every now and then) after the loop back to the trailhead, tackling the tough stuff.

As for the latest adventures, research sent me scouring the trail maps in and around Vail and Beaver Creek. You've already got altitude, but throw in some summits to 12,000, 13,000 and 14,000 feet, and some heavy mileage underfoot and you've got a difficult day hike. And I have yet to find a spot outside Colorado that takes me on a bigger challenge--but do tell if you know of one. Just where in, about and around Vail and Beaver Creek should you hike? Take a look at these top hikes as recommended in part by Nathan Goldberg who heads up the Beaver Creek Hiking Center. The extra cool factor: even when you don't have a partner in crime ready to take those challenges with you, you can find a hike happening with BCHC and get going with a guide. I might have to keep that in mind though as an opportunity to bow out when injury holds me back--it might save my husband from hearing me whine about my aches and pains.

Photo grabbed from Beaver Creek and Vail Resorts.

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