Just Another Summer Day in the Rockies


08/13/2015 | By Roman

Breckenridge is in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, with 4 different mountain ranges within 10 miles, in all directions.

I decided to hike (climb) a mountain on the Continental Divide, Vasquez Peak (12,947 feet).  The Continental Divide refers to an area where rainfall that falls on the west side of the Divide, will end up in the Pacific Ocean, while any rainfall that falls on the east side of the Divide, will end up in the Atlantic Ocean. 

The first time I summited, it took 3 and 1/2 hours, 2,000 vertical gain in about a mile and a half - very steep. On one section, a somewhat grassy section, we were on all fours; I guess that's what you would call climbing. 

Having been to the top, I saw a short cut that I took the next weekend, that cut the trip in half - of course you would need a 4-wheel drive, but I do have one of those. 

From the top of Vasquez Peak, one can see the Front Range with Longs Peak and the Indian Peaks, to the east; and Mt Evans and Mt Bierstadt to the South East.  To the west one can see the Gore Range, the Sawatch Range, and the Ten Mile Range. 

Spectacular vistas in every direction and beautiful wildflowers along the way.

A couple of tips for the Colorado Mountain climbing. Start early; you will want to reach the summit by noon, to avoid afternoon thunderstorms and lightening.  We reached the summit at 1:30 the first time, and quickly headed back down as the clouds were coming in and it started raining.  The second time we made the summit by 11:30 and spent a lovely 1 and 1/2 very pleasant hours sightseeing and relaxing along the Continental Divide Trail, and on the summit. 

Hiking in the Rockies can be spectacular, with the beautiful vistas, colorful wildflowers, gently flowing brooks and streams. Most people come to Colorado for the skiing.  However, the saying is that once people come to Colorado in the summer, they want to move here. There's a reason Colorado is called “God’s country.” 

Tags: Blog, Breckenridge, Fun, Summer, Things to do