A few weeks ago my hubby and I had planned on a lovely hike up Grey Rock Mountain (it just sounds ominous, doesn’t it?) but sadly we got such a late start that we decided to keep things close to home.
Looking at my “wishlist” on Alltrails.com we decided that a nice close hike would be Mallory Caves, just outside Boulder. We chose this hike because it was close, allowed dogs, and was on the shorter side of things.
Mallory Caves are known for their bat populations, and this time of year you can’t actually go *into* the cave, because you might disturb said critters. I’m totally ok with not waking up the bats…
The trailhead is at NCAR, in the foothills of the Rockies and even though there were a ton of people, the parking situation was better than most trailheads (no one likes to walk an extra 2 miles before even starting the hike…)
Anyhow, we arrived at NCAR and made our way to the trailhead, with the plan to accomplish this:
There were quite a few people out hiking, it was a gorgeous day in Colorado after all, and many canine companions. Our pups seems to do mostly fine when they are in their harnesses (Lucy has an Easy-Walker and Maui has a Gentle Leader). The only real problems came when the path shrank to one person wide and you had to exercise your hiking etiquette to let people through. I had some trouble with this, mostly because for me it is difficult to get a good flow going and then stop repeatedly and restart.
As we approached the part of the trail where it started the ascent and switchbacks we noticed a ton of rock climbers out just off the trails scaling the large walls around us. I love Colorado. I was admiring them, feeling a little jealous, and wanting to see what they can see. Someday, Robin, someday.
About halfway up the mountain we were passed by a guy who let us know that the trail was covered with poison ivy and, man, he wasn’t joking. I drew my attention downward and noticed that the path we were on was literally blanketed with the stuff. I was so glad that I was wearing pants (I always do while hiking) and when we were about .25 miles from the summit (or as far as the parks department would let us go) we decided to turn back. The dogs were already traipsing through the ivy and we didn’t really want to end up in a situation we couldn’t manage.
We came back down a bit and found some huge rocks that overlooked Boulder and decided to have a snack.
The pups did great, I was a bit pooped but overall fine. I was fresh off a GORUCK (proudly rocking my patch) and my body was done for the day.
We made our way back down the mountain and to the car. The nice thing about hiking close to home is that it wasn’t too long before we were back at our house and relaxing, having accomplished a lot for one afternoon.
Here is our finish picture- with a smile: