2015 Summer Adventure Check List

By Danielle

Excuse our LONG absence from this little blog. In the last few weeks, we moved out of our old house, were homeless for a week, moved in to our new house (with no internet!) and then we jetted off to Georgia so I could receive my FSA (aka become an actuary badass or an “actuarian doctor” as my sister says). But, we are back, things are more settled, and you didn’t get rid of us that easily!


Getting my diploma!!!

I’m getting pretty amped up to get out and enjoy all of Colorado’s summer beauty. It probably doesn’t help that my busy season at work is just starting which means I will be spending long days in the office. So, to get me through, I wanted to put together a list of all the awesome things I want to do in Colorado this summer. As an added bonus, most of them will help me prepare for Leadville Trail 100.

In no particular order, my summer adventure check list for 2015:

1.) The Decalibron Loop. The Decalibron Loop summits four 14ers (Colorado mountains over 14,000ft). Technically, only three are official 14ers, but let’s not go into technicalities. It’s from the names of these mountains that the loop gets its name (Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross). This loop sounds awesome to me for a few reasons. First of all, you get to bag four 14ers in a day which means you will spend a lot of time at elevation. The trailhead itself starts at around 12,000ft. This will be great training for me to run 100 miles at elevation. Secondly, I’m sure I won’t be wanting for beautiful scenery during this hike. From my research, total distance of the hike looks to be 7-8 miles with a gain of around 4,000ft.

2.) The Colorado Trail. The Colorado Trail is an almost 500 mile stretch of trail from Durango to Denver. It traverses through eight different mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains. The average elevation is over 10,000ft, and from what I’ve seen and heard, it’s awesome. I have already done some training on the Colorado Trail, but I am aiming to spend time exploring more of it this summer. I’ve probably got another 450 miles to go!

Some fun with friends on the Colorado Trail!

Some fun with friends on the Colorado Trail!

3.) Four Pass Loop. This looks so darn cool and so crazy hard. The loop is 26 miles long. It starts at Maroon Lake (hello, gorgeous) and then goes over four passes (get it?) each higher than 12,400ft. I’ve heard there are beautiful fields of wild flowers and scenic views of Maroon Bells all around you.


I have no idea if this is from Four Pass, but it’s the Maroon Bells, and they sure are pretty. Source

4.) Mt. Massive. This one is probably more particular to me than the general population, but I wouldn’t by any means say it’s a bad option. Mt. Massive is located outside of Leadville and will make for an awesome weekend adventure in which I can run part of the LT100 course on Saturday and chase it with some high elevation hiking on Sunday. Mt. Massive is the 2nd highest peak in Colorado, and the 3rd highest peak in the continental USA. It has more area above 14,000ft than any other mountain in the continental USA. Pretty impressive, right?

5.) Chicago Basin. Chicago Basin sounds like a pretty great weekend adventure. Apparently, you hop on a train (the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad), ride for awhile with some tourists, and exit at Needleton. From there, you have a 7 mile hike into the Basin. Once in the Basin, you have access to a bunch of mountains (called the Needle Mountains, including three 14ers (we covered this, you remember the lingo, right?). Now, I’m not sure if I could handle all the mountains there (I think some of them are pretty technical), but it sounds like a weekend of fun to me!

6.) The Incline. I am almost embarrassed to admit that I haven’t done the incline yet in Manitou Springs (close to Colorado Springs). It is a 1 mile “hike” that climbs 2,000 vertical feet. It is not for the faint of heart. But after all that work, you get a to take a nice jaunt down the Barr Trail (I think it’s about 2-3 miles), so at least you don’t have to go back down!


Yowzers. Source

7.) Telluride. I have wanted to visit Telluride since shortly after we moved to Colorado. It looks like the most beautiful mountain town. To make it even cooler the Hardrock 100 (a pretty bad ass ultra marathon) sets up one of their aid stations in the town. I would love to be in Telluride during Hardrock, but I don’t think that’s in the cards this year. Regardless, it’s a must see for me.

The town of Telluride.

The town of Telluride. Source

8.) Magnolia Road. I first heard about Magnolia Road while reading Running with the Buffaloes. Since then, I’ve heard mixed reviews whether Magnolia Road is all its cracked up to be, but I think I’d like to decide that for myself. This article explains the history of Magnolia Road better than I can, but basically it’s an 8 mile stretch of road that a whole bunch of really great runners have trained on. If it’s good enough for Adam Goucher…

9.) Rafting the Arkansas River. This is something Sam and I have been wanting to do since we moved to Colorado. Last year, we were able to do some white water rafting but it was near the end of the season. The water was low and the section of the river we were on was a little too tame for our tastes. We would really like to do some white water rafting in the early summer this year. In particular, we’d like to do a stretch called “The Numbers”, which is known as one of the best Class IV rafting runs in Colorado.

10.) Rock Climbing. I did some indoor rock climbing in my college days, and I really enjoyed it. Since I now live in the great state of Colorado, I would like to venture into the outdoors. I’ve been wanting to take one of the REI classes for awhile now, so this summer is going to be the summer. I figure, it’s gotta be some super fun cross training if nothing else!


  • As I mentioned above, we have moved into our new house. We are officially Denver residents again, living in the Platt Park area of Denver. I absolutely love it. I love our house, I love the area, I love walking to get coffee, it’s amazing.
  • As I also already mentioned, I AM AN FSA! Most of you have no idea (nor do you probably care to know more!), but it’s a pretty big deal in my profession. I’ve been studying for 7 years to pass all of the exams, and I can’t believe it’s finally over!
  • Uh, this is SO AWESOME, I can barely contain myself. Be warned, it’s more Harry Potter obsession, but with a trendy twist.
  • This made me giggle.

That’s all I’ve got. We’ll be back next week!


  1. That’s an amazing list. I am very jealous of the time you must have to get this all in. Have a blast.


    1. It’s not about having time, it’s about making time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahahahaha. Just watched the videos. Where’d you find the HP one? That’s great!


    1. Rika. She is much hipper than we are. 🙂


  3. pretty sure i’ve done the numbers – up near buena vista/brown’s canyon area? rafted up in that area quite a few times thanks to hockey camp! my rafting bucket list is the royal gorge …

    and telluride. i should probably head there one of these years …


    1. Oh, we will have to pick your brain on rafting!!! You are welcome to join us in Telluride! We are thinking about 4th of July weekend!


  4. […] good progress on my summer adventure checklist! In case you missed it, a few months ago I wrote a summer adventure check list. To date, I have hit 4 of the 10 items. You don’t need to be a math nerd like me to know […]


Leave a Reply to thelongerthebetter Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: