Our second hike of the season took us up the Apex Trail in Jefferson County Open Space. This trail takes off right past Heritage Square! Who knew that back in the gold rush days, local entrepreneurial communities built toll roads to profit from the gold-miner traffic.
Steep and rugged took turns with ‘enchanted forest’ and rushing water. Hot sun beat down on our backs on the steep and rugged and spots, of course, but entering the Enchanted Forest was a cool blessing. That, and the trail mix Elaine always packs for us!
The names of the various trails echo the lingo of those old west days: Pick n’Sledge, Grub Steak, Bonanza, Hardscrabble, and Sluice box! The very north end of the open space is protected butterfly habitat. We felt right at home sitting on a log to enjoy our vittles.
You can have any combination of hike that you want there as the trails are bisected by cut-off trails at regular intervals. The larkspur, indian paintbrush and yucca were all in bloom and at the high points of our hike, the front range vista lay before us, as well as a bird’s-eye view of Heritage Square.