About a mile's walk from my home is South Valley Park - a portion of Colorado's Jefferson County Open Space. South Valley Park is a 909 acre park with approximately 6.8 miles of natural surface trails and 1.2 miles of hard surface trails. Recreational activities include picnicking, hiking, biking, horseback riding and of course, wildlife viewing. This past weekend my husband and I decided to take a break from unpacking and organizing our house to take a walk along the three mile loop trail in the park called the Coyote Song Trail.
My husband and I walked up a moderate hill at the beginning of the trail closest to our neighborhood......
....and once on top we saw this beautiful view of the trail meandering out towards South Park Valley! It always takes my breath away when I see this!
South Valley Park is a dream for geologists and archaeologists. It's solid rock monoliths and walls exhibit both the Fountain and Lyons Formations that are between 290 and 296 million years old. Archaeologists have discovered evidence that suggests the South Valley was inhabited by hunter-gatherers 12,000-10,000 years before present.
There were remnants of snow from a few days before, but the day we hiked the temperature was sunny and in the high 50's.
It was fascinating to see all the different beautiful red sandstone rock formations along the trail and to think how old and enduring they were.
They stood like proud monuments to a different time.
I imagined that the Native Americans had names for them as they once lived in the shelter of many of these monoliths.
The trail path winds at slightly different elevations around these formations, but is not too strenuous to walk if one is used to the slightly higher than a mile altitude..
This mother was carrying her young son on her back, as he had tired out from the hike.
At one point on the trail there were a few placards with descriptions of how the Fountain Formation in the distance was formed. It described how five foot long millipedes and dragonflies with 30 inch wingspans were once common in this area 300 million years ago! (If you click on all photos in this post once they will enlarge, click on them again to see them even larger. Use your browser's back arrow to return to this post.)
To preserve their integrity, no climbing is allowed on the rock formations in the park.
We really enjoyed our hike!
I could not stop smiling, as I was in awe to be walking in such a beautiful place...
...and of course I could not stop taking photos!
I know we will be back to walk this, and other trails, many times in the future.
This area is so close to Denver and accessible to all! If you love nature it is a wonderful way to spend some time in South Valley Park.
The sidewalk path in our neighborhood we took home after leaving the trail. We really do love where we live and I can't wait to show you more about our area and all we see in Colorado! Meanwhile, our baby grandaughter will be arriving this week! We are all very excited and can't wait to meet her--stayed tuned!
I'm adding this post to the following blog events:
Our World Tuesday
Nature Notes Wednesday
Thank you to all the blog hosts!