Daily Archives: March 3, 2012

Waterton Canyon: OPEN

After a year and a half (minus a short break last winter), Waterton Canyon is finally open again.  It took a long time for them to complete the Strontia Springs dredging project.  I did part of my run up there this morning and was reminded of what a great place it is.  Yeah, it’s not miles of gnarly singletrack, but it is a nice secluded place to put it in cruise and enjoy the scenery.

I left my house at 6:00 and ran through the lot after a couple of miles, it was completely empty.

That would change…

I did a few miles out and back in Chatfield before looping back to run up the canyon.

There were a few new items, but no massive changes.

New sign.

New trailhead signs.

Some leftover equipment.

It was a cold 17 degrees when I left home, but I was warmed up by the time I headed up the canyon.

I always have U2’s One Tree Hill play through my head when I pass this spot.

A new table/shelter at mile 2.

Dam.  River.

Nice of them to install a mirror so you can check your look before hitting the top.

Then I spotted a cool monster icicle mouth.

So nice to run a 12 mile out-and-back with no roads to cross or traffic to worry about.  Just take in the view and let the legs do their thing.

No snakes today!

Information overload!  So much to keep track of.

Yup.

I was the only one at the dam when I stopped to turn back.  There had been a couple of bikers come down the canyon while I was going up, though.  They looked miserably cold.

The sun came out and I had a small tailwind which made for a great trip back down the canyon.

The folks at the house near the halfway point have taken a cue from the church at the top of the High Grade climb and put out a cooler of goodies.  No credit cards accepted, though.

It looks like just water for now.  Better start donating.

Lots of people were coming up the canyon now.  It was great to bump into Leila and Donnie, and all the other runners I saw seemed especially happy.  We would smile at each other like, yeah – it’s good to be back!

I even spotted a guy on an off-road unicycle.  Pretty sure it wasn’t Rob…

Still facing another closure, but this one will seem like a piece of cake after 1.5 years.

After another week of warm temps, and after the word gets out, this place will be standing room only.  Even on the busiest days, it’s not too bad.  Plenty of room for everyone.

I was suprised not to see any sheep.  I thought they would be everywhere after having the place to themselves for so long.  I stopped and talked to a guy who was hiking with a D90 hooked up to what looked like a four foot long lens and he hadn’t seen any, either.

There were some cool ice formations in the river as I crossed the bridge and made my way back home.  23 miles later.