Discovering Colorado : the Mountains

The Rocky Mountains, or the Rockies, is one of the biggest mountain range of North America stretching from northern Mexico to Canada. And they go through Colorado. They were the main reason why I stopped in Denver. Because had never been in the mountains before! So, of course, most of my stay in this beautiful State was about finding my way to those beautiful mountains.

Colorado Springs & Manitou Springs

That is how I found myself in Colorado Springs, on a very hot Saturday night.
What is so cool about Colorado Springs is that you can see the mountains from pretty much anywhere in the city. But reaching them is a little harder when you’re like me, a traveler without a car. Doing anything without a car in America is close to impossible, I’ll admit it, but Colorado Springs was definitely the place I regretted the most not having a driving license.

It took me two days to go to Manitou Springs

So, after a series of complicated events and lots of swearing against public transportation that doesn’t work on weekends (forever french speaking), I eventually found my way to Manitou Springs, on a fresh and rainy Monday morning. Manitou Springs is a tiny town stuck in between the Rocky Mountains and the bigger city that is Colorado Springs. It’s super cute and all hippie-like.
But yet, it allowed me to do things I never thought I would do. Like walking up a mountain for two hours.
When I got there, I went for a beer in a cute cafe on the main street, just off the bus stop. While I was there, I got on my phone a warning for flash floods due to the rain. So, I wasn’t sure what to do! So I eventually just walked all the way up to the mountain.

Looking for the trail

I walked up all the way across the town, to the start a trail called Ute Pass Regional Trail. It’s a pretty historic place, as it is one of the oldest trails used by Indians in the country. It goes all the way down to northern New Mexico.
This part is called Manitou Incline Trail and is one of the most popular yet difficult trails of the area.
I didn’t actually hike the trail, as I was not prepared at all. I wasn’t planning on actually hike that day, and the information sign said it was an “extreme trail” ! Scary enough for me, as I had literally never hiked in my life! Also, let’s be honest, it took me more than two hours to even get to the start of the trail, since i walked from town. No way I was gonna hike this! hahaha

Loving the mountains

So I just hung around in the mountains. It was well worth it. I had no idea I could push the limits of my (very weak) body that far. This is the day I learnt that my body is as strong as my mind will be. And that if I keep believing in myself I will accomplish great things. That is also when I started to enjoy walking. I used to hate anything that involved making effort with your legs. Not anymore. Now I do experience the feeling you get after walking for a while, and how content you feel when the effort is over.
Especially when you have a breath-taking view to watch while you rest!

Loving the nature

The easily amazed city-girl

Since I don’t hike and really just wanted to be around nature and enjoy the views, I wandered a bit around, took some photos, and laid down in the bushes for a while. It’s very green, very lush, and there’s a lot of different plants! I know nothing about plants to be honest (it’s on my list of things to learn) but I like looking at all the different leaves and trees. I feel like it helps with anxiety and stress a lot.
Nature is important for us. It is what keeps us alive! Which is why we need to protect it!
While I was exploring I even got to see a deer! I am a very boring city-girl, I had never seen a wild deer before, let alone so close! I love animals. So I get excited whenever I get to see one in the wild!

Crossing the Rockies

But my favourite experience in the mountains happened the next day. After another complicated series of events, including a thunderstorm, an awful Greyhound trip back to Denver and a night in a train station, I found myself in the train crossing the Rockies, on its way to California.
This is where I got to see the mountains at their best. The trip was about 30+ hours, and about half of that was through the mountains, so I got to see them with all the lights the sun can give us in one day. I couldn’t believe my eyes !

More nature and more exercices for the future!

That train trip made me realise I really love the mountains. Maybe not as much as the ocean, but close. I really want to take a road-trip across the Rockies one day so I can get to see them better and longer. (anyone interested?)
I also would like to start hiking more, and learn. To get better and go on hardcore trails and see the most beautiful things Mother Nature has to offer!

Where to hike in Colorado Springs?

Here’s a list of some of the best trails to hike around Colorado. My goal is to go back and hike them all! In the meanwhile, gotta work on that cardio!

If you want to see more photos of Colorado check out the portfolio !
You can also find more about my time in the States here, and more photos of my trip with Amtrak here! Let me know what you think! Have you ever been to the Rockies or is it a dream of yours like it was for me?

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