Three of the four of us had been on our first trip to the area around Clark, Colorado, in 2006. It was around the same time of year, but there was a lot of snow on the trails at that time. It slowed us down and prevented us from seeing everything we came to see. We were looking forward to seeing much more of the area this time. We made it to Murphy's Tavern in Clark in time for a fantastic lunch before hitting the trails.
We were staying at the Elk River Guest Ranch on Seedhouse Road, so we aired down there. The trailhead was right down the road, so it was an easy trip. It was hot and sunny when we started the trail, but it wasn't very long at all before the temperature dropped and it was raining.
The fires that burned the area a decade ago still left many black trees and bare hillsides. The aspens had come back, though, and it made for interesting scenery.
We saw an SUV on the switchbacks before Diamond Park, and we saw a few people camping, but otherwise it was pretty quiet for Labor Day weekend. By the time we started the first hills up to the top of the mountain it was really raining, making things muddy and slippery. It kept it interesting!
We made it through the exposed areas during the lightning storm and no one slid off of the trail. It stopped raining and the storm moved on. Then we turned on the spur to go to the Farwell Lake overlook.
Roger was bringing up the rear of the group and he called on the CB that he needed to stop. He went through a muddy section and slipped sideways into a branch, and it ripped through his sidewall. We were only a few hours in on the first day and we had trail damage already! He made short work of the tire change, though, and pointed out that he had ripped one of his fog lights off earlier, too. Roger wins!
We didn't hike down to the lake because it was muddy and we didn't want to take the time. Instead, we kept going to the top of Farwell Mountain. It was chilly and windy but we stayed for a bit to enjoy the views. It would make a nice lunch spot during the warmer months.
We came down from the mountain and continued on, and the rest of the trip to the end of the trail was pretty mellow. It wasn't long at all before we were at the end and in the middle of the Hahns Peak trail. We turned right to head up to the next mountain. Farwell Mountain was definitely long but it was fun. What a great start!