Friday, July 3, 2015
This afternoon I was looking for a short hike close to home and came across Rock Park on the internet. The hike was made to order: a 1.4 mile loop that takes you up to the Castle Rock butte, which is the namesake of the town of Castle Rock, Colorado.
The trail was rated as difficult because of its 370 foot elevation difference over the half mile climb to the summit. But the climb was so short that even I -- I who am fat, lazy, sluggish, out of shape, etc. -- was not huffing and sweating at the summit.
The trail made switchbacks through stands of scrub oak.
Here is a side view of the Castle Rock formation, photographed at the midpoint of my ascent.
At the top!
Cliff swallows were flying around. I also spotted two hawks up on the cliff face. Here is a murky picture of one of them.
As I descended to the parking lot, I passed many wildflowers. Here are some fairy trumpet flowers (Ipomopsis aggregata). They are also called scarlet gilia or skyrocket. Hummingbirds like them.