The road to Arizona can be a long one. Driving from the Midwest our wheels crossed most of the Great Plains before getting to anything interesting. Once the front range of the Rocky Mountains appeared though, the trip was more than halfway over and the journey was much more entertaining. Flatlands turned to high deserts, mountain foothills, and new color pallets refreshed the eyes.
After two days of driving with Stella behind us, we needed some sort of adventure to wake us up and loosen our rusty hips. On Facebook there is a group dedicated to the type of camper we have, so I inquired with the group about camper friendly hikes along our route. A woman who lived close to the route sent me a list of places to visit and Dawson Butte, Colorado was the one we chose. Located right off HWY 25 between Denver and Colorado Springs, this trail was perfect for parking Stella while going out for a day hike. Since the trail was also an equestrian trail, there was plenty of room for trailers.
Our legs thanked us for some movement as we hightailed it onto the trail. The color pallet changed from Midwest vibrants to soft tone autumn desert. Traveling brings new color pallets to life, a new feeling, a new meaning. Salmon pink grasses blended in with pale sage plants, crimson oaks hedged the ponderosa tower forests. Bark of the ponderosa always has fun designs on it, like nature’s secret language only the trees know. High altitude sunshine baked on my shoulders, a hot autumn day perfect for a tank top. The dogs sniffed every tree they could, Ollie’s first time on a desert mountain hike surely had his attention set.
The hike in total was about five miles. What I loved most about it was the variety of scenes and ecosystems we walked through. It started out in a mountain meadow, burnt autumn colors speckled throughout the scenery depending on the type of brush or grass growing. In the distance were mountains or buttes, the main attraction being Dawson Butte who we met about halfway through the hike. After the grasslands, we ventured into ponderosa pine forests along smooth trails interspersed with rocks. Being in the forest blocked the sun's hot rays off our shoulders and kept us cool during the afternoon. The trail was relatively flat with hardly any elevation gain making it perfect for a mid-day saunter. Towards the end of the hike, the grasslands opened up once again with more views of Dawson Butte. We met many other hikers and horseback riders on our journey, almost everyone friendly and saying hello (besides our territorial dogs!)
Below is a collection of pictures from our hike. We had a lovely time winding around the forests & meadows and meeting other hikers and horse riders! If you’re ever looking for a place to hike and you’re towing a camper, know it’s a friendly and easily accessible spot to visit.
Sending you love and inspiration for your next outdoor adventure!