It was definitely a white Christmas season in Denver, so being from Washington State, it seemed most appropriate to celebrate the season with a walk in the snow through Denver’s own Washington Park.
Park bench full of snow . . . at Washington Park in Denver
One of my favorite parks in Denver, The park includes several trails, including one that goes around the perimeter of the park, tennis courts, a lawn bowling/croquet field, and two playgrounds. A recreation center with an indoor pool, free weights, and other athletic facilities is also located in the park. Smith Lake has a boathouse that can be rented out for various events.
Here’s something I really love about Denver. Practically before it even stops snowing, not only have the streets been cleared, but even the trails at the local parks! Here I am, shoveling a path through the back yard.
That's me, shoveling a walkway through the back yard . . .
Wanting to get out and enjoy the snow, I walked the trails around Lollipop Lake at Garland Park. What an absolutely beautiful snow day!
Just because there was a little snow on the ground, I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying the trails. With trekking poles and hiking boots, I set off along the Cherry Creek Trail.
The Cherry Creek Trail
The Cherry Creek Trail, beginning in downtown Denver, is a 40-mile trail that connecting the city of Denver to Parker, Centennial and Franktown. A paved path beginning near the Platte River Trail and Confluence Park, the trail runs parallel with Cherry Creek through urban landscapes, parks and on into the suburbs. I followed the trail for about three miles beginning at Garland Park in Denver, going past the Four Mile House and Historic park and then on to the Cherry Creek Shopping District before I turned around and headed back.
For more information on the Cherry Creek Trail, go here – http://www.traillink.com/trail/cherry-creek-trail.aspx.
You might wonder what the Christkindl Market and ice skating might have in common, but if you were in downtown Denver at Skyline Park, you would know.
Following a 700-year old traditional German Christkindl Market, (Christ Child Market), in December, a portion of Denver’s Skyline Park is lined with festive outdoor huts filled with unique handmade crafts and traditional Christkindl treats.
Denver Christkindl Market
And, for the second year in a row, the portion of Skyline Park located at the base of the D & F Clocktower at 16th and Arapahoe Streets is turned into an ice rink. Open daily for free skating until February 14th, there is a $2.00 cost for skate rentals.
Ice skating . . . at Skyline Park
Skyline Park, what a fun little park!
Every year the Denver City and County Building is decked out in Christmas lights, and this year was certainly no exception.
Denver City County Building . . . Christmas lights 2011
It’s no surprise that crowds of people flock to downtown Denver after dark to view the colorful light display.
Cold and blowing snow, it seemed like a good day to be inside, touring the State Capitol Building while in downtown Denver.
Colorado State Capitol Building
The dome is coated on the outside with gold (real gold!) and I find it impressive from the inside too.
Looking up inside the dome . . . in the Colorado State Capitol Building
I love the details in building like this and greatly enjoyed my tour. For more information about the Colorado State Capitol Building, go here – http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/cap/first.htm.
When I lived there, I worked for a gold mining company located right downtown, in the tallest building there. My office was up on the 40th floor of this building, the Republic Plaza.
Republic Plaza . . . where I worked on the 40th floor
I spent a very fun day meandering around downtown Denver, enjoying the old . . . and discovering the new.
More than an ampitheatre, Red Rocks is one of my favorite parks for enjoying the Colorado scenery. With plenty of hiking trails, a visitor center and more, at 6,450 feet above sea level, the park is located in a unique transitional zone between the great plains and the rocky mountains. I enjoy exploring the trails at the park.
Me . . . at Red Rocks Park . . .
The majestic setting of the open-air Amphitheatre with its two, three hundred-foot monoliths and has made it a favorite for musical performers and concert goers since before the turn of the century. Information about the Red Rocks Ampitheatre and Park can be found here – http://www.redrocksonline.com/PARKAMENITIES/Trails.aspx.
Established in 1859 during the gold rush days in Colorado, in 1991 the quaint little shops lining the streets of Black Hawk were converted into gambling casinos and saloons. Since then, hotel/casinos like the Ameristar have been added to the mountain town’s skyline.
The Ameristar Hotel/Casino . . . after dark
It is an easy drive from Denver to Black Hawk through the Clear Creek Canyon, and quite scenic as the highway cuts through the mountains.
We drove the white truck . . . through the Clear Creek Canyon
Information about the town of Black Hawk is available on their website here – http://www.blackhawkcolorado.com/.
Let me tell you, 20 degrees F certainly feels a lot different in Denver than it did in Leavenworth (see post about my trip to Leavenworth, WA from a week ago here – https://morefromreallyrose.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/leavenworth/ ). While I realize that the frozen fog endured in Leavenworth was rare for that area, in Denver as I set out for my walk along the Highline Canal Trail, the temperature was only 20 degrees F – and I wasn’t even close to cold.
Blue sky . . . over the Highline Canal Trail
A 66 mile trail along the Highline Canal that is owned and operated by Denver Water, I started on a trail around a frozen Lollipop Lake in Garland Park in Southeast Denver. From Garland Park, I continued on to the Highline Canal for three to four miles, then turned around and walked back.
Information about the Highline Canal Trail can be found here – http://www.denverwater.org/Recreation/HighLineCanal/, and information about Garland Park here – http://www.recreationparks.net/CO/denver/garland-park-denver.