I’ve had the amazing opportunity to be in Aspen, Colorado this week. Aspen is a unique little town, with lots of personality, nestled in The Rocky Mountains along the Roaring Fork River. There are amazing restaurants, tons of outdoor activities and awesome shopping. It’s kind of known for being the playground for celebs-I haven’t seen any yet though. Sounds like the perfect place right? Aspen is at about 12,ooo ft above sea level so one of the challenges here to visitors is adapting to the altitude. I have had issues before so I have been chugging water by the gallon. So far so good. I was on a mission this week to try new activities and step out of my comfort zone a bit.
First up: Hiking the Hunter Creek Trail
Let’s just start by saying that I am not really a “hiker” and neither are my friends and hubby. We were told this was a “not to be missed experience”. My pictures do not do it justice. I wish I was a better photographer. It is absolutely breathtaking to see the mountains, the foliage and the rivers from this trail. You can see the famous Aspen trees below right. There is something so calming about hearing the water roar by. We set out at a moderate pace to tackle the trail. I was quickly reminded, by my glutes, that we were on a pretty steep terrain. Oh and did I mention the altitude? Being in cardio shape at sea level is quite different than at this height. It is very humbling to be gasping for air and feel your heart beat way faster than you expect. We hiked up a mostly shaded path for about 1 hr and 30 min to reach the top where we took the cut off to Smuggler Mountain to make our descent. We were a little quicker on the downhill and made it back in about 1 hr. Total hiking time about 2 1/2 hours. Having not done much hiking, I was instantly reminded how cardio intensive this was. Mix in the added altitude and you have quite a workout. According to SparkPeople, I burned over 1,200 calories on this hike. I’d say that chocolate chip cookie I had later was well deserved! Here are some of the amazing sights we saw along the way:
It was such a gorgeous day and an unbelievable way to see the town. This was certainly way different that my usual workouts and it was a tough one!
Do you like to hike? Have you experienced altitude issues?