Tuesday, October 31, 2023

An Enchanted Hike Through the Enchanted Mesa

Tall flowering grasses line the path

I could spend tons of posts on the beauty that we saw when we stayed in the Boulder, Colorado area this last summer, but one of the more notable periods of our stay was when many of the so-called wheatgrasses were in flower.

The Enchanted Mesa trail in the Flatirons hiking area is considered a moderate trail, but I remember it was relatively easy and flat. You also get some good spectacular views along part of the way.

The arching flowerheads of T. intermedium

But the best part of hiking this trail is that large parts of it lie in savanna grassland, and in mid-July, the path is lined by masses of tall flowering grasses. 

These include the wheatgrasses Pascopyrum smithii and Thinopyrum intermedium, whose arching flowerheads are positively ethereal against the filtered sunlight, as well as the usual Bromus inermis.

I was accompanied by my wife in the hike, and although she is not a die hard grassophile like myself, even she had to marvel at the scenery and comment on it.

In fact, many of the hiking trails in the area had the same grasses in flower, and another notable hike that we did was at the Red Rocks trail

Red Rocks Trail in July 

In this case, the sight of the ancient red rocks rising above the flowering grasses that surrounded them was almost a religious experience, especially with the grasses dancing in sinuous waves to the gusting wind.

So the next time you're in the Boulder area in July, be sure to lace on your hiking shoes and take an enchanted trip to the Enchanted Mesa!


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