You know the old saying “early bird gets the worm.” Sunrise hikers like me know that’s one hundred percent true. If you want solitude on the trail, you have to get up before dawn. The bonus is getting to witness the start of a new day unfold before your eyes. I hadn’t hiked in the Flatirons of Boulder in ages. When my sport physiologist Luke, who I train with regularly, asked if I wanted to go on a Sunday sunrise hike with him and another client I immediately responded YES.
We got to small parking area at Panorama Point at 6:30am and paid our $5 parking fee since we’re non-Boulder County residents). It actually wasn’t too cold with temps in the low 30s, but it was breezy so I kept on my 3 layers, warm headband and gloves. Two things we had to have for this hike – a headlamp and spikes since there snow and ice on the trail. With headlamps on we started up Panorama Trail as a orange glow started over the eastern horizon.
As we got to Crown Rock the sky filled with colors from tangerine to rose and switched to a beautiful cotton candy pink as we hiked Gregory Canyon. We looped around on Ranger and EM Greeman Trails to Saddlerock Trail and down Amphitheater Trail. The trail varied from easy flat to rocky and steep. I kept my Kahtoola EXOSpikes on for most of the hike because as soon as I would think I didn’t need them, I did as we encountered snowy and icy stretches. I did not slide at all with these spikes. Because of the rugged terrain and steep sections I would call this an intermediate hike. You could easily a shorter loop or out-an-back hike from Panorama Point. My Apple Watch and iPhone said we did over 6 miles.
We ended our hike walking Gregory Canyon to Flagstaff Road and walked the road back up to the car. As we drove down as passed Chautauqua Park, it was packed on a beautiful Sunday morning. Getting up early was definitely worth it!
Before heading back to Denver we made a quick stop at Ozo Coffee flagship location on West Pearl Street in downtown Boulder for a latte to celebrate a great morning hike.