On a trail buried in a neighborhood that we would have never stumbled upon, we found the trailhead. This easy grade trail has become one of my favorite new trails filled with mountains, critter, forests, and rivers. While the parking is less the ideal, with only a few spots and no parking in the neighborhoods, the views are worth the parking hassles.
The start of the hike follows along a river; crossing log bridges back and forth over streams, rapids, and rivers. The sound of the water creates instant calmness, and the breeze that picks up keeps the temperature cool as you work up a sweat. Every few feet you’ll find the perfect spot to sit and soak it all in. We sit near some rapids to eat our bagel and egg sandwiches, preparing our bodies for a long day in the wilderness. As we walk a mile or two down the trail, we come to a large bridge crossing the river. On the other side is we find a wood forest with a trail perfect for trail running and dog walking along with hiking. The sparse trees create space to breath and to take in all the sights. As the trees start to stretch further and further apart, the valley opens up to a magical skyline that takes your breath away, that’s not the altitude’s doing.
In the middle of this valley, two old mountains rise from the ground. Their rounded peaks show their age and all the years that they’ve witnessed sitting there. The trail takes you closer and closer to these mountains only showing more of the grandeur and slowly making it harder and harder to breathe as you bask in their glory.
The best part of this trail is it’s “choose your own adventure” features. The signage is less than helpful so keeping a close eye to the trails you choose is essential if you don’t want to get lost. However, sometimes getting lost in the woods is the exact thing that you need to do and as long as you stay on a trail, you can always turn back.
If you’re looking for an easy trail in the mountains, this one was made for you. Whether you aren’t used to the altitude, or just want to take things slow, the Willowbrook trail is what you’re looking for. We’re keeping this one in mind for when friends and family come to visit so that they can get the taste of Colorado hikes without the 2,000-foot elevation gain. On the other hand, it’s still an elevation of 10,000 feet so just prepare yourself for that. Otherwise, enjoy the adventure.