Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hogbacks Open Space Recreation Area

What a unique place! The term hogback is an actual geologic term which refers to the land formations just east of Skyline Drive in which steeply tilted strata form long, narrow ridges. With erosion, the ridges become more knobby and resemble the knobby spine of a hog. For years this area was not protected or developed. ATV and dirt bike paths went everywhere, causing vegetation loss, erosion and noise pollution for nearby residents. In 2007 residents and city leaders began envisioning something better. Today, the Hogbacks area has been developed into a wonderful recreational area for residents and visitors with miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. The area stretches north to south on the west side of the city, providing direct access to recreational opportunities to many neighborhoods.

The trails are of varying difficulty. The main trail (Greenhorn Trail) through the area is wide and fairly level. The toughest trail (Dakota Ridge - photo right) is narrow and steep, running from the top of Skyline Drive (that's the easy part) before steeply decending the hogback in a series of switchbacks to the Greenhorn Trail far below. No trees or shade to be had here, so if visiting I recommend early morning or late evening during the summer months. The Graneros Trail is single-wide trail running north to south with fairly gentle curves and grade - it has a nice 'flow' to it. 

Click here for a trail map of the Hogbacks area. There are two parking areas: One on Floral Street (this is where Skyline Drive ends) and the other on Washington St.

BTW... if you look closely you'll see three long lines of 'hogbacks' in this area: the main hogback which is home to Skyline Drive, a series of much smaller hogbacks east of the Greenhorn Trail -- and in between an even smaller ridge of hogbacks.  I've heard some locals refer to these as sowbacks and piggybacks, respectively.  :D  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting and joining in the discussion on Rocky Mountain Treks! Your comment will be sent to me to be approved. Sorry for this added step, but it is necessary to avoid spam. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!