Eldorado Canyon State Park is only six miles from my apartment in south Boulder, but it’s totally different. For many people its biggest draw is more than 500 rock climbing routes up the sheer cliffs of the narrow canyon above South Boulder Creek. For me it is the much easier Fowler Trail, where I take my friends when they visit me.
I took my fiancée, Sue, there, in part because of her rock climbing interest and experience. While the Fowler Trail took us through some of the steepest mountains anywhere, it has a nearly level grade because it started in the early 1880s as a railway grade for the Denver, Utah and Pacific Railroad, which was attempting to find a route over the Rocky Mountains. But the railroad abandoned the effort after grading about two miles and never laid any rails.
We had a great walk in the wilds as we searched for rock climbers across the canyon. But not until we started to drive out of the park did we get good views of any of them.
We stopped when we saw several climbers attempting to climb the Bastille, a huge rock formation that reminds us of the fortress in Paris that for most of its history was used as a state prison by the kings of France.