• Michael O'Keeffe

Our First Few Weeks in Colorado

If you follow my Instagram (@michaelokeeffephoto) you probably have seen by now that Chyna and I have moved from Seattle to Colorado. The first few weeks here have been a whirlwind with lots to learn and figure out. We are already loving our new home especially as we have begun to get outside and explore the wonderful wilds of the Rockies. We have fortunately found some time to get out a little bit and explore some of the closer spots near our new home in Loveland. Here are some photos from our first few local hikes.


Devils Backbone Open Space

Just a short 10 minute drive from our new house is Devils Backbone Open Space. This tiny parcel of nature is a perfect spot to go for a quick hike or run to catch a sunset after work. It is so nice to have a spot like this so close to home. Wildlife is plentiful here, the wildflowers are diverse, and Devils Backbone itself is a sight to see. The Devils Backbone is a rocky spine of towering rock pinnacles along a ridgeline rising out of the prairie at the base of the foothills.

An elk at Devils Backbone in Colorado.
An elk hangs out in the prairie grasses at the base of Devils Backbone.
A mule deer at Devils Backbone in Colorado.
A mile deer stands guard among vibrant green prairie grasses.
A mule deer at Devils Backbone in Colorado.
A mule deer trots across the trail.
A trail at Devils Backbone in Colorado.
A thunderstorm clears at sunset above the trail.
Wildflowers at Devils Backbone in Colorado.
Wildflowers bloom under dramatic skies.
Devils Backbone in Colorado
The sun shines through a hole in the rock.
Sunset at Devils Backbone Colorado
Prairie grasses meet the rugged spine of Devils Backbone.
Wildflowers at Devils Backbone in Colorado.
Wildflowers bloom beneath rock pinnacles.
Devils Backbone Colorado
The "Keyhole" a highlight of Devils Backbone.
Devils Backbone Colorado
A clearing storm creates a colorful sunset along the trail.
Yucca Devils Backbone Colorado
Yucca bloom along the trail.
Devils Backbone Colorado
Rolling trail among mixed grass prairie.
Devils Backbone Colorado
Wildflowers bloom beneath Devils Backbone.
Devils Backbone Colorado
Devils Backbone is a short 10 minute drive from our new home.
Devils Backbone Colorado
After a record snowy winter the foothills were particularly green this spring.
Devils Backbone Colorado
One last look before heading home.

Hall Ranch Open Space

About 30 minutes away near Lyons is another little gem for a quick escape into nature, Hall Ranch Open Space. This park has an extensive network of trails that takes you through open meadows filled with wildflowers, ponderosa pine forest, and offers big views of the Longs Peak and the Front Range to the west. A classic spot for sure!

Hall Ranch Colorado
Chyna hiking pass wildflower filled meadows.
Hall Ranch Colorado
Scattered stands of pines among the open meadows made for an idyllic setting.
Hall Ranch Colorado
The grass got greener and the trees more common as we climbed higher.
Longs Peak Hall Ranch Colorado
Longs Peak, a 14er, is visible from the trail.
Hall Ranch Colorado
Chyna admiring the view in evening light.
Hall Ranch Colorado
Wildflowers is a shady ravine along the trail.
Hall Ranch Colorado
Beautiful grasses in the foothills during the spring.
Hall Ranch Colorado
Wonderful warm sunset light on the hike out.
Hall Ranch Colorado
Interesting boulder perched on a cliff edge.

Rocky Mountain National Park

And the granddaddy of them all, Rocky Mountain National Park. A short 45 minute drive from our house in Loveland, this is a spot we will certainly be spending lots of time in the future. These photos were taken on a sunrise drive we took just to check out the park a few weeks ago. I plan to do several hikes in the park this summer!

Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado
Looking toward Twin Sisters Peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado
Looking east from Trail Ridge Road down into the Fall River Valley at sunrise.
Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado
The Fall River meanders beneath granite peaks.

These are just a few of the many local spots we now have access to. Be sure to subscribe below to follow along on our many new adventures to be had!

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