Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Loveland, CO–Boyd Lake State Park

For those who watch the news you may have seen the stories about the Colorado floods. While I am currently in Colorado Springs where there has been some flooding and problems, much of the damage was around Boulder and north, which includes much of the area I visited during my stay in Loveland.

When I was in Colorado a few years ago I had visited Boyd Lake State Park and remembered that they had a great biking/walking trail, so I decided to stay at the state park during my visit to Loveland.   I enjoyed walking and biking the trail every day during my visit in early August. 

On my trip years ago and this trip, I drove through Big Thompson Canyon several times – it is a beautiful area.  This is Hwy 34, which is the main road from I-25 (Loveland) to Estes Park to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Currently a lot of Hwy 34 is closed due to flooding and major road damage.   Rocky Mountain National Park is closed, but the main road through the park is open to emergency vehicles as it is now the only road into Estes Park. 

Below are a couple of pictures I took of Big Thompson Canyon as I was driving through this canyon about a month ago.


The last picture I believe is the start of the curves in the picture below.  This picture was taken of the floods that occurred in mid-September.  You can see that a good bit of the road has been destroyed. 


Other pictures of the damage to the road through Big Thompson Canyon.  These were taken off the internet.  love_flood_big_thompson_canyon2


One of my day trips I drove part of the Peak to Peak Scenic Hwy and then drove through part of Boulder, thru Lyons and back to Estes Park.  Lyons is one of the towns that has been completely cut off from the floods.  While driving thru the area, I was enjoying the drive through a canyon (I think Boulder Canyon) and remember thinking I could live in an area like this.  It was beautiful, lots of outdoor activities, away from large towns, but close enough to Boulder that you could have good shopping fairly close.  After the flood, I think I will rethink my idea of possibly living there.

I enjoyed the Peak to Peak drive very much.  I stopped at Lily lake for a short walk around the pretty lake.

On the drive, I passed the St. Catherine of Siena Chapel – which is more commonly known as the Chapel on the Rock. 

A picture taken just a couple of days ago after the major flooding is below --


It looks like the church is ok, but where you see the brown in the middle of the photo was a creek, trees and bushes.  Note – this picture was taken from the Facebook page of Sheriff Justin Smith who is trying to keep people informed with information about the area.   I didn’t take a picture from the same view, but you can see in the picture below that the area was green.

My next stop was at Brainard Lake Recreation Area.  This area had a nice campground that I would like to stay at one day.  It has an elevation of 10,300, so it was a bit cool.  I didn’t do any hiking, but did enjoy a couple short walks.

Brainard Lake -

Moose in the area -


On the way out of Brainard Lake rec. area, I stopped at one of the smaller lakes, which was covered with water lilies. 

Another day, I drove through Pouche Canyon.  Another beautiful area. 

And of course, I visited Rocky Mountain National Park a couple of times. 

I took the road up over the mountains and to the other side of the park one day.  Just a little before the highest point of the drive I saw a few people watching something, so I stopped.  It was several Big Horn Sheep.  I watched for a while as they ran around.

I also saw several elk on a hillside.  I think it’s the same hill I saw them on a few years ago!

By the way, if you read my blog regularly you may remember my post about the flood in Bannack State Park in Montana (see my Dillion, MT post).  Bannack reopened Sept 9!!!  If you are thinking about going, make sure to visit the Bannack Association Facebook page, which has postings not only about current things going on, but also about the history of Bannack. 

I am in Colorado Springs through the end of the month.  I am not sure where I am headed when I leave here, I need to figure that out. 


  1. We also loved the Boulder area. That canyon was so pretty, and like you said, lots of outdoor activities in the area. We figured it is probably a pricey place to live, though. Too bad about the flooding but good that you left before it happened.

  2. Hi Pam, if you are going near Albuquerque you might consider the Balloon Fiesta. I am going to park at Sandia Casino and meet some gal-pals to watch from there. Will probably go over to the Fiesta park a few times to visit with the Lazy Daze group there. I'll arrive about 10/1 to secure a parking spot. Of course, if you've already done Balloon Fiesta you may not want to. But, could always use another gal-pal!
    Take care,

  3. Glad to hear you are safe, and that you got to visit those areas before the flood damage. Hope you have continued luck in your travels. SE-43