Sure you can party on the weekends with the best of them, but when the bright Colorado sun smacks you in the face on Saturday morning, don’t cower back under the sheets. Get up and sweat out that hangover, so you can do it all over again.
Littered along the front range are a multitude of short distance beginner to intermediate hikes, that can help you get your game face back. This weekend head to Boulder and check out The Mallory Cave Hike.
Originally discovered in the early 1900’s by loggers, the cave became a rumor, a whisper of old mountain man legend, until a student at dear old CU, named Mallory rediscovered it in 1932.
The Mallory Cave hike is quick and beautiful. The cave is small but very important to the Colorado Eco-system. Both the Fringed Myotis and Townsend’s Big Eared bats have their maternity grounds deep inside the cave.
Mallory Cave is now closed to the public for the protection of the bats. Barred with a large cast-iron gate, adorned with bat symbols and shapes. Screaming out, “to the bat cave,” as you hike up is highly encouraged.
Start at the NCAR Mesa trail-head. Just 30 minutes northwest of Denver, off Table Mesa Road, follow NCAR road until you have reached the NCAR (The National Center for Atmospheric Research) parking lot.
Parking here is free and you can wander inside the NCAR facility for a quick self-tour of the interactive displays on the first level or to use the restroom.
From the trail-head to the cave entrance is about 2.5 miles one-way. The ascent starts off gentle, as you pass the NCAR informational signs along the first section of the trail. Then descend down and slightly to the left into the gulley. Keep left at the fork of the Mesa Trail; take the right fork to the Mallory Cave trail. There are trail maps along the way to help you stay on target. The entire NCAR trail system is out and back, so you can navigate easily.
Once at the top, sweeping views of the valley heading north, east and south will make the journey worth every minute.
Get up, get down and get over your hangover.