South Platte Park – Friday, January 29, 2021
In Winter, South Platte Park serves as a critical stopping point for migrating bald eagles and nearly two dozen types of water fowl. Janet Johnston, an experienced birder, guided us to discover some of the birds that visit the park as we hiked along the trail.
Carson Nature Center – Friday, January 22, 2021
We are all very blessed to have so many beautiful places to explore in Colorado that are just a short distance from St. Luke's. The Outdoor Adventure team hosted a mid-winter hike along the Platte River Trail and everyone experienced the beauty of Colorado in winter.
Rawhide Trail, White Ranch Open Space – Wednesday, October 7, 2020 This hike offered a welcomed mid-week hike in the midst of the splendor of fall colors.
Reynolds Park – Saturday, September 16, 2020 The hike at Reynolds Park was offered beautiful views and a refreshing outdoor experience in the foothills close to Denver. Even though it is close by, it felt like a world away and provided much needed outdoor beauty in our lovely state while navigating the pandemic.
Shadow Pine Loop Trail at Flying J Ranch Park – Friday, August 28, 2020 The hike was invigorating on such a gorgeous late summer day. The outdoor adventures team engaged everyone in a calming and centering experience of Forest Bathing - a practice growing in popularity worldwide.
High Line Canal Trail to Marjorie Perry Nature Preserve – Saturday, November 9, 2019
This hike was a substitution for our planned hike to Mt. Galbraith, due to ice and mud on the Mt. Galbraith trail. We hiked approximately 2 miles to the beautiful nature preserve, named for this remarkable western woman born in 1886. She had the foresight to protect this serene oasis, surrounded by Greenwood Village, for future generations of nature lovers.
Rattlesnake Gulch Trail in Eldorado Canyon - Tuesday, October 8, 2019
The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail follows an old wagon road up the south wall of the towering canyon walls to the ruins of the Crags Hotel. A quarter mile beyond the hotel is the beautiful Continental Divide overlook. After hiking we enjoyed delicious “potluck” snacks on the banks of South Boulder Creek.
Hike to Silver Dollar Lake – Saturday, September 21, 2019
Silver Dollar Lake is a beautiful alpine lake that can be reached via a 3.5-mile out-and-back trail off Guanella Pass Road. We were blessed with glimpses of early fall colors along our drive to the trailhead. We shared a snack along the windy shores of the lake. We’re grateful to our intrepid drivers who navigated the rutted road to the upper trailhead.
Chicago Lakes Hike - Friday, August 16, 2019
We hiked 11.5 mile trail to the stunningly beautiful Chicago Lakes. We enjoyed the views of the lower lakesand then continued the adventure to the upper alpine lake. Our hike was made complete with celebratory Rocky Ford watermelon and homemade banana bread at the end of the day.
Hike to Palmer Lake Reservoir - Saturday, August 10, 2019
This 4.1 mile out-and-back trail climbed through stunning rock outcroppings. We passed a smaller reservoir and continued on to Palmer Lake Reservoir's serene waters. We ended our hike with a visit to the Rock House Ice Cream Shop, which features over 2 dozen flavors of homemade ice cream!
Alpine Hike on the Burning Bear Trail – Saturday, July 13, 2019
We hiked this gentle out and back trail along beautiful, free-flowing Geneva Creek. We enjoyed beautiful, abundant wild flowers, thanks to late spring moisture. Janet Johnson pointed out “middens” along the trail, created by red squirrels feasting on spruce cones. Sitting on their favorite branch, stump, or wherever, red squirrels pull the outside bits of the cone off, letting them fall to the ground below, and eat the seeds inside.
Spruce Mountain Hike - June 8, 2019
We climbed up through pine forests on a trail with well-designed switchbacks to the top of the mountain, which is actually a butte. A loop trail at the top circles the mostly level perimeter and offers beautiful views of Pikes Peak, the Palmer Divide, and the beautifully sculpted sheer south face. Our cool wet spring has encouraged the growth of abundant and varied wildflowers. It was great, once again, to welcome new "first-timers" to this outdoor adventure.
Mount Falcon Hike - May 15, 2019
We enjoyed a beautiful, sunny, blue sky Colorado morning at. Mount Falcon. Almost half our group of 18 hikers were newcomers to Outdoor Adventures, which afforded opportunities to meet new people, renew old acquaintances and strengthen our love for our outdoor community. We identified many early spring wildflowers, gazed in awe at the snow-covered peaks and reflected upon the deep spirituality of it all.
Hiking the Fountain Valley Trail in Roxborough State Park - March 9, 2019
This hike in beautiful Roxborough Park replaced our planned snowshoe trip to Burning Bear, which had a high avalanche risk.
We celebrated the beginning of our 7th year of Outdoor Adventures and shared reflections from Rabbi Jamie Korngold's book, God in the Wilderness.
Fall Colors Hike on the Rattlesnake Gulch trail in Eldorado Canyon – October 13, 2018
This hike was cancelled due to trail conditions. We will reschedule this beautiful hike for 2019.
Walter Pesman Trail – September 22, 2018
We caught Colorado’s beautiful aspens at their peak as we traveled to the trailhead at the Dos Chappell Nature Center on Mt. Evans Road. Our trail led us upward through an ancient forest of Bristlecone Pines, open tundra, and stoic rock formations. We enjoyed expansive views of the Mt. Evans wilderness area.
Potluck and Paddling - August 19, 2018
We connected with one another as we shared a delicious potluck, a lovely Native American reflection, and a beautiful late summer evening. We explored the lake on SUPs, canoes, kayaks, and hydro cycles. And we spotted the nest for a mated Bald Eagle pair that has made Standley Lake their home since 1993.
Chief Mountain - July 21, 2018
We hiked Chief Mountain Trail and discovered, once again, the beautiful views both along the way and at the top of the mountain. As always, wildflowers were a highlight.
South Mesa - June 9, 2018
We hiked the South Mesa/Big Bluestem/Towhee Loop trail near Boulder and discovered a more advanced blanketing of wildflowers that now includes spiderwort, western wallflower, penstemon, showy loco, and larkspur. We also focused on the soundscape, including listening to the many birds that make their homes along the South Mesa trail system.
Deer Creek Canyon - May 6, 2018
We hiked the Meadowlark/Plymouth loop trail. Early rain and warm temperatures transformed the winter landscape with lovely stands of golden banner, sand lilies, spring beauties, and other early bloomers.
Indian Creek Trail - April 14, 2018
We hiked this 3-mile loop west of Sedalia and the payoff was gorgeous views of Pikes Peak and Devil's Head.
Staunton State Park - Saturday, March 17, 2018
On an early spring day, hikers enjoyed the beauty of one of the areas newest state parks.
Matthews/Winters Loop Trail - Saturday, November 11, 2017
This relatively new Jefferson County Park is a gem, located just 25 minutes from St. Luke's. The beautiful 4.6-mile loop trail (Red Rocks to Cherry Gulch to Morrison Slide to Red Rocks) led us through a variety of ecosystems. We stopped frequently to enjoy the lovely vistas and hydrate for the moderately steep inclines.
Fall Colors Hike at Castlewood Canyon State Park - Saturday, October 14, 2017
On a crisp and colorful October morning, we hiked a 5-mile loop around Castlewood Canyon, where we enjoyed beautiful vistas, canyon views and lovely birdsong. The steep climb up and down the canyon walls were challenging, but we all complete this beautiful hike. Sharing a potluck tailgate snack at the end of our hikes has become an Outdoor Adventures tradition.
Archaeology Experience - Saturday, September 23, 2017
Jack Warner, past President of the Colorado Archaeology Society, led us on a tour of the Bradford II and III rock shelters that were inhabited by Ancient Peoples 5,000 years ago. We learned about what attracted these early inhabitants to the area and imagined their daily lives, based on the evidence of artifacts. We also visited the ruins of the Bradford-Perley House, built by early European settlers.
Potluck Picnic & Boating at Chatfield Reservoir – August 20, 2017
To celebrate 5 years of outdoor adventures we shared a potluck picnic and stories of favorite summer memories. We explored the shores of Chatfield Reservoir in canoes, kayaks, and Stand-up Paddle Boards.
Dawson Butte Hike - July 15, 2017
We hiked the 5-mile loop trail through rolling ponderosa pine forests and open meadows full of wildflowers. Janet Johnston described how natural “soundscapes” can promote health and wellbeing, and we enjoyed a quiet interval full of birdsong, rustling breezes, and the occasional knock of tree against tree.
Evergreen Mountain Hike – June 10, 2017
After being rained and snowed out in April and May, we had a wonderful hike up Evergreen Mountain, a happy substitute for the South Mesa Trail near Boulder, which was experiencing significant construction and an influx of “Ironmen” for their triathlon. Evergreen Mountain offered lovely spring wildflowers, beautiful views of Mount Evans, and simple moments of connection with one another.
Elk Meadow Park Hike – March 18, 2017
A beautiful warm day forced a change of plans, from snowshoeing to an early spring hike. We noticed new greenery peeking through the dormant meadow; we smelled sun-warmed pine needles; we discovered In Elk Meadow Park an attractive new destination to enjoy the beauty of Colorado’s Front Range.
Geology Hike at North Table Mountain – November 12, 2016
On Saturday, November 12, AnnaJulia (AJ) Preble and friend Estee Medberry led us on a Geology Hike at North Table Mountain near Boulder. AJ and Estee helped us understand how plate shifts, volcanic activity, and river flows have shaped the geography of the Front Range. We learned to interpret clues in the rocks themselves to come up with reasonable hypotheses about geologic events.
Hiking in Golden Gate Canyon State Park – October 15, 2016
Golden aspens at their sparkling peak inspired us as we drove to the trailhead at Panorama Point, where we enjoyed magnificent views of the Continental Divide. Following our invigorating 2 - 3 mile hike, we connected with one another over delicious shared snacks.
Evening potluck picnic and canoeing on the Bear Creek Reservoir – September 11, 2016
We celebrated four years of Outdoor Adventures in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.
Hike to Devil’s Head Fire Tower – August 27, 2016
The Ediger family (Suanne, Jared, Miles, and Kelsey) led us along this classic Colorado trail to the Devil’s Head Fire Tower, the only working fire tower in Colorado. Beautiful blue skies, towering rock formations, 360-degree views from the fire tower, and Suanne’s homemade snacks made this a memorable day.
Hiking the Walter Pesman Trail off the Mount Evans Highway – July 9, 2016
On this beautiful summer morning we encountered beautiful and abundant alpine wildflowers and the majestic shapes of the bristlecone pine that have survived in this hostile, tundra environment for millennia.
Hiking in Staunton State Park – June 11, 2016
An intergenerational group explored Colorado’s newest state park. A beautiful morning, abundant wild flowers, towering granite cliffs, and a special group of Outdoor Adventurists made this hike memorable.
Climbing Evergreen Mountain – May 14, 2016
We hiked through the soft spring mists that often muffle sound and color in Colorado’s high country. We rejoiced at the summit as the sun briefly burned through the clouds and revealed a snow-covered Mount Evans and the swirling fog pouring into the valley below.
Hiking at O’Fallon Park – April 9, 2016
Beautiful Colorado Spring weather greeted our hike at O’Fallon Park. Deep evergreens against azure skies, inviting climbing rocks, the music of tumbling streams, and the smell of sun-warmed pine needles created a rich, shared sensory experience.
Snowshoeing at Kenosha Pass – March 12, 2016
Despite the barren ground along the drive to Kenosha Pass, the high altitude of the Continental Divide provided plenty of snow for snowshoeing, as we considered how snow transforms familiar landscapes. We shared thoughts from along the way over lunch at DW’s 285 Diner.
Seven Bridges Hike – November 14, 2015
We followed the North Cheyenne Creek through the canyon with its beautiful rock formations, frozen falls, and the beautiful light and shadow of a sun emerging over canyon walls. The seven bridge crossings provided us the perfect opportunity to pause along the way to offer thanksgiving and gratitude for the paths we have all traveled this past year, and to move across and beyond to new adventure!
Hike to Mallory Cave – October 17, 2015
Carson Mallory led our largest group ever on a hike through the beautiful Flatirons wilderness area to visit Mallory Cave, which Carson’s dad, E.C. “Duke” Mallory discovered in 1932. Along the way Carson shared wonderful stories of his family’s early days in Boulder.
Fall Colors Hike at Kenosha Pass – September 19, 2015
Under a glorious Colorado blue sky, we hiked through golden aspens along Section 6 of the Colorado trail. Julie Polikoff shared a beautiful reading from Mark Nepo.
Yoga on the Rocks – August 1, 2015
We were inspired by the early morning beauty of Red Rocks Amphitheater, and we were both inspired and challenged by Core Yoga in this beautiful setting. We shared a tailgate breakfast after our workout.
Evergreen Lake – July 18, 2015
On a beautiful summer evening, we boated and hiked around lovely Evergreen Lake and connected with one another over a potluck picnic.
Archaeology Hike at South Valley Park – June 20, 2015
Jack Warner, President of the Colorado Archaeological Society, led this hike and invited us to imagine the lives of Colorado’s “ancients,” as we visited rock shelters inhabited more than 8,000 years ago.
Birding Hike – May 30, 2015
Janet Johnston, an experienced “birder,” led us on a journey at Lair O' the Bear to discover the many birds that inhabit the park.
Hiking the South Rim Trail at Roxborough State Park – April 11, 2015
On this beautiful spring day, we hiked Roxborough’s South Rim up through the rocky Dakota Hogback for views of the majestic Fountain and Lyons formations to the north. Warm spring weather had coaxed out many early wildflowers. We considered “connections”… with each other, with this beautiful place, and with our deeper spiritual selves.
Flying J Ranch Hike – Saturday, Mar. 21, 2015
On March 21, we traded snowshoes for hiking boots at Flying J Ranch. Looking for signs of the earth awakening to spring, we observed budding new life among the trees and streams bubbling free from crumbling ice. Spending a day like this, in nature, fueled our conversation about wholehearted living.
Spruce Mountain Hike - Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014
Fourteen outdoor adventurists climbed lovely Spruce Mountain near Larkspur and viewed beautiful, sculpted rock outcroppings. We shared our thanks for God's marvelous creation. Lunch at Spur of the Moment following our hike provided time for fellowship.
High Line Canal Trail to the Marjorie Perry Nature Preserve – Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014
A beautiful autumn day blessed our hike along one of the loveliest sections of the High Line Canal trail. We explored the Marjorie Perry Nature Preserve, a tranquil suburban oasis, seeking signs of transformation in nature and reflecting on our own personal "becomings."
Fall Colors Hike to Chief Mountain – Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014
We climbed 11,700 foot Chief Mountain to enjoy panoramic views of snow-covered peaks from Pikes Peak to Longs Peak. Lunch at Little Bear gave us the opportunity to share our adventures.
2-Year Anniversary Celebration: Hike & Picnic-Chatfield Reservoir–Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014
A beautiful early fall evening provided a colorful backdrop for our 2-year Anniversary Celebration at Chatfield State Park. We hiked through the lightly traveled south end of the park, which offered opportunities for reflection and for connecting with one another. Our potluck picnic included roasting marshmallows for s’mores, an Outdoor Adventure Ministry tradition.
Birding at Castlewood Canyon – June 28, 2014
Janet Johnston led us on an ambling 2.5-mile hike through the nesting grounds of song birds breeding in the park. She demonstrated how to view birds through binoculars, make field observations, and identify specific birds in the avian soundscape.
Alderfer/Three Sisters Hike – May 17, 2014
Beautiful vistas, abundant spring wild flowers, and rocky outcroppings offered a delightful experience to hikers of all levels.
Mallory Cave Hike – April 12, 2014
Carson and Michelle Mallory were our guides, sharing information about the geology and history of the area, as well as sacred family stories. Carson’s father, E.C. “Duke” Mallory ‘re-discovered” the cave in 1932 and spent many hours wandering through the thick forests and rocky hill sides that kept the cave hidden for many years. Lunch at Beau Jo’s offered opportunities to share experiences and connect with one another.
Snowshoeing at the Flying J Ranch – March 8, 2014
Fresh snow and clear skies created perfect conditions for snowshoers of all levels to revel in the beauty of Colorado in winter. A lesson on using light and shadow to enhance photo composition stimulated creative results. We shared experiences over hot chocolate and then headed for lunch in Conifer.
Colorado Paint Mines – Nov. 16, 2013
We explored the magnificent Paint Mines, a little-known geologic treasure in eastern Colorado. Participants discovered a colorful and unique ecological landscape of chasms, spires, overhangs, and carved walls. A picnic lunch offered time for sharing and reflecting.
Harvest Moon Hike – Sept. 21, 2013
Due to flooding, our Harvest Moon Hike was relocated at the last minute to nearby Mt. Falcon Park, where we watched the sun set, roasted marshmallows for s’mores, and experienced the transitional twilight as we waited for the harvest moon to rise.
Overnight at Oliver’s cabin and Gem Lake Hike – August 16, 2013
Sharon and Bob Oliver hosted us at their mountain cabin and hike to Gem Lake. Over a simple supper, we shared family stories of connection and inspiration that have transformed ordinary places into sacred spaces. Hiking to Gem Lake, Bob and Sharon introduced us to more sacred spaces, and we connected through discovery, memory, and awe.
Sunset Canoeing on Chatfield Reservoir – August 1, 2013
We shared a beautiful evening navigating the quiet shores of Chatfield Reservoir with Phil Waltz, a naturalist from South Suburban Parks. Shoreline birds, complemented by the softening evening light, created opportunities to experience renewal through nature.
Tea Ceremony at Botanic Gardens – July 13, 2013
We experienced the deep spiritual tradition of an authentic Japanese tea ceremony at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Ice Climbers at Helen Hunt Park – March 16, 2013
The beautiful Helen Hunt Falls near Colorado Springs freeze in winter and are a popular destination for ice climbers, who provide a metaphor for vulnerability, courage, and commitment. “There are magnificent spiritual moments on this trail that provide opportunities to reflect on the mystery, mercy and motion of God.”
Winter Weekend Getaway at Tabernash – Jan. 25-27, 2013
Our diverse group (aged 26 to 70) snow-shoed, cross country skied, hot tub’ed, played games, roasted marshmallows, laughed, made new/strengthened old friendships, and marveled together over God’s marvelous creation in winter. Janet Johnston opened and closed our time together with poems and readings to guide us toward a deeper appreciation of the beauty of winter in our Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Sunset Hike at the Bluffs – Nov. 17, 2012
We hiked to the Bluff’s Overlook in Lonetree to enjoy a beautiful sunset against panoramic views of the Front Range and to share time for spiritual reflection. A soup supper followed and offered time for fellowship and connection.
Cherry Creek Bike Trail – Oct. 20, 2012
St. Luke’s bikers toured the Cherry Creek bike trail from the Broncos Parkway trailhead to Chandler Recreation Center, experiencing a landscape in transition and sharing time for fellowship and reflection.
Chief Mountain Fall Leaves Hike – Sept. 29, 2012
St. Luke’s hikers scaled Chief Mountain to enjoy the panoramic views of a world in glorious autumn transition, and to gaze with respect on ancient Bristlecone pines. The broad, open summit offered private places to reflect on pivotal experiences that can open us to the presence of God in our lives.
Roxborough Hike – August 3, 2012
This was our inaugural Outdoor Adventure, and we chose a hidden gem located almost in St. Luke’s backyard. It was a beautiful early morning, spirit-filled hike, as we enjoyed the ancient sculpted shapes of the Fountain Formation, late blooming wildflowers, bird song, and refreshing morning breezes.