Paradise Valley Conservation Area

Paradise Valley Conservation Area. I wasn’t going to bother writing about this hike because it’s not worth writing about. But here I am. I have pictures, so there’s that. This is from Tuesday, September 1. Three weeks ago. Damn smoke halted our Tuesday hikes the past two weeks. I have never felt so cooped up before… we couldn’t even go outside in our own yard. It was awful. And I know I shouldn’t complain about not being able to go outside when those affected by the fires lost homes, and some lives. 2020 keeps it coming. Ugh.

I’ve heard about Paradise Valley, it’s not far from home. Maybe 25 minutes? And yet we never made it over there to check out until the start of September. To sum it up, blah. It’s 793 acres of blah. Granted, we didn’t check out all 793 acres so maybe I’m missing the paradise part.

The kiddo hikers, minus Saige. She had pulled a muscle and wasn’t up for using her legs.

There are several trails to pick from. We decided to head down the Wetland Plateau Trail first. We never found any wetland. The trail is super narrow and overgrown; it’s hard to see anything over the overgrowth. It’s not that the overgrowth is bad, it’s pretty and green everywhere. Which is no different than walking around any other nature area around here.

Trail kiddos. I love that Baby wore a cape, haha.

Tree lovers.

Once we realized we weren’t going to see any wetland, we stopped at a rest stop along the way. It was a bench with a sign calling it a rest stop. It worked. I swear if the kiddos know they have snacks, they are hungry even if they aren’t. They had eaten breakfast not even an hour before. Those snacks in their backpacks were on their minds. They snacked, I took Maive out of the backpack, and we rest stopped for about a half-hour.

Rest stop kiddos.

With no wetland in sight, we decided to backtrack on the Wetland Plateau Trail and hit the Cascara Trail to the Whispering Firs Trail, and then back to the parking lot. This was a better option. It was still fairly blah, but at least the trail was better maintained and the overgrowth was minimal.

At the Cascara Trail sign, I told the kiddos the sign said we had to walk backwards. Haha. Luckily my kiddos are used to me, but one of their little buddies started walking backwards. Cute! Blaise took me up on the backwards thing—knowing I was teasing—and walked backwards most of the way… until he tripped on a tree root covering the trail. He almost made it backwards the whole way.

The Cascara Trail offered a large boulder for the kiddos to climb. This was probably the highlight of this short trail. There were also some interesting trees.

Boulder climbers. I absolutely love how Blaise naturally puts his arms around his sisters. He usually does with Laine also, he was just a bit too far from her to do so on the boulder.

Interesting trees, I suppose.

Cascara Trail to the Whispering Firs Trail. I like this name. It sounds calming. This trail was my favorite of the area, despite still being relatively blah. It was pretty and felt like a hike. There is a fallen tree log across the trail, that they’ve left and incorporated into the trail. I’m down with this. It adds a little something. The kiddos enjoyed spending time walking along the log and climbing one of the trees against the log.

Downed tree crossing the trail.

Tree posers.

The company was nice, the rest stop chatter was fun, boulder climbing was the highlight, and the log across the trail was the most interesting part. Maybe I’m being a downer calling it blah. My expectations were higher. That’s on me.

Maive! And hiker kiddos.

Next up, Cherry Creek Falls.

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