Round-Trip Length: 4.5 miles
Trailhead Location: 0.1 mile south of I-70 on Highway 26
After having a very successful lunch meeting today, I decided to take a celebratory hike in the late afternoon since the weather was unseasonably warm with the high around 75 degrees. There are a lot of close options so I chose Matthews/Winters Park near I-70 and Highway 26 north of Morrison.
Matthews/Winters Park contains the original town site of Mt. Vernon. All that remains now is the cemetery. Dr. Joseph Castro founded the town of Mount Vernon in the Jefferson Territory in 1859 as a supply stop for the mines. He offered building lots in the town at no cost for those who would build on them. The town grew to 44 registered voters in 1860. Over time, the political power of the town shifted away toward Denver. With that, the town of Mount Vernon slowly faded away. By 1885, only the Matthews family was official residents of Mount Vernon. In 1976 Jefferson County Open space purchased 510 acres from Dr. William Winters. Through a series of purchases and donations from Nicholas Matthews, an additional 357 acres were acquired by 1982 to form Matthews/Winters Park.
Yesterday I decided to hike the Village Walk, Red Rocks, and Morrison Slide trails. I headed up the Village Walk Trail. After 0.3 miles I merged onto the Red Rocks Trail. I loved the silhouette of this single tree on the ridge.
After another 0.8 miles I took a right and headed up the Morrison Slide Trail. A view along this section of the trail.
The trail leveled out along the top of the ridge with great views to the east and south.
From the top of the ridge, the trail started heading down.
Another nice view of the red sandstone formations along this section of the trail. The late afternoon sun really brought out the red color in the sandstone.
A lone tree growing on top of one of the sandstone formations.
A couple more views looking down the valley.
A view looking up the ridge to the west.
I looped back around on the Red Rocks Trail and Village Walk Trail. On the way back I caught a picture of some deer grazing.
I was back to the car in a couple of hours and heading back home.