Seven Bridges hike photos

Seven Bridges hike photos

Photos taken on the Seven Bridges trail west of Colorado Springs, June 2, 2011.

Copyright (c) 2011, Sandra J. Loosemore. Photos are provided for personal viewing only; no other use is permitted without prior written consent.

Here's a preview of where I'm headed, as seen from the trailhead. This is North Cheyenne Canyon.

Some pretty white rose-type flowers growing here; they're actually called "boulder raspberries".

This flower-covered spike is a Miner's Candle. I only saw the one of these on my hike, growing just off the trail not far from the trailhead.

You really don't want to stray off the trail right here. This is part of a big patch of poison ivy.

Some wild geraniums growing on the other side of the trail.

And some pretty blue penstemons.

There were purple penstemons too.

This is a member of the mustard family -- probably Erysimum capitatum, aka Western Wallflower.

I'm guessing this is a Potentilla fissa.

The first part of the trail follows an old railroad grade, so it's very easy walking.

The old railroad made a hairpin turn to cross the creek, then continued to switchback up the other side of the canyon. This was one of the railroads built to serve Cripple Creek during the gold mining boom. Some parts are still in use as a road, but this section is closed to vehicles because of a collapsed tunnel.

This mat-forming evergreen ground cover is kinnikinnick, a relative of the blueberry in the heath (ericaceae) family.

The "real" hiking trail forks off from the railroad grade at the creek crossing, and heads farther up the canyon.

I initially thought these flowers were chokecherries, but now I think they're really a hawthorn instead. Compare with the "real" chokecherry photos below.

Here's the first of the seven bridges.

View upstream from the bridge.

This is definitely a chokecherry and not a hawthorn. Note the flower spikes and less serrated leaves.

Here's bridge #2.

View upstream from bridge #2.

Another chokecherry bush, with a visiting butterfly.

I thought wild sarsaparilla was an eastern species, but here it is, growing at the base of a large boulder.

Lots of blue clematis (Atragene occidentalis) growing in shady places along the trail here.

These blue bell-shaped flowers are Foothills Mertensia.

Looks like False Solomon's Seal to me.

Bridge #3.

There were a whole lot of these blue butterflies hanging around this bridge. They're fairly small, about an inch across. Best as I can tell, these are Spring Azure Butterflies, Celastrina ladon.

More pretty white boulder raspberry flowers.

Bridge #4 is just a short hop from bridge #3.

Here's a patch of pussytoes.

More of the blue clematis, growing in a cleft in the rocks.

And, directly across the trail from the clematis rocks, here's bridge #5.

More of the Foothills Mertensia. There was quite a lot of this growing along the trail.

Spiky yucca plants growing on the dry hillside.

General view up the canyon.

And here's bridge #6.

Here's a wild strawberry in flower.

Giant boulder along the trail.

Bridge #7 -- the last one!

The trail climbs up steeply from the creek from here. After a little bit, you get this view of the stream cascading down a rock face below.

I decided this was the end of the trail for me. This steep slope is all loose scree (gravel) and even without the washout on the trail here, the walking was getting pretty treacherous. The trail (such as it is) continues climbing another mile or so to Jones Park where it meets up with the Bear Creek trail, from the next canyon to the north.

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