Misty S. on National Center for Atmospheric Res...
Made a 7.5 mile loop starting at the homestead trail. Was an easy to slightly moderate hike. Much preferred the scenery/landscape on the homestead & shadow canyon side of the loop to this side.
My knees would definitely rate this as a moderately-easy hike! Some steep elevation changes but really nice views. As a newcomer to the region, I also found the weather guides near the trailhead to be interesting and informative. Saw a handful of deer, chipmunks, and a rattlesnake!
I am dead and I am writing this review from beyond the grave. The NCAR has numerous intersecting trails that turn into each other and branch out from each other. There were no maps to take with you at the beginning. There were many parts of the trail that came to a fork and had zero signage so I don't even know what trail I actually ended up on. We started on a steep incline, followed by a heartwarming invitation to Emily for homecoming written in graffiti on a large green water tank, then awkwardly walked directly behind some people's backyards, and finally passed away (RIP) whilst walking up what I can only assume was a 90 degree incline. We were under power lines the entire time, we enjoyed the sounds of airplanes overhead, many areas of the trail were very slim and had tall grass and thorny plants scratching our legs as we walked though, part of the trail had us walking through and ducking under big bushes, and we were in direct sunlight nearly the entire time. One star because the mountains were admittedly beautiful, and one star for the hard, perky butt I assume I'll wake up with tomorrow morning.