Riding Dome Rock State Park Trail

Our group of riders escaped the heat of the lower altitudes to spend the day at Dome Rock State Park.  This is near Divide, Colorado.

If one does not have a horse it would be quite a trek, but we saw a number of folks doing just that.  The trail is about five miles in and another five miles back.  One can enter through the valley and backtrack or ride the full loop.  It begins in high mountain paradise, a stream snaking through the valley, taking many pathways and filling every space save the huge boulders flanking it with lush grasses and rushes. We crossed the stream about seven times.  Bear did a flawless job of plunging into the water, up to the belly in some places.


At the end of the valley there is a ruin of Jack Rabbit Lodge.  Only the stone chimney remains.

Then, turning a corner, Dome Rock comes into view.  The enormity of this granite extrusion took away my breath.  Birds of prey hung on the breeze.  The sky was like a bottomless ocean.  This is a place to see!

The route back, taking the entire loop, is UP HILL.  And I mean that!  My puir wee pony!!!  What a climb.

We left the valley, got to the top of a ridge behind Dome Rock and dropped into a high country meadow filled with Aspen, shivering in the breeze.  Absolute peace.



Filed under Colorado, Horses

9 responses to “Riding Dome Rock State Park Trail

  1. LaurelDesign

    What a beautiful ride! Nothing like that near San Diego, that’s for sure. You should try to go again in fall when the leaves change. Then again, there are many trails to explore and other creeks and rivers to cross. What a good pony, Bear, for getting there, and back, with such aplomb!


  2. suesun

    Where’s the picture of your Bear?! 🙂
    And what in the world do I do with a 13-year-old boy who returned home from a week of horse camp, begging for a horse?????


  3. wow beautiful, I would also like to see a picture of bear. as for suesun do what my dad and mom did to me who also wanted a horse so bad, ignore it. after awhile they get tired of asking you if you ignore it. or just be honest and tell them you can’t afford the upkeep for one.


    • I have been “asking” for a horse since I was three. I quite remember telling my mother that when I was grown up, say around six, I would get my own horse if she would not let me have one. For my 40 year birthday – you all know THAT year – I just up and did it. Forgot to ask DH. Just came home and told him I bought a horse. That was Charlie. I have since had Dolly, Sabrina, Willie, Candi, and now Bear. Horses you grow into. Or out of. Charlie taught me to ride but he was pretty old.

      Dolly was a rescue from when the Sacramento river broke through the dykes in Butte County (Cali). So many horses were swept into barbed wire fences, drowned. She found her way to high ground but her owner lost everything. Barns, home, everything. So the owner called around to local trainers to see if they could take the horses that survived. I bought Dolly, a two year old line back dun mare. Unbroke. Yeesh! Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire. But we did our thing, with lots of help, for five years. Then I had a slipped disc and thought I would never ride again.

      My trainer talked me into getting a baby, just ground work. I did. That was one year old Travyln Dirty Sabrina (stark raving beauty on hooves!). Two weeks after I brought her home we had a freak lightning storm that prompted her to try to jump out of her paddock. She landed on a T Post, ripped her side open, and we spent the next year with a belly binder, hosing her off, rebinding her, therapy, etc. She eventually was broke to ride and I was riding again. I sold her because my trainer said she would never make anything of herself showing. Said I needed a 25K horse.

      I said forget that! I bought ranch boy Willie, who nearly killed me (a long ‘nother story) so I sold him quite soon. Sabrina went on to win many ribbons for Laurel, her current owner. Turned out to be quite a fabulous little show horse! Meanwhile, I fell in love with Candi. Also two. Also unbroke. We did our thing until she turned eight, fully mature mare, got a ton of big-girl attitude. I gave her to a friend’s grandma who was a wiz with horses, riding since she could walk.

      I took lessons for a year and finally couldn’t stand it – I NEEDED another horse. This time, I went for a mild mannered Clark Kent (gelding crossed with jack rabbit). I LOVE him. I think we will be together until I can no longer ride, if I can afford it. I will post a pic of Bear. There is one in an earlier post.


      • wow what a story. poor horses drowning like that and the one getting posted like that. you make the same mistakes all horse lovers including myself, in over estimating our abilities to train and deal with horses when we are inexperienced riders ourselves. been ther done that and regretted it too. I have a friend who is a wiz with horses, having spent the last 20 years becoming certified trainer and teacher, dressage, lippazan rider for several years doing shows. to bad I don’t have the energy, time or money for him to give me lessons on a regular basis.


      • Sorry I did not respond sooner, Roberta. I am a school principal. School started and I am more than a little busy right now. I come and go on the blogging. I really started this blog so that I could practice writing and see it “published” in a way. I am eager for feedback but mostly, I just want to get in the habit of writing regularly.

        Best to you and Rose.


  4. Hi, Lyn – it was nice to meet you yesterday at the quilt guild meeting. Your Bear is a gorgeous man. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the details about this ride you had. It’s going on my list of definite places we have to go trek! (on foot, as we have no horses)


    • Great to meet you, too. It’s a good guild. Very free form and validating. I have been in more rigid situations and ended up quitting because of that. We are just good folks who love bold colors and innovative techniques, and the urban loft sort of look is big. But really, anything goes. I have never quilted so much with solids! And I love that. I just love the solids. Timeless.

      About Dome Rock. Definitely go there. But watch the time-frame. I believe they close it December to June, leaving the Sheep alone to mate and live. Google it to get details. See you at the next meeting!


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