|A study in contrast|
Looping casually behind a historic chalet, Chief Hosa Trail is a hardened pathway that passes through forests of Douglas fir, lodgepole and ponderosa pine. Devoid of much activity during this season, autumn is a fine time to bask in nature’s glory.
The enlightened track circumnavigates a broad ridge that knifes through the wilderness, sharing with the keen observer a study in sharp contrast. By traversing the hillside, you’ll encounter two distinctly different ecosystems.
The north-facing slope is mired in an eternal shadow where giant fir and spruce trees envelope the lush undergrowth of glossy ferns. Once inside you’ll discover that deep snow is ever-present and white aspen glow against the dark backdrop.
The south-facing slope is flooded with bright sunlight where the ponderosa pine are twisted above an open scrubland of yellow grasses. Out there the rocky terrain is wide open with far-reaching views that extend all the way to the Continental Divide.
Mule deer favor the damp seclusion provided by the murky backside while small birds seem to prefer the sunny front where they cheerfully flit about. Passing through such diverse life zones sparks a curiosity to learn more about the plants and animals that inhabit this special place.
Chief Hosa Lodge opened in 1918 on the far west side of the circular setting. Named after the Southern Arapaho leader Little Raven, also known as Chief Hosa, the rustic retreat was made from local stone and logs so that it would blend seamlessly into its natural surroundings.
Back in its day, it provided shelter and amenities to Denverites escaping the bustling city for a few days in the tranquil foothills. If you come to visit, you’ll see that Hosa is a fitting name as that word comes to us from the Ute Indian tribe and it means peaceful and beautiful.
|Mired in shadow|
|Flooded with sunlight|
|Pine above a yellow grassland|
|Views extend to the Continental Divide|
|Chief Hosa Lodge opened in 1918|
|Peaceful and beautiful|