Into Thin Air

Don your boots for a majestic journey through the alpine tundra when the Denver Botanic Gardens kicks off its annual series of Mount Goliath Tours in the Arapaho National Forest near Mount Evans.

The day begins at the Dos Chappell Nature Center at the base of Mount Goliath, where experienced docents will lead groups down the winding M. Walter Pesman trail, which is only free of frost for forty days out of the year.

“The Indian paintbrush, alpine beauties and bright-yellow buttercups are a metaphor,” says DBG docent program coordinator Leesly Leon. The vibrant plants somehow re-emerge yearly despite nearly uninhabitable conditions, while ancient bristlecone pines, some of the oldest organisms on earth, show off the way the wind turns them into “natural sculptures,” she says.

The trail is above 11,000 feet in altitude, so hikers should dress accordingly and bring sunglasses, sunscreen, gloves, water and lunch. The hikes, which are free, last from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and take place on select Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in June, July and August (subject to weather and attendance). For more information and to make a reservation, go to
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Starts: June 11. Continues through Aug. 3, 2013