Connor W Davis | Clarion

Spring Quarter at DU can be challenging, especially when your 2-4pm classes fall in the prime sun bathing, Frisbee-throwing and froyo enjoying time slot. Though going to class is always the priority, you can reward yourself by making plans to adventure into the hills of Colorado on the weekend. While getting to the mountains can be difficult when you don’t always have outdoorsy friends or a car to get to your hike, there are other means of finding an adventure.

Denver has a large population of avid hikers who, when temperatures begin to warm and snow begins to melt and the sun makes a promising appearance, run to the mountains. Though the goal of any quarter at DU for those passionate hikers is to get good grades and be a respected student by peers and professors, the mountains call to many, which is why secondary resolutions and goals for these explorers are to utilize the absence of snow and find themselves lost in the beauty that surrounds them.

Sophia Elek, sophomore marketing major from Philadelphia and avid hiker, expressed her need for the stress relief from her class load.

“Sometimes a day away from campus is just what I need after a stressful week of classes.” She went further to explain how a certain adventure affected her in a positive way. In the fall of 2016, Elek and a handful of her friends hiked Torrey’s and Gray’s, two peaks with connecting trails, in one day. “The trip was incredible. And I was able to check hiking a 14er with friends off my bucket list.” Those 8.5 miles of scrambling 3,800 feet up the hillside made Elek’s weekend one she will never forget.

A simple Google search can find endless hiking adventures similar to Elek’s hike up Torrey’s and Gray’s peaks. Searching for hikes this way can be overwhelming and difficult because there are so many hikes in the area. An easy solution to this problem is to download a hiking app that will give you specific details regarding each adventure, including driving and parking instructions and details about the terrain. Sometimes these apps also guide you along your journey and, for those who are directionally impaired (like myself), will keep you from getting too lost.

Hikes that I personally recommend are: Deer Canyon Trail Loop, Maroon Bells, Gray’s, Torrey’s, Bierstadt, Chautauqua and Mount Sanitas, because they are day hikes with incredible views and relatively easy to access and explore. 

The DU Alpine club offers a variety of trips to DU students, which is an affordable and great way to get off campus and into the wild. This Spring Quarter the Alpine Club trip list includes adventures to Moab, a day climb at Shelf Road, a paintball trip, a day bike ride, a 14er trip, a trip to White Rock Park and a rafting trip—along with their spring skiing trips to Keystone and Arapahoe Basin.

“The experience you get for the price is unbelievable,” Matt Heinen, business analytics major from Minnesota and active Alpine Club member, comments on his experience travelling with the Alpine Club. No matter what your schedule is or what you hope to gain out of this quarter, there are opportunities to find yourself on a number of incredible adventures.