Are there polecats in Idaho? What is a polecat, anyway? I had to Google the word, having only a vague sense that it was not in the same category as a mountain lion or a bobcat. An internet search revealed that a polecat is similar to a weasel, and despite its name, is more related to a dog than a cat. In any case, there may or may not be polecats in Idaho. But there is a place called Polecat Gulch Reserve with around 7 miles of trails that are great for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running. The trails are not too hard but have enough grade to get in a good workout. You can bring your dog, too! I hiked Polecat Loop Trail in spring and found rolling hills, great views of the city, and high desert springtime flowers.
Planning a trip on the Colorado Trail can be daunting, particularly if you are new to backpacking like I was. I spent weeks learning about the Colorado Trail; figuring out how much of the trail to tackle at once; and testing options for food and gear. Now that I’ve done part of the trail, and backpacked for the first time, I’ve learned a ton! Here’s a step-by-step Colorado Trail planning guide for your own trip.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo, features the second largest canyon in North America (after the Grand Canyon). The park offers 30 miles of trails with a fun variety of technical levels. A 700 foot descent to the bottom of the canyon includes striking colors of four geologic layers, southern high plains landscape, and many rock formations to explore. The Lighthouse, a 310 foot rock pillar, is the most popular Palo Duro Canyon hike destination.
I lived in Texas for almost 20 years before I moved to Colorado. In all that time, I never hiked. I was too busy riding horses and dancing the two-step in Texas dance halls (more about that in an upcoming blog). Hiking didn’t become my thing until I moved to Colorado. In fall 2017, I chose Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (SNA) as my first Texas hike. This is a jaw-dropping, knock-your-socks off hike in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. It’s now on my list of favorite parks!