This area is unlike most of the Colorado wildernesses here, thanks to its sandy terrain and abundance of boulders and rocks. The parking area for the site starts at the top of a ridge, where there is paved parking, a visitor center, and restrooms to use. Hikers can also enjoy other amenities like water fountains, benches, and picnic tables that offer panoramic views. Walking with dogs is allowed on the trail, as long as they remain on a leash. Be sure to bring water for the journey, and clean up bags.
The trail begins near the southern portion of the center where it is paved, near a kiosk that tells about the area. The trail turns into a sandy and crushed stone terrain from there. Once on the trail, you'll hike windblown boulders and sharp rocks that make up the peak, and enjoy views of the ridge that showcase the rolling mountains, valleys, and green forests. During the summer months, you'll be able to see alpine forget-me-nots, along with a variety of other wildflowers. Rolling grasslands continue on all sides of the trails, and after completing the loop, the trail eventually turns back to where it will meet the entrance at the parking lot.
This short, but unique trail gives a different view most people don't see around Colorado, from timid grasslands to fellfields full of smooth boulders. The Alpine Gardens Loop is a gorgeous and fun hike for any skill and will no doubt bring you and Fido back for more.