MARS Associates

 Hiking Club

Point of Contact:

Sue Janssen at or 303-936-8339

Ours is a gathering of like-minded MARS members who enjoy hiking and desire to share the experience with others. We plan to conduct a sponsored hike each month, on the third Wednesday. Twice a year, in the Spring and the Fall, we will hold a planning meeting to address organizational issues and plan for the forthcoming season. Each hike event will be overseen by a member point of contact. We have no insurance, so members will be required to sign a waiver for each hike.

You must RSVP to the Point of Contact (POC) at least 2 days before the hike.  The POC will provide you with additional information. These hikes are generally rated as easy to intermediate.   Read the descriptions to evaluate your readiness to enjoy the outing. Please check this webpage at your convenience to be sure you have the latest information.

January 15, 2020 Happy New Year Hikers!

Our first adventure of the new year and new decade will be a snowshoe on Wednesday, January 15.  Rick Hjelm will be organizing this event. 

The Trail
We will snowshoe the Abyss Lake Trail (US Forest Service Trail #602) located in the western part of the Mt Evans wilderness area.  We will showshoe
about 2 miles in to the first stream crossing and then retrace our path back to the trailhead.  The trail follows an old logging road, winding thru Pine and
Aspen forests, and is beautiful.  The trail is not steep, but rises steadily for a total elevation gain of about 500 feet. 

We did this on January 1 and the trail had great snow coverage, with very few rocks showing.  At that time the trail was well packed down, so one could
probably traverse this trail with Trax or microspikes, rather than snowshoes. 

Abyss Lake Trail #602                              Trail Map

Getting There
From Denver, drive southwest on US 285 approximately 40 miles to Grant. Turn right (north) onto Park County 62 (towards Guanella Pass),
and drive about 4.5 miles to the trailhead. The trailhead is on the east (right) side of the road. There is a large parking area. Note that
Guanella Pass road is plowed for about the first 7 miles north of Hwy 285. A high clearance vehicle is not required; however expect some
snow and ice on this road.   (Note that in winter you cannot get to this trailhead from the Georgetown side of the pass).

There are no restrooms at the trailhead.

What Time?
We will meet at the trailhead at 0900 and plan to start shoeing no later than 0915. We should be back at the trailhead around noon.

And That Leaves Time For Lunch!
On the way back plan to stop for lunch and a beer at Brooks Place Tavern in Conifer.

25577 Conifer Road, #100
Conifer, CO 80433

From Hwy 285 North, Take the Meyer Parkway exit and proceed to Conifer Road (other side of the Hwy).
Then right on Conifer road. Destination will be on the left.

RSVP or Questions
Please RSVP.  Also please call with any questions. (Note that we did not have cell coverage at the trailhead or along the trail.)

Hope to see you there!

Rick Hjelm

December 18, 2019 We selected a walk/hike in town for December.

This trip will be on a paved path in Arvada, primarily along Ralston Creek, ending at Tucker Lake.

November 20, 2019

October 16, 2019, Sandstone

September 18, 2019, Centenial Cone

August 28, 2019, Grays and/or Torreys

Hikers must complete the Liability Waiver Form

Participants must wear appropriate footwear (no sandals please) and carry their own pack.
Remember the scouting motto – “Be prepared” – and carry the “10 Essentials.”
1.    Navigation (map and compass or GPS and know how to use them)
2.    Sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, lip balm)
3.    Insulation (dress in layers –it can rain or snow any day in Colorado)
4.    Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
5.    First-aid supplies (take good care of your feet)
6.    Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
7.    Repair kit and tools (pocket knife, duct tape, extra batteries, etc.)
8.    Nutrition (snacks and food)
9.    Hydration (water - lots of it)
10.    Emergency shelter (such as a space blanket)
You may also wish to add toilet paper, hand sanitizer, garbage bag, camera, whistle, extra socks, medication, pen and paper or sketchbook, insect repellant and a handkerchief.  But don’t make your pack too heavy!

If you don’t own snowshoes you can rent them at lots of places including REI, Sports Authority, and Christy Sports.  Poles are optional, but sometimes helpful.

We will be in the “backcountry” during the winter – be prepared for adverse weather and winter driving conditions.  Before heading out, check road conditions by calling “511” or  Check with CAIC at

COSAR CARD (Optional)

Purchase your Colorado Search and Rescue Card at Roxborough State Park Visitor Center (or other locations). The cost is $3.00 for one year and $12.00 for five years.

If you wish to join the MARS Hiking Club, please contact Sue Janssen at or 303-936-8339.  Provide your email address and phone number.

Last updated January 5, 2020, by Jim Kummer  <>