Spring is in the air! The birds are chirping and the days are getting longer. In Evergreen, Colorado, springtime can be a rollercoaster. After shoveling snow and bundling up in winter, it’s easy to pull out flip-flops and shorts at the first sign of spring. Yet, you have to keep your snow boots and shovel nearby. April in Colorado brings wild swings in weather – one day it is sunny and 75 degrees, and the next we get a snowstorm.
The National Weather Service considers April in Colorado a “transition month”. Normal highs are in the 60s, and normal lows are in the 30s. But it’s not uncommon to have 80-degree days at lower elevations and it’s still the 5th snowiest month. April typically provides 13% of the annual snowfall in Colorado and while we are eager to plant gardens, freezing temperatures can continue through May at these high elevations.
Spring is a great time to get outside and explore the mountain town of Evergreen. So, what can you expect this time of year?
Spring runoff begins
Evergreen Lake is a beautiful setting year-round. It is located at the base of the Upper Bear Creek Watershed. Below the dam, the creek runs through downtown, along Main Street for visitors to enjoy. As the snow melts in the high country, the water levels rise and the spring runoff creates higher flows.
Cub Creek feeds into the same watershed and runs right through the lodge property. The sound of running water is especially enjoyable during the spring. Wildlife is attracted to the cool water that cultivates lush greenery for guests to enjoy.
Since mountain snow is the primary source of water for Denver, Evergreen, and the rest of Colorado, the snowpack is monitored closely. An intricate system of weather stations as well as hand measurements taken by hydrologists provides important data that changes from month to month. Fortunately, the statewide snowpack is at 138% of the median so far this year. But, those statistics vary from region to region and year to year. The spring runoff is an exciting time to enjoy the beauty of the creek, and also very important to the community water supply.
The warmer temperatures don’t just make people want to get outside. The local wildlife is especially active and hibernating animals wake up during the spring months.
There are thousands of bears in Colorado and Evergreen is home to many of them. Most bears wake up from hibernation in mid-March and are hungry. According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife, bears have an incredible sense of smell – 100 times more sensitive than humans! They can smell food from 5 miles away and remember locations where they find food. This means they will return when they find an easy food source such as human trash.
As mentioned in previous posts, local bears occasionally visit the Alpen Way Chalet. It is important to put trash in bear-proof containers and if you are lucky enough to see one, be sure to give it space.
In addition to bears, keep your eyes out for skunks, bats, and hummingbirds who start showing up in spring. Large elk herds often visit Alpen Way to take advantage of the green grass and prepare to have their calves in late May. Sitting by the creek at our lodge is a great way to spot the wildlife enjoying the warm weather after a long winter.
The mountain landscape is magnificent all year long, and the transformation of scenery during spring is especially exciting. The Aspen trees native to the region begin to bloom in spring. They thrive in high elevations and their vibrant green leaves make a musical sound called “quaking” when the wind blows. Hence the name ‘Quaking Aspen’.
As the snow melts, the blue and purple Prairie Anemone and white Pasque flowers begin to bloom. Take a hike through the meadows and Ponderosa Pine forests to spot these early wildflowers that are a preview of the summer blooms to come. The low-growing flowers have hairy stems and are part of the buttercup family.
Some great hiking trails to watch the spring foliage include Alderfer Three Sisters, Dedisse Park, and Elk Meadow. All of these trailheads are located just minutes from the Alpen Way and offer sunny paths where the snow typically melts in April.
Ready to enjoy springtime in Colorado?
Evergreen locals like to boast that during spring you can go skiing in the morning and make it back for a round of golf in the afternoon. Downtown is bustling with restaurant patios opening up, and the hiking trails are full of blooming plants and active wildlife. We would love for you to visit the lodge this spring. You may want to bring both snow boots and sandals, and definitely some sunglasses.
For those looking to get out of the house after a long winter, the quaint town of Evergreen is the perfect escape. Take advantage of our week-day specials or plan an extended stay where you might enjoy the sunshine, rain, and snow – all in one week!
Whatever the weather, we recommend checking out live music and other events downtown. Main Street is just half a mile from the Alpen Way Lodge and there you will find shopping and entertainment for all ages.
Cactus Jacks and the Little Bear have a great musical lineup year-round and several establishments have patios where you can watch the changing water levels of Upper Bear Creek. The Campfire restaurant has excellent food as well as outdoor games and (as the name implies), fire pits to sit around while you enjoy a drink.
Whether you are looking for a quick getaway from Denver or visiting us from far away, we invite you to celebrate spring in our mountain town.
Contact us today for reservations.