Denver, Colorado + Birthday week | Exploring the city & hiking

Today’s tidbit: “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” ― Barry Finlay
I love this quote… you can relate to it literally and figuratively, both of which seem appropriate since I have been traveling and reflecting a lot lately.

I couldn’t stay put and less than a month after returning home from Australia I found myself on another plane, this time domestic, heading across the country to Colorado. Allie and Brian bought their first townhouse and moved to Denver in June, starting residency (still can’t believe they’re doctors!). With crazy hours and rotations, Allie said our birthday week would actually be a pretty good time to come visit… so that’s what I did, bought a ticket and went. Just go. Sammy wasn’t too happy, but fortunately when I was in Australia he stayed with my mom and while in Colorado with my dad. Grateful I have wonderful family who can watch him, I know he’s in good hands and don’t worry. I ended up going to Denver for 10 amazing days. I will be sharing part 2, evenings out + birthday celebrations soon but for now, exploring this city + breathtaking hiking adventures. Enjoy.

Sneak peek image:


Be sure to click below to read more and check out more pictures. Enjoy!


{The Mile High City. Denver, Colorado} Back in 2011, after college graduation, I visited Colorado for the first time. We only flew into Denver and drove all over the country. Incredible trip, check out that post: Graduation trip. I was happy this time to be able to see more of the city and surrounding area of Denver. It really is a beautiful place! With Allie’s schedule, most evenings we headed into the city for dinner, but it would be dark. On one of her mornings off we wandered around and I was able to see more during daylight, and of course took some pictures.

As the website states, “Welcome to Denver, where 300 days of sunshine, a thriving cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods, and natural beauty combine for the world’s most spectacular playground. A young, active city at the base of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Denver’s stunning architecture, award-winning dining and unparalleled views are all within the walking distance from the 16th Street pedestrian mall. Upscale shopping awaits in Cherry Creek, while Denver’s seven professional sports teams entertain year-round.” Read more.






Like with Perth, I love how active Denver is. There were so many people on bikes or walking everywhere.









So many flowers everywhere and I loved all the rooftop space (from bars and restaurants to living).








That’s just a taste of the city but it was wonderful morning wandering around.


{hiking + St. Mary’s Glacier} Our last day being 25, we took advantage of Allie’s full day off and headed to the mountains. I am a beach person but love the mountains as well. Really, just being outdoors and exploring… enjoying the views, fresh air and natural beauty! I had to get used to the altitude change in the beginning but really enjoyed this hike and spending the day with Allie.

As the website states, “The St. Mary’s Glacier hike makes an ideal daytrip from Summit County. The lake and snowfield are located about three quarters of a mile up the rocky trail. At the lake you can cross a bridge that leads to the snowfield. Skiers and snowboarders use the snowfield for year round fun. Others just enjoy the chance to engage in a snowball fight in August! The lake provides the perfect setting for a picnic or relaxation.” Read more.


We didn’t go to Lookout Mountain but since that’s been an inside joke from South Africa I had to take the picture, right Chris and Mom? 😉



After hiking up part way and looking back. Stunning.


We found the lake… and took a lot of pictures!











From the lake, heading up to the glacier…




So peaceful.









The glacier was melting a lot, with lots of dirty snow but still played with some snow/ice in August!


Heading back down from the glacier to the lake…








Breathtaking right? SO serene and peaceful. Horseback riding + country side to the mountains + lake + trees to an open beach + crashing waves… I just love everything about nature, exploring and being outdoors!

Great ways to spend Allie’s days off! Check back soon as I share more from my Colorado birthday week!

11 Responses to “Denver, Colorado + Birthday week | Exploring the city & hiking”

  1. Angela says:

    Wow, I felt like I was there with you. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Karen says:

    Stunning photography and scenery. I will surely have to hike there someday. So lovely to see both of you spending quality time together in the great outdoors, especially with your hectic schedules. Glad the travel bug, passion to explore new places and enjoy the natural beauty of this world are important to you as well. Maybe one of those pics on my calendar for 2015? Well done! oh and LOOKOUT!!!

    • alyssa says:

      Yup, you’ll have to do that hike. So many there but that was the only one we were able to fit in during my trip, more next time. It was wonderful to spend our birthday week together! You know I have always had the passion to explore and enjoy natural beauty… the travelbug has definitely kicked in. Oh, and yup I’m sure some of these you will see on the calendar!

  3. Brennan says:

    Love Denver and love these pictures!

  4. Chris says:

    Looks beautiful! Even though you didn’t make it up Lookout mountain I have it on good authority that you had to LOOKOUT for icebergs! Too funny.

  5. Linda says:

    BEAUTIFUL… I could feel the crisp, clean air!

  6. Allie says:

    Love it all! So glad we got to spend some time together! 🙂 Next time you will have to visit when I have extra days off to explore more and do lots of hiking (or skiing hehe)!

    • alyssa says:

      Loved spending the week with you and exploring Denver. This hike was the perfect way to end our last day being 25 together. Yup, before I go back to AUS (hopefully), I will have to come visit again and we can explore more! <3

  7. Parveen says:

    Beautiful photography, magnificent scenery, and the two of you together makes this a “complete” layout. Glad you could spend quality time together. Love you both!

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