Over the 4th of July weekend, the boy and I decided to take a little adventure. Typically, we go west into the mountains to find some places to explore, hike and basically just hang out and get some fresh mountain air, but something I learned early on since living in Colorado is that there are certain days and times to go into the mountains. More importantly, there are times to NOT go into the mountains (at least if you don't want to deal with massive crowds and traffic getting there) and a sunny 4th of July weekend certainly fit that description. We decided to go east and north instead to the upper NE corner of Colorado to the Pawnee National Grasslands.

I really didn't know much about this place but knew I wanted to check it out and I'm glad I did. It was beautiful, serene and not packed...at all.

The drive from where we started in the Windsor/Severance area was about 75 minutes, and that took us through Ault and Briggsdale and eventually to the Grasslands.

Google Maps

My 6-year-old and our almost 2-year-old pup joined me, and while it wasn't our typical trek up a mountain with incredible views, it was a different kind of adventure and one that we really enjoyed.

AJ Battalio/TSM

We found a trail (the Buttes Trail) that doesn't really lead to the Buttes (at least from what I could see) which was a little disappointing, but took us on a nice flat stroll where we spotted LOTS of butterflies and cows both in the distance and up close on our drive out.

AJ Battalio/TSM
AJ Battalio/TSM

Overall it was a really fun trip and time spent out there, but before you go, just understand that there is not much around there, and when it comes to "adventure" it's not really that kind of place.

Bring lots of water for both you and your pup if you have one with you because there is NO shade anywhere in sight, and if you're bringing kiddos, make sure they're prepared (and you are too) because it really isn't really a place that kids will find too appealing after about a half an hour. My boy LOVES the outdoors so he was having fun and after an hour was like, "Okay, dad, I'm hot and kind of over this."

However, if you're looking for peace, quiet and solitude with some wild west scenery,  this is the place is PERFECT.

Personally, I think it would be fun to camp out here, and I can't even begin to imagine the amount of stars you could see in the sky.

Here are a few more pics from our fun adventure...

AJ Battalio/TSM
AJ Battalio/TSM
AJ Battalio/TSM
AJ Battalio/TSM
AJ Battalio/TSM

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