A Rainbow and Purple Rain over Mt. Galbraith Trail


Has the sky ever smiled at you? One summer day last year, the sky smiled at me.

You’ve probably never heard of Mount Galbraith before, but it’s a fantastic place to hike and appreciate the natural world, which is too often overlooked these days. Mount Galbraith Park is just a half hour drive west of Denver (here it is on gMaps), and when I visited one of its trails I was lucky enough to go on a day when a rainbow appeared in the sky.

I took the Mt. Galbraith loop trail, and at first the trail was pretty rough (not to mention confusing on the way back). But after about a half hour, I arrived at a lookout point, and I realized that all my efforts had completely paid off. From where I stood, the sky itself seemed to smile down on me by presenting me with a stunning rainbow.

The Smile of the Sky

Rainbow fragment above rocky hills (superzoom)Even though it wasn’t a complete rainbow, it was still incredibly beautiful, and photos certainly don’t do justice to how it looked. I stopped and took lots of photos of the rainbow. Wide ones, vertical ones, but still, none of them can compare to actually seeing it.

Continuing down the trial, I soon saw a huge white letter M marked on the side of a hill. That’s because a well-known Colorado University, the Colorado School of Mines, was nearby. Then I looked to the West and noticed the sun was beginning to set. Looking over the entire valley was calming, and the sunset turned some of the blue clouds orange, creating a really beautiful contrast. (You can find that photo in the A Rainbow above Mt. Galbraith Trail album.)

Was this purple rain?

But even more beautiful sights awaited me farther down the trial. Looking north this time, far off clouds were gently raining down on the plains in the distance, creating deep purple shapes below the clouds. This color mixed with the violet colors of the sunset, creating a uniquely beautiful sight. As far as I can remember, that’s the first time I’d ever seen such a thing. And now that I’m writing this, I experience an odd synchronicity for me as well, because a few days before I began writing this article, I got Prince’s Greatest Hits which, of course, includes the famous song “Purple Rain”. Could this have been what he was talking about?

Distant clouds raining before the purple sunset light

I started heading back, and by the time I was coming down, the city lights were already beginning to glow in the valley below. And though I didn’t know it then, that wouldn’t be the last time I hiked in Colorado…

Would I make it back in time?

View of the City lights from mountainNext time, we’ll journey beyond an immaculate patch of birch trees, past a hidden stream, and look down on a valley below the blue Rocky Mountains, all while storm clouds head towards me. Would I make it back down in time before it rained? Would my camera get wet?

You’ll have to tune in next time to find out!

Continue the journey →


Photos from this trip are in the A Rainbow above Mt. Galbraith Trail – Colorado album. All photos in the Gallery can be used as desktop wallpapers because they are high resolution (1920×1440).





1 bit on A Rainbow and Purple Rain over Mt. Galbraith Trail

  1. You got me hooked to the extent that I kept on staring at the beautiful picture for quite some time. Thank you so much for sharing such a picturesque post.