August 23, 2015
CSU’s famous “A” comes from our roots as Aggies. Before Colorado State was a land grant institution, it was Colorado A&M. Yet, the tradition lives on each year as students paint the “A”, hike up to it, or when it is lit on fire during Homecoming week.
Being a freshman at such a tradition-invested school made my job easy on signing up and getting to the “A”. CSU wants campus involvement, especially for the new Rammies, so they give you free transportation right to Hughes Stadium and let you do the rest.
The “hike” is moderately easy and possible for any physical activity levels. It consists of a lot of open field switchbacks for about 10 minutes, before getting to a more inclined rocky setting. The path is easy to follow with makeshift stairs and long open stretches of walking. It only lasts about another twenty minutes. It is a great place for runners and bikers as well, which usually are present.
It takes about a half hour tops to get to the top of the foothills, where you’ll have an amazing view overlooking the reservoir and CSU’s campus. From there, you can cross the road to a trail leading down to the reservoir or head back the way you came to Hughes Stadium. There are the occasional deer present in the field behind the “A” foothills, which you can actually get pretty close to. The descent doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes, you just have to watch where you step with the jagged rocks at points.
On the way down, remember to look for prairie dogs who pop their heads up through the ground and the cool cacti surrounding the path.
Can’t make the hike? No worries! There is a road leading to a parking lot right across the street from the “A”. You can get the whole experience without the hike and a great view of the reservoir as well.
All in all, this hike to the “A” is easy and doesn’t take much time. All you need is some good shoes and you’re good to go. Its a way to keep tradition going and get freshman involved in traditions bigger than themselves. Here’s to a great school year!