Getting Started Hiking: Just Lean In

The absolute best part of Approachable Outdoors has been meeting people who also love to hike, adventure and believe in the power of getting outdoors and your health. It helped introduce me to my friend Scott Graves, whose story immediately inspired me. Not only that, Scott and Schomp Honda are now a Platinum Sponsor for the Approachable Outdoors Benefit Bash helping raise money for Children’s Cancer Research with the Morgan Adams Foundation. 

“You’re capable of much more than you think you are.”

If you’ve been thinking about hitting the trails, here’s your sign.

“I think the mountains are just in my blood.”

And I think he’s right. Scott Graves’ family was one of the originals who founded Winter Park. A plaque in their honor sits in downtown Winter Park with the perfect quote: “I think this must be one of the most beautiful spots on earth.”

But despite the founding connection and living just steps from some of the best hiking trails in the state, it took Graves until last summer to truly take advantage.

“I wasn’t using any of them and I’d lived there for six years,” said Graves. “I started walking but I really enjoyed walking on dirt trails near my house a lot more than concrete. It brought me back to Approachable Outdoors which I followed and figured I would try some things near me.”

His journey to a healthier lifestyle started in December of 2022 and by the time he started hiking he was down 55 lbs. 

“December 26th I started my weight loss journey and it really just started as a diet journey,” said Graves. “Through July I’d lost about 55 lbs and was stuck there for a good month.”

He found that hiking and eventually trail running helped him over that plateau. 

“It really started with getting out and doing something more than walking through my neighborhood. I really enjoyed the walking which became trail running, which led me into running. Enjoying what I’ve been learning about myself has been the biggest surprise. Running now 8-10 mile runs and 10ks and trying to beat my best loop times on the hikes I’ve been doing has been really rewarding. I haven’t felt this good since high school.”

Like his initial diet, he found hiking was all about discipline.

“What I found with hiking and being outdoors was that the exact same rules applied: pushing yourself to get out early, get to the parking lot before a hundred 4Runners were there,” Scott said laughing. “Those disciplines really helped and I learned it was the exact same thing. So mentally I knew at that point if I just have the micro habits to get me through, you really can push yourself to anything.”

Now hiking is a part of his life every week. While working he’ll take his lunch break to hit the trails around the dealership in Highlands’ Ranch His drive home from takes him along scenic high 93 which often involves a stop off at his favorite hike, Rawhide Trail, where you might see him running and trying to beat his personal record. 

“It’s not that challenging but the views of Denver are incredible. The west side of it has a quarter of a mile stretch where you’re looking at the entire landscape of Denver.”

And while trucks, Four-Runners and Jeeps usually dominate the parking lots at trails, Scott knows that’ll be changing as Honda is making a big splash in the off-roading world. 

“The Honda lineup now has a trailsport, I’m driving the Honda Pilot Trailspot and it’s my favorite car I’ve ever had. Skid plates, lift kit, off-road vehicle and Honda has not had that before. This is the first time they’ve really committed to having an off-road presence and they’re doing a good job.” 

With Honda entering the off-roading market, it’s making the outdoors even more accessible to a new group of hiking lovers. 

Intimidated about hitting the trails? Scott says to lean into it.

“You’re capable of much more than you think you are. I remember my first snow hike, I fell 3 or 4 times; it hurt and I ruined my shoes but I felt better at the end of that hike than any I’d done because I never would’ve tried that before. It would’ve been something where I just turned around and went home because the trail was muddy and snowy. Instead, it’s about just leaning into it and taking the next step.”

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

Join Kylie On YouTube!

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Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

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