The plan was to snowshoe to the many (frozen) lakes in the Bear Lake area of Rocky Mountain National Park. However, due to the number of social snowshoe trails, none of which looked convincing enough to continue past Dream Lake and Lake Haiyaha, after that the laid snowshoe trails fanned out in every direction except for the planned route.
Even though this was cut short and made into a much smaller loop, the weather was perfect, with nearly no clouds or wind to speak of and a huge big blue sky. The crowds were not terrible, and you still had the feeling of having the trail to yourself. The largest crowds were at Dream Lake. There was only myself and two others at Lake Haiyaha.
It was warm. I had dressed in layers prepared for below freezing temperatures and high winds, especially the winds, which these lakes can be known for extremely high winds barreling down their valleys. But not today, when I stopped for lunch around one o'clock, I put an anemometer in the shade and let it adjust to the temperature. By the time I finished lunch it read 56 degrees (f) in the shade and 58 (f) in the sun. It was very toasty, a lot of stopping and removing layers.
Even though this only turned out to 6.1 miles roundtrip, it was a great day on the trail. The weeks before had loaded up the mountains with record level snows. At the Bear Lake trailhead, they reported nearly five and half feet of base snow. It's hard to believe in about 60 days almost all this snow will be gone. Until then, I'm looking forward to more snowshoeing days like this one. Check out my GPS tracks here.