The 2017 hiking season was interesting, I was able to explorer more of Colorado's National Forests and get in some camping, not as much camping as I would have liked, but hopefully next year I'll able to get in more multi-day hikes. This season came in just under 129 miles roundtrip. Looking to step up the mileage next year. This was a great season!

Willis Lake

September 16, 2017 ~ The trail to Willis Lake in the San Isabel National Forest, is a very lightly traveled trail. It's a very nice trail, steep in places, but very well taken care of. It was mid-September when I went, so Fall is in the air. The air is brisk, there is a constant, noticeable wind, the Aspens are changing and the brush is rusting giving the valley floor dramatic contrasting textures.

Lonesome Lake

September 3, 2017 ~ Lonesome Lake in White River National Forest is just outside of Minturn is lightly used trail and a hidden gem. It's not the most difficult trail as it skirts the valley floor or just above the valley floor until the final pitch to Lonesome Lake. Lonesome Lake and the cathedral mountains rimming the lake are breathtaking.

Willow and Salmon Lakes

September 2, 2017 ~ The hike to Willow Lakes and Salmon Lakes is a long hike no matter how you dice it. I started at the Mesa Cortina trailhead which adds about five miles to the hike, clocking in at 21.2 miles roundtrip. For some reason I decided to do this a day hike, making for a very long day, almost 12 hours to the minute.

Mohawk Lakes

August 19, 2017 ~ Mohawk Lakes in the White River National Forest is just south of Breckenridge and sits in a high and very wide glacial valley. There are six lakes in the Mohawk Lakes chain and just before the Mohawk Lakes are the Mayflower Lakes. There are a couple of different starting points to get to Mohawk Lakes, either the Spruce Creek trail head or along the Wheeler Trail. As such, Lower Mohawk Lake is a very popular destination. Camping and fly fishing are very popular activities at Lower Mohawk Lake.

Booth Lake

August 12, 2017 ~ Booth Lake is one of four glacial valley lakes accessible from exit #180 – just across the highway from Vail. I got lucky with the weather on the up to the lake. It was great, a few puffy white clouds racing by and a very light breeze. The views are amazing, you can see the classic layered rock formations you see throughout Vail, Red Cliff and Minturn. The wildflowers are in full bloom right now.

Fancy Lake, Mulhall Lakes and Cleveland Lake

July 28, 2017 ~ The hike to Fancy Lake, Mulhall Lakes and Cleveland Lake in the Holy Cross Wilderness in the White River National Forest is breathtaking. It's not a terribly difficult hike, though it can take a long time to complete just under 13 miles as there is so much to see. The views are absolutely amazing.

St. Louis Lake

July 15, 2017 ~ St. Louis Lake is a high alpine lake that sits right at tree line. For me, the weather was perfect, big blue skies, great panoramic views and a few big white puffy clouds racing by. There is dispersed camping at and near the lake. It's very peaceful there. Once on the actual trail the trail spends a good amount of time skirting the St. Louis Creek. At this time of the year, it was still full, but not a raging torrent so it made the hike all the more relaxing. The wildflowers are in full bloom along the trail, lots of blues, yellows, reds - it's very pretty at this time of year.

Lawn Lake

July 7 - 8, 2017 ~ Lawn Lake sits in a high wide glacial bowl, the valley is wide, and very lush. The lake is usually calm and flat and reflects the mountains onto the lake giving the effect of two skies. There are deer everywhere, and on occasion you can see moose too.

St. Vrain Glacier Trail

July 1, 2017 ~ This hike along the St. Vrain Glacier Trail was originally planned to go all the way to Gibraltar Lake. However, the Spring runoff was still going pretty strong, so when it came time to cross the Middle St. Vrain Creek, which I’m sure is indeed a creek when the runoff is not in full swing, was too deep and moving too fast for my comfort zone. This hike is in classic glacier valley, it has a very gentle incline and the trail moves pretty fast.

Flattop Mountain

June 16, 2017 ~ Flattop Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park is one of my favorite hikes. It's good length clocking in just over 9 miles round trip and comes with a good elevation gain just under 3,000 feet. I usually use this hike to restart the hiking season as it takes you from around 9,400 feet up to just over 12,300 feet.