March 17, 2019 ~ 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.
December 1, 2018 ~ Snowshoeing to Mills Lake in RMNP was marked by wind and a lot of it. The trek started out at a brisk 21 degrees and the warmest that I saw on my anemometer was 24 degrees. It was overcast for most of the trek with windblown snow. Mills Lake is one of the few easy access trails open during the winter, though I did not see many people on the way in, I did see a lot of people starting their trek towards the end of the day.
October, 20 2018 ~ The hike along the Ute trail from Milner Pass was the first winter hike of the season, and what a treat it was. There was not a cloud in the sky and I had the trail to myself. On the drive to the trailhead, I didn't see too much snow in the trees and was thinking I would should take the snowshoes off my pack, I won't need them. However, once I got to the Milner Pass trailhead, which is where the closure of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain Park was on the west side - it was obvious, I would need the snowshoes. This was a short trek, coming in at about 5.6 miles roundtrip, and for 5 miles I used the snowshoes.
September 15, 2018 ~ What an absolutely beautiful day for a hike in the Never Summer Wilderness to Snow Lake and Michigan Lakes, big huge blue skies and not a single cloud all day. The weather was perfect on this long dawn-to-dusk hike that started in Rocky Mountain National Park then crosses over Thunder Pass and into The Never Summer Wilderness. You could not have asked for better weather or better views to complete mile 200 for the summer season. For me this hike turned out to be 18.5 miles roundtrip in twelve hours, almost to the minute.
August 25, 2018 ~ The hike to Blue Lake in the Never Summer Wilderness was originally intended to be part of a larger trek to Bowen Lake, Ruby Lake and then to Blue Lake. However, I got a really late start and wanted to make sure I made it to at least one of the lakes before the weather turned (which it didn't, it was great weather). These lakes are in the Never Summer Wilderness which are technically in the Arapaho National Forest, but the quickest access point is in Rocky Mountain National Park on the West side by Grand Lake.
July 14, 2018 ~ The hike to Thunder Lake starts at the Wild Basin trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park, it's a common trailhead to get to other destinations within the Wild Basin Area, as such it's a crowded trail up until the split for Ouzel Lake. After that the crowds thin out dramatically and you pretty much have the trail to yourself.
June 10, 2018 ~ The 2018 Hiking Season has officially begun! Hooray! Though, given what I saw on this first hike, it could have probably started a couple of weeks ago. They said they had a light winter in the mountains this year and they are right. I use Flattop Mountain in RMNP to restart the season as it gives a good idea of how much snow is left above treeline and in shady parts of the trail - and it's a good length hike.
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.
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.
September 10, 2016 ~ Pear Lake is a hidden gem in RMNP, the lake is breathtaking. It was a beautiful mid-September day. The hike comes in around thirteen miles roundtrip. I only came across one couple, at Pear Lake and they were on their way out. It's September so the winds can whip up, from time to time at the lake the winds sounded like a jet engine, then died off just as quickly as they came, leaving complete silence in its wake. This would be an excellent place to camp.
August 13, 2016 ~ The hike to Nokoni Lake is a long hike, coming in around 18 miles round trip. I would love to go back and do this hike again as a multi-day hike. Nokoni Lake is very tranquil and peaceful. The weather started to turn south, and I decided to opt out of the last leg to Lake Nanita. There where a lot of deer on the trail and I did get to see some moose as well. Would loved to have been able to spend more time there.
July 23, 2016 ~ The hike to Spruce Lake is a nice hike. I have been to this lake before - last year as a matter of fact. For most of the hike I had the trail to myself, I only saw two people at the lake and they were on their way out, so I had some good time to myself at the lake. On the downside this is the hike I lost a GoPro camera I was wearing.
July 17, 2016 ~ This was supposed to be a long hike to Love Lake, Arrow Lake, Inkwell Lake, Doughnut Lake, Azure Lake & Highest Lake. However, I got a late start and even with the GPS the cutoff for the lakes didn't make sense after a while; the list of excuses as to why I missed the mark on this hike goes on an on.
June 18, 2016 ~ The hike to Flattop Mountain is a good hike to restart the hiking season, hike comes in around 9 miles roundtrip. It's a good hike to start the season with as you get a sense of how much snow is left and it takes you above treeline - good to get the heart and lungs going for the upcoming season. When the weather is nice, like it was on this hike - though a bit breezy at the top, it is a pretty hike as you get to experience a lot of different terrain.
September 12, 2015 ~ The hike to Lion Lake #1 was a great hike, the weather was perfect with big blue skies. The hike is a mix of moving quickly through a valley floor and then on to more challenging terrain to get to Lion Lake #1. I was not able to make it to Lion Lake #2 as the trail, even with the GPS was getting too fuzzy. Would love to go back and make it to Lion Lake #2.
August 22, 2015 ~ The hike to Haynach Lakes is just short of 17 miles round-trip. It's not terribly difficult, just long as much of the trail skirts a valley floor. The final pitch to the Haynach Lakes is the most challenging leg of the trail. This is Moose country, they tend to either be in the lush valley meadows or just in front of you - crossing the trail to get to the valley meadows.
August 14, 2015 ~ The hike to Spirit Lake is long, just over 15 miles round-trip; however, the most difficult leg of the trail is to Lone Pine Lake, from there on to Spirit Lake it's quick as it moves along a gentle sloping valley floor. The weather was a mix of clear skies and overcast. When I arrived at Spirit Lake it was a bit overcast, though there was nobody there that I could see.
August 8, 2015 ~ The hike to Sand Beach Lake - for me went quickly. Based on the number of pictures I took, I believe the majority of the hike is dense canopy with low light. It was an overcast day with a large wave cloud hanging over the trail all day. It's an interesting lake, the name Sand Beach Lake is very befitting of it. There were several people there that had camped overnight, so it's a somewhat popular destination. After the majority of people cleared out it is a peaceful lake. Wish I had better weather.
July 26, 2015 ~ Lawn Lake and Crystal Lake is one of my favorite hikes in RMNP, the lake and the surrounding mountains are stunning and eminently peaceful. The hike comes in just over 12.5 miles. There are portions of the trail that are receding and climbing backing to the woods due to flood damage. When I got to Crystal Lake, it was a little overcast, and a light breeze. I remember thinking, that if I was camping here, I would love to take a nap here along the edge of Crystal Lake - someday maybe.
July 18, 2015 ~ The hike to Bluebird Lake is surprisingly quick for a little more than 12.5 miles roundtrip. It was a great day, mostly sunny with some clouds racing by. The valley views are spectacular and there is a portion of the trail where you are on a ridge off to the side of the valley, the views are amazing.
July 11, 2015 ~ Parika Lake is a high alpine lake with lush green ground cover around this little gem. The trail moves quickly, moving between beetle kill and aspens. Once at tree-line the forest becomes very healthy and everything is a lush green. This is a great time of the year for a hike. The wildflowers are in full bloom and the weather was great. Parika Lake is a lone little gem above the tree-line.
July 4, 2015 ~ The hike to Lone Pine Lake is an interesting hike. It starts on the Grand Lake side of the park and fairly soon a wide lush valley floor opens up with a large slow moving - meandering oxbow river, on a clear day its breathtaking. The trail to Lone Pine Lake is a good distance, just under eleven miles round trip, and is the first stop on a larger hike to Lake Verna and Spirit Lake.
July 2, 2015 ~ The trail to Spruce Lake is a very nice afternoon hike, it clocks in just over 9 miles roundtrip. The weather fluctuated between clear blue skies and partly cloudy. By the time I made it to the lake it was beginning to become overcast. It's a peaceful lake and seems deceptively long. This is one of the hikes I remembered to take a picture of my hiking companion - it's in the last picture.
May 2, 2015 ~ Twin Owls Loop is a short hike, and was an attempt to get a jump on the hiking season, not knowing how much snow was left. This is a lower elevation hike in RMNP so there wasn't much snow left, but you could see on the high peaks there was plenty of snow left. I was clearly chomping at the bit to get the 2015 hiking season started.
April 25, 2015 ~ The hike to Deer Mountain was an attempt at starting the hiking season early. I knew there would be snow, and there would be snow, but I wanted to see if starting that early was something for me; as it turns out it is not. I'm not a big fan of hiking-snowshoeing, it's just not my thing. For the type of hiking I do April is too early to start the season.
September 6, 2014 ~ Lake Helene is part of a loop that starts at Bear Lake which includes Fern Lake and Odessa Lake. I ran out of time when I was hiking to Fern Lake and Odessa Lake so this was the follow-up to complete the loop to Lake Helene. It's a pretty hike, and the location I chose for lunch was breathtaking - perfect weather.
August 30, 2014 ~ Flattop Mountain is a staple for me. It's a good hike start the season out as it gives you an idea of how much snow is left and it is a great hike in late summer as well. When the weather cooperates, the panoramic views of both the east and west sides of RMNP are breathtaking.
August 24, 2014 ~ Fern Lake is a very popular destination as there is a lot of camping there. Odessa Lake is not too far away from Fern Lake, but the elevation gain from Fern Lake to Odessa Lake seems to put a lot of people off. As a result, Odessa Lake is quiet and peaceful, with the Little Matterhorn in the background. The weather fluctuated from sunny blue skies to ominous thunder clouds. This is a great hike, the elevation gain from Fern Lake to Odessa Lake will get the heart going.
August 16, 2014 ~ Timber Lake is a beautiful lake and the hike to it is spectacular. Timber Lake has special meaning to me, the first time I was there it was overcast, but it was very peaceful. This time, the weather was perfect. There are a few challenging sections along the trail, especially where floor erosion has changed the route of the trail. It is a beautiful lake and very peaceful.
August 9, 2014 ~ The trail to Cascade Falls is an easy hike and is full of wildlife, there were a number of Deer and Moose along the trail. The weather started out great but turned very fast and I had to cut the hike short. As such I did not make it to Cascade Falls, but the views up until the weather turned were fantastic.
August 2, 2014 ~ The trail to Ypsilon Lake is a very colorful trail and deer spotting are common along the trail - even at the trailhead. There are portions of the trail where you can see the erosion effects of flooding. The last pitch to the Ypsion Lake is a bit challenging but well worth it. The weather was perfect, could not have asked for better weather.
July 19, 2014 ~ The trail to Glass Lake and Sky Pond is a pretty trail, at this time of the year everything is popping with color and that big blue sky made for a great day on the trail. There is a lot of traffic on this trail, both human and Elk. At this time of the year the Elk's coats look great and very healthy. The views at both Glass Lake and Sky Pond are the stuff of postcards.
July 12, 2014 ~ Tonahutu Trail is on the Grand Lake side of RMNP, it is an easy trail, it skirts Big Meadows which was very lush and florescent green. The thing that stands out the most on this trail is the beetle kill, it's epic in scale on this side of the park. When the wind blows you can hear the dead trees knocking against each other, giving off an eerie sound that echoes throughout the forest. There is an oxbow river that meanders through Big Meadows, this is Moose country.
June 28, 2014 ~ The hike to Mills Lake, Jewel Lake and Black Lake is full of amazing panoramic views. The views look like postcards. Mills Lake and Jewel Lake are fairly easy to get to. Black Lake is a bit more challenging. Once at Black Lake the racing clouds made the peaks surrounding Black Lake very dramatic and changed every couple of minutes to show a different character in the rock formations. Black Lake is beautiful.
June 14, 2014 ~ The hike along the Boulder Brook trail was, in a way, an unintentional redo of the Storm Pass hike. This time there was less snow and made it to Storm Pass. The pass is aptly named; it was very windy at the pass. It was a pretty day. This hike is a good starter hike or a leg of a larger hike.
June 1, 2014 ~ Storm Pass in RMNP is not a terribly long hike, though the run along the brook is rather steep. It was early June when I was there, so there was plenty of snow on the trail. It?s a trail that may be better suited for later in the year, and perhaps part of a longer hike, as the trail ends without any fanfare in a thick wooded area that is a t-intersection with the North Longs Peak trail.
September 7, 2013 ~ The hike to Mt. Ida is a fun hike. You do spend most of your time above tree-line so weather and start time are a factor, as the weather above tree-line can deteriorate very quickly. The views of the park are breathtaking once above tree-line. You skirt the Continental Divide on the way to Mt. Ida.