THE 2014 SEASON
The 2014 hiking season was almost all about exploring Rocky Mountain National Park, it really is a beautiful park. What I learned during the course of this hiking season is, although people may roll their eyes when you say you're going on a hike in RMNP, it really is spectacular if you spend just a couple extra hours on the trail. The crowds thin dramatically, and you get so see an amazing part of Colorado that is so close and so convenient. The price of the annual park pass was worth every penny and then some. Rocky Mountain National Park truly is a National Treasure.
September 27, 2014 · There are a number of lakes and ponds on the way to Blue Lake. Blue Lake can look deceptive large, depending on which angle you take a picture from. It’s a very pretty lake, but it has a very different character depending on which direction you look at it. For late September I got really lucky with the weather. It was a beautiful day with a light but constant breeze.
September 20, 2014 · Fall was in the air and the Aspen’s were in full Fall colors on the hike to Heart Lake. The most vibrant Fall colors were at the trail head at Moffat Tunnel. The trail goes fairly fast and the view of Heart Lake from Rogers Peak is amazing. Got really lucky with the weather at time of the year.
September 13, 2014 · The hike to Lake Isabelle is gorgeous. There are spectacular views of the Indian Peaks. I got very luck with the weather, the colors did not reflect the time of year, everything was still a vibrant green. It was windy and below freezing in the morning, but it turned out to be a great day.
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.
MORE SEASONS ON THE TRAIL
Collegiate Peaks Wilderness9
Eagles Nest Wilderness10
Fossil Ridge Wilderness1
Fraser Experimental Forest1
Gunnison National Forest1
Holy Cross Wilderness12
Indian Peaks Wilderness17
James Peak Wilderness1
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness2
Mount Evans Wilderness2
Mount Massive Wilderness2
Pike National Forest1
Rocky Mountain National Park41
San Isabel National Forest6
Sangre de Cristo Wilderness1
White River National Forest10
TRAILS BY MONTH