The 2019 hiking season has started. This year I am including snowshoeing in the season, namely because I haven’t snowshoed in a while and I don’t want the first hike of the summer hike season to be a heart-pounder and use the summer season to work up to a twenty-mile hike. The snowshoe season should go though May then switch to summer hikes. Enjoy!

Ptarmigan Lake by Buena Vista

August 10, 2019 ~ The trail to Ptarmigan Lake by Buena Vista is inside the San Isabel National Forest and is a beautiful trail. It is a moderate trail with the final pitch to Ptarmigan Lake being the only tough part of the trail. It is a popular trail, so it's best to start early. Having said that, I got a late start of just after 9am, though my biggest concern was not the crowds on the trail, but rather the weather. The forecast called for rain in the afternoon. Thankfully, the trail moves very fast. The trail has a rugged texture to it with cantaloupe-sized rocks sticking out on the trail. But they are easy to navigate and does not cause the trail to be difficult on the return.

Eagle Lake Trail

August 3, 2019 ~ The hike along Eagle Lake Trail was an interesting one. I was supposed to be a much longer hike to Strawberry Lake, but I had to cut it short just shy of Halfmoon Lake, just above Eagle Lake. The weather for this much shorter than planned hike was fantastic and very warm. There were several big white clouds, but a mild breeze kept pushing the clouds around. It was never too overcast, and the clouds added texture to the incredible views of southern side of Fools Peak and Eagle Peak.

Kroenke Lake

July 28, 2019 ~ What a beautiful hike in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. This is a pretty easy trail for coming out to 12 miles roundtrip. The first two miles are shared with the trail to the 14er - Mt. Harvard, so the trail is very well-worn and basically flat. After the split to Mt. Harvard the trail is less worn but still pretty flat, though there a couple of moderate inclines all the way up to Kroenke Lake. The trail does get steep if you go up behind Kroenke Lake and onto Brown's Pass. And Kroenke Lake is spectacular from the shoreline and from high above.

North Fork Lake Creek Trail

July 14, 2019 ~ The hike to the pass along the North Fork Lake Creek Trail is absolutely beautiful, the views along hike in a steep V-shaped valley are simply breathtaking. The trail starts at the curve along Highway 82 just before it turns sharply and up to the crazy twisty-turn road known as Independence Pass. Most of the trail is inside the Mount Massive Wilderness. From the trailhead to the Wilderness boundary, the trail is very gentle, and the views of the valley are incredible.

Jasper Lake

July 5, 2019 ~ What a beautiful day for an early Summer hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. I did not make it all they way to the intended lake, Storm Lake, just above Jasper Lake, I was stopped by - snow, snow blocked the final steep pitch from Jasper Lake to Storm Lake. Though many of the pictures don't look like snow would have been an issue, it was. The snow in the trees was waist deep and very soft. Even without making it to Storm Lake, this hike will stay in my memories as a first.

Midway to Midway Pass

June 29, 2019 ~ The hike to Midway Pass in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness was an interesting one that offered both hiking and snowshoeing. The weather was great, it started a little overcast but that cleared up and then eventually began to cloud up again, but the views where spectacular. There is still a lot of snow above 11,500 feet and it looks like it will be that way for at least another two-to-three weeks.

Lake City

May 23 - 25, 2019 ~ Had an interesting time in Lake City, I went to Lake City for Alferd Packer Days and some hiking. The mountains are beautiful in this area and given the epoch snow this year the Spring Runoff had just started. Lake City has an interesting history, the same year that Lake City in a similar epoch snowy year a group of men lead by Alferd Packer became snow bound at Lake San Cristobal.

Mayflower Gulch - Snowshoeing

May 4, 2019 ~ Mayflower Gulch is on the west side of the Ten Mile Range and part of the Avalanche Amphitheatre along the range. This very short trek has spectacular views. There are two ways into the bowl of Fletcher Mountain. The first is along a trail that obscures views of Fletcher Mountain, the other is pretty much straight up the middle of the valley following the stream to the bowl, this is the preferred route with spectacular views the entire length of the gulch.

Mohawk Lakes ~ Cut Short - Snowshoeing

May 3, 2019 ~ The original plan for this snowshoeing trek was to go to at least Lower Mohawk Lake and at best to Upper Mohawk Lake. I have been to Mohawk Lakes in a previous summer hiking season, so I wasn't sure how far I could get. I do remember that the pitch to Lower Mohawk Lake is steep and that there is a steep incline along the side of Lower Mohawk Lake on the way to Upper Mohawk Lake.

Lily Lake - Snowshoeing

April 14, 2019 ~ The trail to Lily Lake is an offshoot of the Colorado Trail / Continental Divide Trail along Tennessee Pass in the San Isabel National Forest. It is not a difficult trail in snowshoes with a total out-and-back elevation gain of a little over 900 feet. Though for the first half of the way in it felt more like going downhill - which meant uphill for the last half on the way out.

Many Lakes ~ Small Loop - Snowshoeing

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.

Brainard Lake Recreational Area - Snowshoeing

February, 17, 2019 ~ The Brainard Lake Recreational Area is a gateway into the Indian Peaks Wilderness and during the winter offers a full day of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities for all ages. Since this area is closed to traffic in the winter months the snow-covered roads become deep snow trails to spend hours on. Since it is close to Boulder it's a quick and easy drive to get there.

Meadow Mountain - Snowshoeing

Janurary 26, 2019 ~ The Meadow Mountain trail at the Minturn exit along I-70 is interesting, it is super easy access and during the winter caters to many winter activities, including: snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, Telemark skiing, down-hill skiing, snowboarding, toboggining and snowmobiling and add mountain biking and hiking in the summer. I think one of the reasons this area can offer so many different winter activities options is because of its history.