November 23, 2019 ~ The snowshoeing season has officially begun! And for some reason I chose a long trail, to Lake Isabelle inside of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The weather was perfect, a lot of sun, and it had been snowing for the past two days.
October 5, 2019 ~ The hike to Snowmass Lake in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness inside of the White River National Forest is a long hike but is in a valley that follows Snowmass Creek. It's not a difficult hike as the trail is a gentle rise to the switchbacks just before Snowmass Lake.
September 28, 2019 ~ Each hike I have done has something unique that makes each special and creates a special memory on the trail. However, this trek along Carter Creek in the Holy Cross Wilderness was something different. It was a spectacular surprise. While it is difficult to single out any given trail as a favorite, this trail is at the top of the list. The Holy Cross Wilderness and the Savage Range in the White River National Forest are something special and the weather for this trek made it that much more special; perfect weather and huge big blue skies all day.
September 14, 2019 ~ The trek to Midway Lake was a 'go back and complete' trail from a previous attempt to reach Midway Lake. Earlier this year I tried to get to Midway Lake but ran into too much snow just before Midway Pass in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness. This time, in late Summer the weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky, a light breeze and spectacular views all around.
September 7, 2019 ~ The hike to Olsen Lake inside the Holy Cross Wilderness is a hidden gem. The first half of the trail is outside of the Holy Cross Wilderness and is well traveled by trail runners and people walking their dogs. It's a straight trail with a steady incline. However, because the first half of the trail is so well traveled it doesn't feel like you're working too hard on the trail. From the trailhead up to the Meadow Mountain crossing would probably be a good endurance trek for snowshoeing.
August 31, 2019 ~ Zirkel Circle is a loop in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness inside of the Routt National Forest, about an hour north of Steamboat Springs. The trailhead is in a remote location and is best to use a 4WD vehicle to get there. It's a moderately trafficked trail and given that I was on the trail during the Labor Day Weekend, there was a bit more traffic on the trail than usual.
August 24, 2019 ~ This was my second attempt to reach the Seven Sisters Lakes in the Holy Cross Wilderness. The first attempt was via the north side from last week's hike to Lower Turhare Lake. This time would be from the south side near Homestake Road, my favorite washboard dirt road. After reviewing possible routes to the series of lakes known as The Seven Sisters, it was clear there was no short route. This trek turned out to be a 17.2-mile roundtrip trek.
August 17, 2019 ~ The hike to Lower Turhare Lake along the Fall Creek Trail in the Holy Cross Wilderness has been on my mind for some time, but the trailhead has been out of reach with the in-city car, but with the Jeep I’m finally able to get to some of these trails that have been just out of reach for the past few years. The weather fluctuated between big bright blue skies and thick clouds. I had planned to push on to the saddle overlooking the first two of the Seven Sisters Lakes, but the weather turned and there was some lightning and thunder. That was the determining factor to call it and turn back as I was over 12,000 feet when saw the lightning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.