Monday, August 21, 2006

Emerald Lake, Dream Lake, Nymph Lake

After all those pictures I'd seen of Dream Lake, I was very keen on doing a hike to one of Rocky Mountains National Park's scenic lakes. The hike starts off at Bear Lake, and is a very comfortable trail that gains 425 feet to end up at 9900 ft at Dream Lake. The hike is only 1.1 miles from Bear Lake. Emerald Lake was like the proverbial cherry on the icing and we ambled over only because it was only 0.7 miles further. The gain in altitude is another 200 ft or so, I am not entirely sure. What I do know is that Emerald Lake is just over 10,080ft. The round trip was less than 4 miles but it was the best bit of exercise I have done in a long long time.

Looking up at the peaks around us, we found Longs Peak, the only fourteener in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Keyboard of the Winds and the Pagoda Mountain

After a relatively steep uphill walk that had us breathing deeply, the trail platueaud off at a beautiful calm lake, Nymph Lake.

Hallett Peak towered over Nymph Lake and beckoned us closer to Dream Lake.

After gaining some more altitude, we stopped at what some other young Indians called 'Patel Point' to take family pictures as well as of the wonderful vista that lay around us. You can see the storm clouds beginning to gain momentum in the distance.

Before we knew it, the skies had cleared and we were at Dream Lake.

We took a short break on a rock by the lake to have lunch. The sun came out and we were fried as we sat there looking up at Hallett Peak on the left, Tyndall Gorge in the middle and Flattop Mountain on the right. It's hard to believe that the mountain with the jagged edges is really flat at the top!

About a half hour later we were at Emerald Lake.

The mallards on the lake seemed to have no fear of people and came quite close to us. Just like the trout on Dream Lake. I think they were hoping for some food! On our way down, we met some rock scramblers who had scrambled up to the top of the waterfalls seen in the Emerald Lake picture above. It took them an hour 40 minutes to get there and barely twenty minutes to come down!

I cannot capture the beauty of this place with my camera. I either don't know how, which is more likely, or it's just not possible to do justice to the raw magnificence of these mountains.

Flattop Mountain enthralls me. The trail to the top is a strenous climb and gains about 2800 ft in altitude. We're going to need to get really fit if we have to do it.

As quickly as the skies had cleared, the clouds moved in again. We made it back to Bear Lake to just in time to hear loud claps of thunder and a steadily increasing downpour. We returned home, tired but very very content. What is it about the mountains? I can't seem to get enough!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Peak to Peak

Along the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, near Meeker Park, not far from beautiful Lyons. Yes, this is Colorado!

The Alluvial Fan

Walk up a few 100 yards on a trail from this and have the scene open out into The Alluvial Fan, Horseshoe Park.

This was created when boulders and debris crashed down into the Horseshoe Park because of an unnatural flood that occurred when the Lawn Lake dam burst. According to the information posted at the site, this occurred on July 15, 1982.

The Alluvial Fan - more pictures

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Rocky Mountain National Park

In Rocky Mountain National Park, heading toward the Alluvial Fan

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