Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Emerald Lake (Part I)

I'm late with this post, but back on Jan. 9 I got up bright and early and drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park with a pair of rented snowshoes from REI. Objective: Hike out to Emerald Lake.

I was at the Bear Lake trailhead by 9:30, before too many other folks had made it out.

But there was a nice group who offered to take my photo at Bear Lake.

I didn't expect the first leg to be as steep as it was, but it got the blood pumping.

Nymph Lake was peaceful. I actually had a hard time picking up the trail from here, and ended up following some tracks that turned out to be on a bit of a detour.

The little side trek did pass by some interesting snow formations, though.

My trail did eventually re-connect with the main one and lead me to Dream Lake, which was beautiful even with the sun not yet over the ridge.

I lost the trail again, and ended up having to despoil some more snow that had been gorgeously carved by wind to break one.

A breathtaking view was seemingly around every turn. Before coming it was hard to understand how someone could pick a particular parcel of land in a state with as much natural beauty as Colorado and decide it deserved to be a National Park. It didn't take long to figure it out once I got there.

Shortly before reaching Emerald Lake the sun had finally climbed high enough to brighten and warm the terrain. The hike was turning out to be everything I had hoped and more.

Click here for Part II.

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