Sunday, July 29, 2012

Booth Lake

Made plans to do the Booth Lake Trail with Zak, my buddy Dennis Byrne and his son Brian Saturday.  At 8.7 miles roundtrip and about 3,400 feet of elevation gain it was a perfect dress rehearsal for a hike I want to do in Alaska next week -- the Harding Icefield Trail.

The trail started steeply, and went through a beautiful aspen grove right as the sun was cresting the east ridge.

Tremendous scenic variety along the trail -- meadows, valleys, aspen, spruce.  It was like a sampler platter of everything great about hiking in Colorado.

Booth Creek Falls was a couple of miles in, and where a lot of folks stop and turn back.

We pressed on as the trail wound up and to the northwest.  Booth Lake or bust!

Rest break after a pretty steep stretch.  Here's how the boys' conversation went most of the day:

"Video games?"

"Video games.  Video games video games!"

"Video games."

We had clear views back down the valley toward the Holy Cross Wilderness.

Other than the small island in the middle, I found the lake itself fairly unremarkable.  Pretty enough, but it didn't blow me away with its beauty like Isabelle did.

The men savoring the accomplishment of hiking in 4.3 miles and up about 3,200 feet.

Still a solid amount of wildflowers blooming in the meadows.

We probably saw more fireweed than any other wildflower.

A first for me on a hike -- a badger sighting!  He crossed the trail right in front of Dennis, who tracked where he went until I was able to catch up and snap some shots.

I'm not sure exactly what this little Douglas Squirrel had found to eat, but he was going to town on it.

Since the weather never turned threatening and we had nowhere else to be, we were in absolutely no hurry.  So between rest stops, photo stops and waterfall-climbing stops it took us a full seven and half hours to finish.  But it's clear that Zak can handle it, so hopefully he'll come on the Harding hike next week.  I'm probably going to budget at least 6:30 for it.  Don't want to miss the cruise ship!

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