Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hanging Lake

I've found that when you tell people in Colorado that you hike, you'll often be asked if you've ever been to Hanging Lake.  Until Friday, I'd been unable to answer that question in the affirmative.  But since Taryn was off from school -- and I desperately wanted to close this gaping hole in my hiking resume -- we were off to Glenwood Springs.

The photo opportunities began well before we reached our destination, with the aspens already nearing peak colors by Silverthorne.

The colors when we reached the Hanging Lake parking area were no less striking, at least as far as the foliage was concerned.  The Colorado River was a somewhat brackish greenish-brown, but didn't really detract much from the overall scenic splendor.

It was nice to be reminded of how fortunate I am to live in one of the most breathtaking states in our beautiful country.

The kids always talk about how much they like to have rocks to climb on hikes, to which I say, "be careful what you wish for."

Hanging Lake
After an unexpectedly steep hike of a little more than a mile, we reached our goal.  And any doubts as to whether the hot, tiring trek was worth it were immediately erased.

Taryn and I revisited an old pleasure when hiking to a mountain lake -- eating Fluffernutters once we arrived.

I'd never seen anything like the clear turquoise waters here.  No wonder it's the natural feature more people ask about than any other!

I was glad I lugged my tripod along so I could get nice long exposures of the waterfalls feeding the lake.

The lake isn't all that big -- a fallen tree stretched nearly across its entire width.  And the tree was surprisingly stable, as Taryn learned by walking out most of its length.

She spent quite a while out there, eventually beckoning for me to join her.  I eventually did, but the camera stayed back on shore.

A side trail led right under the waterfalls.  Standing in the spray sounded like a good idea, until Taryn discovered how cold mountain water is.

The current drought wasn't enough to stop the steady flow into the lake.

That steady flow also resulted in some thick moss overhanging the water.

We spent nearly an hour resting, eating and just soaking up the stunning beauty.

Before heading back we went a few hundred yards higher to Spouting Rock, where the tripod again came in handy.

Despite being on opposite sides of the Continental Divide, the foliage here in Glenwood Canyon was somewhat similar to what I'd seen last week in Browns Canyon, but much denser.

Silhouettes and sun flares can be a winning photographic combination.

The total round-trip distance from the parking area was probably only about three miles, but it took us nearly four hours to cover it.  Taryn's got another day off of school coming in October.  Hopefully we can put together another trip like this one!

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