Katherine and I made it into Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike in some altitude. We have been talking about doing a 14'er sometime this summer, so we thought we would try a hike that started at a pretty high altitude with good altitude gain. Our original intent was to make it to peak 12,150, which is about a mile and a half from the summit of Mount Ida. There was only one turn off on the entire hike to go to Peak 12,150, and we missed it. We knew we missed it after the fact, so we decided to summit Mount Ida instead. The hike started at an elevation of 10,759 Ft. on the Continental Divide at Milner Pass. From there we hiked South of the Continental Divide towards the Pacific Ocean. We summited at Mount Ida 4.6 miles later at an elevation of 12,888 Ft.
The total elevation gain (there and back) was 2,496 Ft., which is much more than we have done in any other hike. We didn't spend much time at the summit because some clouds were rolling in. We wanted to make it below the tree level before any serious weather hit. Luckily, we made it all the way back to the car without getting any rain, but by the time we were half-way down the mountain, the summit was getting pounded with rain. We heard thunder a few times on the hike back, but never saw lightning. We saw several people hiking up while we were hiking down which we both thought was stupid. One person even asked us if the storm had passed the summit, in which Katherine and I both thought the person was an idiot for knowingly hiking into a storm.
Overall, it was a difficult hike that neither Katherine or I was prepared for. The 9.3-mile round trip hike took a total of 4 hours, 45 minutes. We were moving for just under 3 hours of that time.