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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Miller Rock

We made it out to the mountains after taking a weekend off since our trip to Moab. We wanted to pick a hike that wasn't too terribly difficult from an elevation standpoint but had a decent length to it and Miller Rock fit the bill. The hike was a little over 6 miles and was supposed to be right at 1,000 feet in elevation gain but it ended up being over 1,200. But maybe the elevation discrepancy was because we didn't do the real loop, we turned around at the summit instead of continuing but we ended up finding another loop back to the main trail. The hike took a little under two and three-quarter hours.

This hike ended up being pretty great because it was a gorgeous area that followed a stream for about half of the hike, which was partially frozen over. The river was flowing strong from the snowmelt and it would duck into ice tunnels where you couldn't see it at all but you could still hear it. The other great thing about this hike was the spectacular views at the summit. There were absolutely no panoramic views until you scrambled to the top of Miller Rock. And it was a scramble. There was no defined way to get to the top but we did a little bit of climbing and made it up with only a little bit of struggle. But that scramble made the view all that much better since all we could see up until reaching the summit was just trees and the river.

At the summit, there was a spectacular view of both Longs Peak and the Twin Peaks, which I feel is something that you don't get a view of both of from the same summit. So I thought that was a pretty great view to see two enormous peaks, all in one view.

OHV RoadLongs PeakSummit PanoramaRelaxing at the SummitThe ScramblePartially Forzen

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Zimmerman Lake

It was a snowy week, so we thought that maybe we'd be able to get in one more snowshoeing trip of the season. To do this, we knew we had to get up high and saw that Zimmerman Lake was forecasted to get 7 inches of snow so that was our destination. Zimmerman Lake is a pretty easy hike, less than 3 miles round trip and less than 500 feet of elevation gain, but it starts at an elevation of 10,000 feet which makes it a little more challenging. We probably didn't need snowshoes for most of the hike because the trail was snow packed and icy since it last snowed on Friday and we went hiking on Sunday.

When we got to the trailhead after driving for almost 2 hours, it was starting to get cloudy. Storms move quickly at that elevation so we knew that it would either clear up or we'd get caught in a snowstorm. It was lightly snowing when we got to the trailhead but decided to do the hike because the hike wasn't that long. The snowing stopped, but the storm completely covered Cameron's Peak, which was the main thing we wanted to look at during the hike. Cameron's Peak was just recently in the news for being the starting point of the worst fire in Northern Colorado burning more than 200,000 acres over the course of 6 months. We figured Zimmerman Lake would have been hit hard by this fire, but it was completely intact and unharmed, which makes sense now that I think about it since it's the only trail open along the Poudre River. There were lots of bare and charred mountains around us, but the mountain that Zimmerman Lake was on remained untouched and safe to hike.

The drive up towards Cameron's Peak was pretty saddening. The Cameron's Peak fire destroyed so many trees, including some right next to the highway that haven't been cut down yet. It was quite surreal. But I guess that's nature's way of clearing out the forest to make room for new trees to grow. The saddest part, though, is that now every trail along the Poudre River is hiking through a burned area, either from the High Park fire in 2012 or now from the Cameron's Peak fire. But I guess burned areas are beautiful in their own way.

IceZimmerman LakeCamerons PeakPaked Down Path

April 2021

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