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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Odessa Lake and Lake Helene

For whatever reason, we thought it would be a great idea to go up into Rocky Mountain National Park on the weekend before the 4th of July. If that's not bad enough, we decided to start our hike in the most popular area, Bear Lake. But we did it, and it was packed in the morning. It took about 20 minutes for us to get through the entrance and buy our annual pass. We got into the park around 8 am, parked, took the shuttle to Bear Lake Trailhead, and started our hike a little after 9 am. Once we took our first turn off the path from Bear Lake, the number of people significantly decreased, and it was back to just us and nature.

Our original goal was to make it to Lake Helene with the intent on hiking down the gorge to Odessa Lake. We brought enough food that we could eat lunch at one of the lakes, and since we got to Lake Helene around 11, we thought we would hike the extra 1.2 miles down to Odessa Lake for our lunch break. We ended up getting a little lost trying to get back on the trail to head to Odessa Lake, but we ended up finding an amazing overlook of the gorge including both lakes and Notchtop Mountain, so getting lost worked out in our favor.

The hike took us a total of 4 hours, 47 minutes and we hiked a total distance of 9.48 miles with a strenuous 2524 feet of elevation gain.

My Hiker BuddyBierstadt LakeLittle CreekCircular BokahSnowy Day in JulyBentDeerNotchtop MountainSnack Time PanoramaLake HeleneFlattop MountainClear WaterOdessa LakeThrough the GorgeOdessa and KatherineDown We GoFern CreekOn the BridgeOdessa Lake PanoramaLunch Time SmilesAt the ShoreSmall Waterfall

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Loch & Timberline Falls

It's another weekend and we went on another hike, big surprise! This time we decided to make it to The Loch, a lake that is 3 miles from the start of the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. We figured once we were there we could decide to go on to Timberline falls and then maybe make it to Sky Pond. We ended up making it to the lake and it looked oddly familiar. It turns out that we hiked to The Loch last year and thought we were at Mills Lake. Because of all the snow when we went last year, all the signs were covered and we must have taken a wrong turn. Since we had already made it to The Loch before, we had to go on, so we trecked another mile and another 600 vertical feet to Timberline Falls.

Timberline Falls is by far my favorite waterfall in Colorado that I've been to. The waterfall was visible from The Loch, as well as about a quarter-mile from the destination. It was nice being able to see the thing you're hiking to. The other thing that made the waterfall magnificent was that it was up on a giant hill in front of a massive meadow.

We hiked on, passing Glass Lake and finally arriving at Sky Pond about 3/4 of a mile from Timberline Falls. In total, the hike took us a little over 4 hours and 30 minutes, which was a lengthy 9-mile hike with a little over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Surprisingly, this hike seemed significantly easier than the hike last week, which was just a little over 9-miles but had about 500 feet more of elevation gain. I guess more than 2,000 feet of elevation gain is killer.

Alberta FallsPowell PeakThrough the ApsensThe LochTimberline FallsGreen FieldClouds Rolling InAt the FallsBokehPurple FlowersTimberline Falls PanoramaLake of GlassYelow WildflowersSky PondSharkstoothDark CloudsTimberline Falls

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Butterfly Pavilion

With the mountain weather looking pretty bad this weekend, we decided to go down to the Butterfly Pavilion. I'm not sure why, but I feel guilty not posting a photo album every weekend during the summer, so this is what we came up with. We decided to go to a place that is special to us; the Butterfly Pavilion was where we had our second date (even though I'm pretty sure at the time Katherine didn't consider it a date).

BokehShooting A PoleStill CenterPaper KiteBright OrangeSuper CloseThin WingsTiny AntMy PhotographerCurled TongueBug Eyed

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ypsilon Lake

The weather was looking pretty bad this weekend to go on a hike, which would have been 3 weekends in a row stuck at home due to bad weather. Luckily, on Saturday evening, the forecast cleared up for Sunday for us to go on a hike.

We picked Ypsilon Lake, which was a 9-mile round trip hike in the Mummy Range which had about 2600 feet of elevation gain. The hike was pretty killer compared to similar hikes we've done with similar altitude gain and distance. We made it to the lake in just under 2 hours and returned to the car 4 hours and 22 minutes after we started the hike.

The weirdest part of this hike was the people heading up when we were heading back down. The weather may have cleared up in the morning, but rain was still forecasted in the early afternoon. The clouds were rolling over the mountains and it was starting to get pretty windy. I suspect that the rain started within the next 2 hours. On a hike that took us over 4 hours, I'm sure some of those people got wet. Additionally, there were several groups of tourists attempting this hike without any water at all.

Roaring RiverFallen TreesGreen HillsWildflowerOn the BridgeFrom the BridgeTrees EverywhereChipmunk LakeWild FlyRandom WaterfallAt the FallsYpsilon LakeAlong the ShoreWildThe Whole Lake

July 2018

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