Thursday, July 26, 2018

High Lakes in Wild Basin - July, 2018

Reflection of Mt. Alice in Thunder Lake in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado
Thunder Lake - Prints available

After hiking up to a high lake in Wild Basin this past week, I realized that this was the longest (distance) hike I've ever done.  In all the mountain climbing and 14er adventures, I've never gone more than 16 miles in a single day.  This one broke the 16 mile mark according to Tim's gps, which I'm sure is a reason why images of this area are rare.  We had a perfect partly cloudy day with perfect weather for this outing.  I'll just share some shots from the hike:

Ouzel Falls with a sunburst in Rocky Mountian National Park, Colorado
Ouzel Falls

Wild Basin cabin with elephant head wildflowers and Mt. Alice in Rocky Mountain National Park
Elephant Heads and Mt. Alice

Thunder Lake

Longs and Meeker
Lake of Many Winds

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Lulu Mountain - July, 2018

Cami at Thunder Pass in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Cami at Thunder Pass

Cami and I had our annual backpacking adventure last week.  We chose to hike in to the American Lakes area to the northwest of RMNP in the evening and then wake early to hike up Lulu Mountain (12,228 ft.) for sunrise.  This was the first time for both of us visiting the Neversummer mountains.  It was a nice easy backpack to the Michigan Lakes and the hike up Lulu is gentle on tundra.  I'd highly recommend this as a day trip or backpack as the views up there were stunning.  Also, the Michigan Lakes had a TON of fish in them.

On our hike in we were startled by two bull moose on the trail.  We stopped walking as soon as we saw them.  They stood on the trail just staring at us.  Molly started to approach the animals despite our yelling at her.  As she got closer, the largest bull started moving toward her (and us) like it was about to charge at her.  Molly immediately stopped pursuing and tucked her tail and ran back to Cami and I.  Whew!  Smart dog!  These animals did not seem even slightly afraid of us.  We waited on the trail here for maybe 20 minutes until the moose lost interest and wandered into the forest.

Neversummer mountains bull moose wildlife

The rest of the hike was uneventful and we reached our campsite at treeline about sunset.  It was a beautiful, peaceful place and we could tell that we had the whole area all to ourselves.

Lulu Mountain (right)

We woke the next morning and as soon as we got out of our tent, we saw a pair of eyes reflected in our headlights looking at us from in the forest.  Another animal encounter!  This time it was just a deer.  As we hiked toward Thunder Pass we also scared off a pair of cow elk.  We reached a high shoulder below the summit as sunrise began.

Neversummer Sunrise - Prints available

Nohku Crags

Here's a link to a gopro time-lapse video of the sunrise:

We stayed here for a while and had a snack, then continued up the last little section of the peak.  You could only barely make out all the rest of the National Park to the south and west due to the smoke from all the wildfires.

Long Draw Reservoir from the top of Lulu Mountain, Colorado

Longs at center in the distance
mt. Richthofen Mount Neversummer Mountains RMNP Colorado
Mt. Richthofen

Thunder Pass

Michigan Lakes and Static Peak

Static Peak and Michigan Lakes American Lakes area of Colorado State Forest with wildflowers

The Crags from a ridge above our camp.