Earlier this summer, I went to Colorado. I highlighted my trip to the Flat Tops Wilderness in my previous blog post, but here are some of the my favorites to other destinations in Colorado.
During the last weekend of June, a colder than normal weather disturbance brought a mix of rain and snow to South Zapata Lake, elevation 11,900 feet. If you closely in the photo above, you might see the raindrops hitting the lake and a light dusting of fresh snow on the peaks above. It was good timing for me to do my semi-regular tradition of climbing a 14,000 foot mountain each summer. This year, I decided to tackle Mount Lincoln. At 14,293 feet, Mount Lincoln is the highest peak in Park County and about 10 miles south of Breckenridge. There was still about a 1/2 inch of snow leftover from the previous day. This is the view from Mount Lincoln with a small coating fresh snow mixed in with the bigger patches of snow, leftover from the winter and spring.
After a couple of tough hikes in tough conditions it was time to recover with some easier hikes in lower elevations. One of the my favorite hikes was in the Routt National Forest, northeast of Steamboat Springs. It was here where I came across the best combination of large flowers in an aspen forest that I have ever seen!
These showy flowers are known as "Mulesear".
I would return to being above the treeline. My favorite time to be at or above treeline is at dawn to watch the night turn into day.
The two pictures above are from Rocky Mountain National Park. The one below is from State Forest State Park.
You are also more likely to be treated to seeing some wildlife. On my last trip to Colorado in 2019, I would have a close encounter with some mountain goats. This year, I would see moose and bighorn sheep.
My favorite destination was to Mirror Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. It involves a lengthy hike of about 15 miles roundtrip from the nearest parking lot. However, if you are willing to hike that far, you are rewarded to one of the most photogenic mountains in Colorado. The sharp point is called Lone Eagle Peak and it reflects well in the aptly named Mirror Lake.
I would also spend the night here on this clear moonless night and photograph The Milky Way. I'll hopefully have those pictures up soon in another blog post.