Saturday, October 25, 2008

RMNP: Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lakes

We were looking forward to hiking some more trails at the Rocky Mountain National Park Today. The temperature in Fort Collins was in the upper 60’s today, so we were expecting the temps in the mountains to be in the 40’s and 50’s. The wind was blowing in the mountains but the sun was out.

Today our hike would start at the Bear Lake Trailhead located at 9,475 feet in elevation. We were planning to hike first to Nymph Lake, then to Dream Lake and finally to Emerald Lake, then using the same trail back to the car. The hike was approximately 4 miles long and climbs 605 feet in elevation. The trail climbs continuously starting at Bear Lake Trailhead and reaches 10,080 feet at Emerald Lake.

Within the first 10 minutes of hiking we had to put on our hats and gloves. The wind was cold and blowing hard at times. This was the largest elevation gain so for on a hike at the park, and there were many stars to climb here, many covered by snow and ice. This was definitely a workout.

Mike in front of Nymph Lake

On the trail to Dream Lake

Amazing views of the mountains from the trail

Above two pictures are of Dream Lake

Mike in front of Dream Lake

Me in front of Dream Lake

A submerged log in the frozen waters of Dream Lake

The views were amazing and photographs unfortunately can’t capture such beauty. Nymph Lake was first, most of it was covered by ice. It was pretty but not as pretty as Dream Lake. Much Larger, it also had ice covering some of it. The wind was really blowing hard at Dream Lake but it was so pretty here we decided to eat the sandwiches we brought for lunch. We hid behind some rocks to hide from the winds gusts but as soon as we finished eating we were ready to continue our hike. It was cold just sitting around. The trail ended at Emerald Lake, appropriately names as the water did look green.

On the way to Emerald Lake

Snow and ice on the stairs makes for a careful climb

Approaching Emerald Lake

Me in front of Emerald Lake

This was the windiest spot so far on our hike and we only stayed here for the duration of the pictures.

Heading back down the trail - lots of stairs

I’m glad I had my trekking poles, they helped climbing the trail over snow and ice. And even though I brought an extra layer in case I was cold I never had to use it. This trail was a bit crowded but then again it was the weekend.

We hiked the hi-lited trail, approx. 4 miles round trip, 605 feet elevation gain

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