When the boys are at work, the girls will play. Ryan was away this weekend working at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, so instead of being lazy at home, my best girlfriend and I headed to Rocky Mountain National Park for an easy morning hike.
Without much direction, we arrived at the park a little before 8am. As to be expected during tourist season (which is coming to an end soon, thank goodness), all the parking lots were full and we found ourselves in the shuttle lot. As we boarded the shuttle and began our journey up towards the Bear Lake Trailhead, we decided to get off a few stops earlier at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead and hike to The Loch. Ryan and I snowshoed here this spring so I knew that the sights were worth the hike.
We had a quick snack and hit the trail a little after 9am. Around 0.5 miles later we arrived at Alberta Falls. While it is beautiful, it is also very busy with tourists due to its close proximity to its trailhead, so we continued on.
The trail led on onwards and upwards, leading us to some spectacular views of Rocky Mountain National Park (even though the air quality has been poor lately due to all the smoke blowing over from the fires in the western states). About 3 miles later we arrived at The Loch! It was just as beautiful as I remembered, and unfortunately it was just as windy. We sat along the shore to have some lunch and girl talk before we were forced back into the cover of the forest.
Even though we are now late into the summer, the valleys connecting the different lakes in the area are still filled with rivers, creeks, and streams that cross the trail at many different spots.
On our way back down to the trailhead we noticed a trail sign indicating that Mill Lake was only about a 2 mile detour from our route. It was still early in the afternoon so we decided to take a visit! We were presented with more scenic views of the Park as well as that of Longs Peak, our local 14er. We took a quick sit to take it all in before heading back.
What would a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park be without some wildlife to keep you company? We did not see any big game this trip, but the squirrels and chipmunks were abundant and, judging by their pudgy weight, seem to be stocking up on food for the winter already. I’m eager to get back later this fall to spend the last few weeks with not only the animals, but also with the lush foliage (and soon to be golden aspens!).
“Four footsteps are better than two. In any climb, a great companion is better than sunshine”