Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dream Lake

Distance: 2.2 miles round trip
Elevation:9,470 ft - 9,900 ft
Elevation Gain: 430 ft

Dream Lake on a less than stellar day. What you don't see in this picture is the 20 or so people standing about taking pictures. Most looked very uncomfortable in the deteriorating weather conditions.

On 20 September, I took our Turkish graduate student Ufuk and his wife Malda on a short hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Our actual destination was Emerald Lake, which lies 0.6 miles beyond Dream Lake, but an unforecasted series of storms turned us around at Dream Lake. They did not have rain gear and the temperature was in the 50s. A perfect recipe for hypothermia.

Two shots of pretty Nymph Lake and its Lilly Pads.

Longs Peak and Glacier Gorge from the Dream Lake Trail

Looking down on Nymph Lake from one of the many lookouts on the trail

The trail to Dream lake is meant to be handicapped accessible, but the pavement is so eroded, I would hesitate to take anything with wheels on it. The trail starts to climb a series of steps after Nymph Lake (0.5 miles), so from that point on it is able bodies only.

I love taking pictures of the Krummholz trees at Dream Lake. They are so twisted, no pun intended...well maybe.

Another shot from a lookout. This one had nice fall color.

I don't know what it is about Rocky Mountain National Park, but it always seems to be windy there and this trip was no exception. As soon as we crested the lip of the lake, our jackets and pant legs puffed up. This is not true for other areas in Colorado, so don't judge the state by this area alone.

Waves of rain hitting Longs Peak. This was not a good day to climb the mountain. It does not look bad in this shot. Most of the day, you could not see the summit at all.

While this trail is short, there are so many lookouts with stupendous views that it takes much longer than one would think. For anyone visiting the park for the first time, you need to do this trail at least once. It can be a warm up for longer adventures or the climax of a less strenuous trip. Just be prepared for wind, weather, and whacked out tourists jumping up and down with each new view.


Jann said...

Wow, gorgeous photos, just beautiful! CO is so close to SD but I haven't had any real clue where to go to see such scenery. My dtr. is moving to Denver soon so that'll give me incentive to visit and have a look around. Your photos are certainly incentive too!

Nina said...

This looks really gorgeous. I can see why it would be mobbed in summer. I love the shot of the rain hitting Longs Peak. The swirly gray clouds and yellow fall leaves in the foreground make it look like a painting. I was supposed to go on a fall color trip this weekend with the dogs, but ended up staying home.

Linda said...

If I ever get to your area it will take me a very long time to get up one of these trails - I'd be stopping to take photos ever second step. The combination of colours in the last shot is stunning.

Glad you gave me a wave as you flew over Edinburgh!

Brittany Slater said...

I just simply love this site! Great adventures and fantastic views!