Wednesday, August 25, 2010

King Lake

Distance: 3 miles round trip
Elevation: 11,660 ft (on Rollins Pass) - 11.431 ft (at the lake) - 10, 750 ft near bottom of the ridge
Elevation Loss: 910 ft

King Lake

This post is based on my 2004 photo archives, a good 4 years before I started blogging. That means this is not full trail profile, but rather a photographic teaser, mostly random shots. Many of my pictures include views of Woodland Mountain, which dominates the skyline to the north.

Rollins Pass

On the pass, looking down the drainage

Descending to the lake, oh the fatigue

A hiker in a kilt??? I have I been transported to Scotland? I have never seen this sort of outfit for sale at REI. Being a gear fashionista, I was afraid there for a moment that I would have to toss out my entire wardrobe!

While most people travel to King Lake the hard way, via the Hessie Trailhead near Eldora (5.65 miles one way), I got there by driving up Rollins Pass Road out of Winter Park to Rollins Pass itself. From there it is only 0.35 miles and 229 ft down to the lake. How do I justify such an easy excursion? Well, a) it was described in a book that way, b) it was my birthday, and c) I had to get back to Boulder that night for a concert. C'est la vie.

Standing on the edge of the plateau that holds the lake looking down into the valley below.

The trail swings away from the lake before it reaches its eastern tip

While I now know of many places that are great for petal peeping, at the time I was awed by the diversity of flowers on the King Lake trail.

More flowers

The area was very lush and very rocky

Since 0.35 miles was shorter than I had imagined, I strolled eastward on the King Lake Trail as it traversed the lakes plateau and headed down in a series of switchbacks. I have no idea how far I went, but I do remember passing the turn off to Betty and Bob Lakes at 0.75 miles. Frankly, my nose was in the turf trying to take pictures of all the wild flowers. It was a bright sunny day, however, which is not conducive to petal peeping.

Crossing a small creek

I believe this is still looking north

King Lake is an attractive destination no matter how you get there. I would like to return and take in Betty and Bob Lakes. Since it is wilderness, however, and I know travel with dogs, it may be a while before I can return.

Wait, more flowers...

Clouds start coming in

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