Sunday, September 26, 2010

Officers Gulch

Distance: 1.5 miles (estimate) around the lake
Elevation: 9,452 ft
Critters: Dragonflies and fish

A view of Officers Gulch looking towards Copper Mountain

Officers Gulch is a small Colorado lake right off of I-70 near the western exit for Frisco in Summit County. I decided to check it out one lazy Sunday. It turned out to be quite pleasant. There is a short trail around the lake and numerous social trails for fisherfolk who wish to cast a line.

This gentleman was fishing on his own private island that he kayaked out to

The view near the parking lot

A short bridge leads to the eastern side of the lake

The lake itself was alive with pond skimmers and dragonflies and numerous tree species dotted the area.

Some plants in the area

This strange looking "cone" on a Colorado Blue Spruce is a Cooley Spruce Gall (abnormal tissue outgrowth caused by insects or other invaders) that has swollen the stem. Cooley Spruce Galls are common and are caused by an aphid-like insect. The spines on it are "mutated" spruce needles. Thanks to reader for identifying this for me.

Lodgepole Pine

While the noise from I-70 is never far away, the area does boast ample parking.

More views around the lake

Looking southwest

Looking north

Looking northeast from the western end


Steven said...

Beautiful pictures as always!

Courtney K. said...

Hi Sylvia. I came across your blog Googling images for the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan. The blue spruce in the picture has a gall on its twig that has caused swelling of the stem- that's why it has needles. The other pics are interesting- looks like a lot of either spruce budworm or pine beetle damage?

sylvia murphy said...

Hi Court K,
Thanks for the info. I have modifed my post accordingly.

Yes, the Pine Beetle has done a lot of damage in our area.