Not related to Cp's at all - but thought some of you might enjoy this. Now that I'm back 'home', I can once again partake of my favorite activity: hiking and backpacking in the mountains. I live for this stuff. It's been a couple of years, so I did a moderately easy day hike to break myself in for the remainder of the season. This trail is a short drive up a local canyon, and is a 3 mile hike one way, 3000 feet gained in those miles. Round trip was 6 hours with a decent break at the lakes. Started off quite chilly, but it was hot by the time we were done. The altitude of the lake basin is about 9000 ft, the peaks are about 11500 ft. We were on the trail and hiking in the dark, well before sunrise. By the time the sun came up, were were a good mile up already. We do this to beat the worst heat and bugs.
Lots of wildflowers were in bloom, and the sweet smells of the different flowers mixed in with the pines is still one of my favorite aromas. Great timing!
Lots of pics follow!!
Here, we are a mile or so into the hike, and first light is hitting the peaks on the opposite side of the canyon:
Not too much later:
A couple hours later, and the sun still hadn't risen on us thanks to the high canyon walls. This kept us cool. Here we are nearing the upper lake basin, looking down and across to the opposite side:
Sundial Peak, which overlooks the basin, first comes into view.
Tons and tons of Rocky Mtn Penstemon brightened up our hike for the day:
This entire area was carved out by glaciers of old, polishing smooth much of the rock (darn graffiti!!):
And just in time for the blazing sun - we made it to the first lake - Lake Blanche. Sundial Peak watches over.
Another view from the same area:
Dromedary Peak over Lake Florence:
One of several meadows near the lakes:
Another angle on Lake Lillian and Sundial:
Our shady and cool lunch spot:
Lots of water in the area!
A view down towards the trailhead, 3 miles away. It was getting hot by now!
One last look before leaving though! Lake Blanche, Sundial Peak, and Cardiac Ridge beyond: