We managed to sync up our schedules for a couple of hikes...
First, we hiked the Gray Copper Trail to Vernon Mine with Mark. This was a seven mile hike that took us to the base of Red Mountain #1 (no, I don't know how many there are, nor why they didn't use a little more imagination when naming them!). There were some lovely waterfalls, some very steep sections, mining debris, beautiful vistas, and just a few mosquito's. We need to remember to use bug spray before every hike, it's just that time of year!
|Watch out! Goofballs on the trail!|
|Looking back down the valley from whence we came.|
|Rolling green hills give way to the striking colors of Red Mountain #1.|
On our next hike Bobbie was able to join us and we hiked to lovely Ice Lake. Bobbie is a wealth of information about the mountains and mining operations and trails and flowers and I had fun picking her brain for details!
This hike was about six miles long with a lot of elevation gain, topping out about 12,200 feet. Our steep climbs were broken up by walks through lovely meadows with many waterfalls and amazing views. Reaching the lake was worth every bit of effort as we gazed upon its turquoise brilliance surrounded by jagged 13,000+ foot peaks.
|About a quarter mile into the hike we had our first stream crossing.|
|Mark, Bobbie and Hans pausing to catch their breath before continuing the climb.|
|Taking photos gave me an excuse to pause and catch my breath at regular intervals.|
We were awed by the beauty all around us.
|The trail leveled out in a beautiful valley, with massive, treeless peaks looming over the saddle above us.|
|This meadow will be covered in flowers in a few weeks.|
|Once again we begin to climb towards a saddle.|
The angled white line on the rock face to our left is a waterfall.
|Looking back at the valley we just crossed.|
|Almost at the top of this particular steep section...|
turns out we weren't done climbing yet!
|We just have to get over the saddle to our left to reach the lake.|
Notice we are now above the tree line...
|Our reward is just over this last rise...|
You can see the bowl forming at the base of the mountains.
|Notice the tiny specs of my fellow hikers on the rock at center bottom.|
|I can't remember how to use the panorama function on my camera so I can only take photos |
of sections of this amazing scene we are witnessing.
|Notice how crystal clear the water is.|
I put my hand in the water and my fingers were numb for half an hour!
|This the stream leaving the lake and dropping into the valley below.|
|After lunch and soaking up the beauty for a while, |
it's now time to head back down, down, down.
|There were quite a lot of early blooming flowers along the trail.|
|This is the stream coming out of the lake.|
Notice part of the flow comes through the tunnel formed by giant boulders.
|This was an out-and-back hike so we had to recross the streams again.|
|And the final stream crossing.|
People had tried to build a bridge, but it was mostly submerged and the logs were very slippery.
|Dinner at the RV to celebrate meeting wonderful fellow hikers on the road!|
Thanks Mark and Bobbie for introducing us to the beautiful country you are so fortunate to call home!