This past August/September Kathy and I spent a couple of weeks hiking in the San Juan Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition to making a few improvements to existing hikes already on our website (i.e., better photos), we also hiked 5 new trails which have been recently published to our website. Here's a quick rundown of the new hikes on our site:
Chapin / Chiquita / Ypsilon - after three unsuccessful attempts to hike the "CCY Route" due to bad weather, the 4th time was a finally a charm on this trip. As you might expect, with Ypsilon Mountain being the 5th highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, the views along much of this hike are simply outstanding. As a result, this hike has made our revised Top 10 Hikes list for the park.
Four Lakes Loop - as you might expect from the name, the so called 'Four Lakes Loop" visits four subalpine lakes in the Bear Lake area. It also visits the popular Alberta Falls along this spectacular and popular one-way loop hike.
Shadow Mountain Lookout - located just outside of Grand Lake on the west side of the park, this hike gives you the opportunity to visit that last remaining fire lookout in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Upper Beaver Meadows Loop - Expansive views of Longs Peak and the mountains along the Continental Divide await you from the montane grassy meadows along this one-way loop hike.
Bridal Veil Falls - Although not very well known, Bridal Veil Falls is a surprisingly nice waterfall located a few miles north of Estes Park. The hike begins from the historic McGraw Ranch.
Other Colorado Hikes:
In addition to the 10 days we spent in Rocky Mountain National Park, we also spent a few days hiking in the San Juan Mountains in the Ouray area. I’ve often said that the San Juan Mountains could easily qualify as a national park, and if included, would definitely rank as one of the crown jewels in the entire national park system. Two of the hikes we "discovered" on this trip, Ice Lakes and Black Face Mountain, proved my point once again:
Ice Lakes - Ice Lake is the most brilliant blue color I’ve ever seen in nature. Combine this extraordinarily beautiful alpine lake with outstanding mountain scenery and several thousand wildflowers, and you have one of the best hikes found just about anywhere.
Black Face Mountain - Although Black Face Mountain may look fairly nondescript from the top of Lizard Head Pass, don't be deceived - the views from the summit are quite stunning.
Ouray Perimeter Trail - Most of the trails in the San Juan Mountains lead to or traverse fairly high elevations. The Ouray Perimeter Trail offers hikers the opportunity to acclimate before hitting the more scenic trails in the surrounding area. In addition to enjoying the mountain scenery around "Switzerland of America", this hike offers visitors the chance to learn more about the rich history of Ouray.