Friday, October 17, 2014

Bear Lake, Colorado

Bear Lake, Colorado

If I had to chose my favorite thing that we did on our honeymoon, I would say the it was the day we spent hiking to four different lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Before our trip, I had been researching a bunch of different areas to hike while we were out there, but, as luck turns out, our wedding photographer had actually been out to Colorado the week before and recommended starting with Bear Lake. So that's what we did. 

Click on to see the oodles of pictures from our hike...

It's a pretty simple walk to reach Bear Lake, maybe about 50 yards just out of the parking lot by the Bear Lake Ranger Station. They have a well-groomed path that stretches .8 miles around the entire lake with several 'lookouts' and benches along the way. 

I happen to be cracking up in this picture because somewhere along the course of the trip, after I looked at a few photos that honey took of me along the way, I said "You need to tell me to suck it in!" So as I was posing for this picture, he yells "Suck it in!" I was close to dying of laughter. I asked for it, right?

From there, we hiked up through the woods to Nymph Lake. It was .6 miles with an elevation gain of 245 feet.

Nymph Lake, Colorado

This view is from the North side of the lake. When you arrive at the lake, you actually come from the South end- it would be the far back left of the lake in the above photo. I completely forgot to take a picture when we came up to the lake because we were infatuated with this little guy. Don't tell the Park Rangers!

Notice all of those dead Lodgepole Pines behind him? Those are the result of a Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic that has been spreading throughout the park in recent years. When we were walking the loop around Bear Lake, there was a lumberjack crew cutting down all of the dead, hazardous trees. 

Nymph Lake, Colorado

From this lilly-laden lake (say that five times fast), we headed on to Dream Lake, which was another .6 miles with an elevation gain of 205 feet.

Dream Lake, Colorado

It's a bit hard to see in this photo, but Hallett Peak is the second peak to the right in this photo. You can see it a little more clearly in the first two pictures from Bear Lake.

Dream Lake, Colorado

This would be my mountain man. My mountain man who is lucky he didn't fall into this freezing cold lake. 

From here, the hike was absolutely beautiful as we hiked along streams, over wooden bridges and along cliffs and rock.

Then we made it to our final destination - Emerald Lake. This was another .6 miles with an elevation increase of 178 feet.

Emerald Lake, Colorado

Since a storm came rolling in, we weren't able to get a final picture of Hallett Peak from this lake, unfortunately it was covered in the clouds. You can almost see it in this picture, so you can somewhat tell how close we had gotten from were we started at Bear Lake.

After we got home and downloaded all of our photos, I realized that this was one of five pictures that I took with a tree. Five. When I get my picture taken with a tree, I don't think of it as weird, but looking back on our six day vacation and having a picture with five different trees... I don't even think Kelly and I took that many pictures together. Weirdo!

Emerald Lake, Colorado

See how it got it's name? The whole lake is a stunning emerald green and it's crystal clear all the way around.

Emerald Lake, Colorado

That was the last picture, promise. 

Our total round trip was 3.6 miles with an elevation change of 615 feet from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake and, let me tell you, it took about 1/4th of the time to get back down as it did to hike to the top! It was awesome and definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

To top it all off, once we made it back to the car and drove the few miles back towards the entrance to the park, we were sent off by these beauties! 

See that big guy in the back? It's the fall rut, so he was trying his hardest to keep all of his ladies in line. What you can't see from this picture are the other big bulls on the ridge over yonder. They were bugling back and forth and it was one of the neatest things I've heard. 

If you turn your volume up high, I was able to catch a bugle and the very end of this video. 

This was such a great experience and I hope that some day we are able to make it back! 


  1. These pictures are just gorgeous! They are all framer's. Are those all deer in the last one, they are so big?


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