Monday, July 27, 2009

Colorado: July 14, 2009, RMNP, Al’s hike to Dream & Emerald Lakes

Al took a 3.8 mile, round trip, hike to Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lakes today.

The elevation gain is about 700’, starting at 9500’ and ending at 10,200’. Al took it slow and easy, but still there was a lot of huffing a puffing going on. Al sure was glad he went early, starting on the trail at 8am. On the way back down there must have been over 100 hikers going up the trail. And this was at about 10am. No telling how many people would have been on this trail at noon or 2pm!

It was a very nice hike through some beautiful mountain scenery.


I think this is the first time I have ever seen a hiker walking with an umbrella! Something tells me she isn’t going all the way to the end.

The first lake on the trail, about ½ mile from the start is Nymph Lake. A pretty little lake with lily pads floating on the surface. A few of lily pads had yellow flowers. Earlier or later in the season, I don’t remember which, there are lots more yellow blossoms.

The trail beyond Nymph Lake is in good condition, it just gets a little steeper in places

Along the trail, which follows Tyndall Creek, there several views of the water cascading over the rocks

And a cascade with rugged cliffs in background

Interspersed with the cascades are small grassy meadows,

and a beautiful pond.

Then there are the lakes themselves:
Dream Lake

Emerald Lake

The background for Emerald Lake are these rugged cliffs. See the half moon at the upper right point of the cliff. You will need to click on the picture and look at the larger image to see the moon.

Near Emerald Lake these two young ladies where doing a vegetation survey.

The rectangular contraption has a camera fixed to the top center, to photograph the area surrounded by the base. The long vertical shaft the other gal has is a GPS. I guess someone will return next year or later in the season to take more pictures for comparison.

Along the upper part of the trail, everywhere you looked up there are these rugged rocks. Hopefully none of the rocks will break off and fall on the visitors!

And then there is the view of Rocks, Trees, Clouds & Blue Sky.

From the shore of Dream Lake I saw this trout feeding on bugs it saw on the surface of the lake.

On the way back there is a beautiful view of this “U” shaped Glacier carved valley.

In the picture above, in the right center, on a rounded rock out cropping, you can barely see a dark pointed rock sticking up.
The picture below is a larger image of this rock. I believe this is an “erratic”.

An erratic is a rock left standing or stranded by a glacier as it melts and retreats. Erratics are one way scientists identify areas where glaciers once were. Rocks randomly sitting in an area where they don’t occur naturally is a strong indicator the rocks were brought there by a glacier.

That’s all for now. We hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Al & Sharon.

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