Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Arapaho Lakes - Fresh Air

Last weekend was a 'three day'r' for me, so a planned camping trip to the Arapahoe/Roosevelt National Forest was a key chance to beat the heat and enjoy some of Colorado's natural treasures. Yankee Doodle Lake - the closest landmark to our favorite spot - is close enough to the Denver metro area that friends can come up for whatever part of the weekend they are free, and get a one, two, or three night trip in. Knowing that it gets crowded on the weekends, three of us met at the spot on Thursday night to enjoy something closer to solitude than we would find when all those poor souls that had to work Friday showed up.
The drive from Rollinsville west towards the Moffat Tunnel on Thursday afternoon couldn't help but remove the work week cares and concerns. Cool mountain air and beautiful scenery will do that!

The next day, and we were off from the Forest Lakes Trailhead, to the largest of the so called Forest Lakes. This was just a half-mile down the trail, a brief stop where I pulled the cameras out and got down to business.

The cirque above the lake was beautiful, and hid at least one more lake above, but we were headed up through a boulder field, and along the ridge that extended southeast away from the steep valley head.

From the shoulder of the ridge, where we crossed into the next valley, offers a look back to the point where I had taken the picture at the top of the page. The light spot in the center of the frame is roughly the same area of marshy meadow that was in the foreground of my shot along the road.

After a couple of miles of rolling trail that took us over the previously mentioned ridge, and down through another swampy valley, we made one last brief climb to our destination, the Arapaho Lakes.

The lake is crescent shaped, and of fairly good size for that elevation. It has a smaller parent lake above the band of green vegetation beyond it, and a small pond separated by a small stretch of rock at the far end. It was on that area between the pond and lake itself that I got a chance to observe the White-tailed Ptarmigan and her chicks.

Looking back in the opposite direction - sky almost meets water, the soul is refreshed, and possibilities seem endless.

Who knows if it is the wildness of the area, the effort you have to put forth to get there, or just the thin air, but these are special places. They are infinitely different while you are there, than they are when you find yourself back at the trailhead even just an hour later. I know I can't wait to do it once again!

1 comment:

  1. We've been sweltering in the East and these photos look very refreshing. Thanks!