Well the weather certainly did improve. When we got up it was sunny with a bit of haze. By the time we got on the trail we had a clear blue sky. As usual the skies did cloud up and darken as we headed home but so far there has been no rain and it is now early evening.
Today we did the most popular and busy trail in the park and it is easy to see why. The trail is only 3 km one way, climbs just 600 feet and goes to three very beautiful lakes. It is also very smooth and on the steep sections has log steps.
The trailhead is on the same road as the Loch Vale trail we did the other day but starts from the larger parking lot. Since we knew it would be busy we were up bright and early again. We made it to the parking lot at 7:40. I would guess that the lot could hold about 120 cars. Even this early it was about 1/2 full.
By the time was got back of course the lot was completely full but as we went down the road we found out that the huge shuttle bus parking lot was full as well. The sign advised people to come back after 2 pm but there was still a solid line of cars heading up to the trailhead parking lots only to be disappointed.
Off we went. The first part of the trail had been paved a long time ago but it was pretty broken up by now.
The trail didn’t feel too busy in the morning because almost everyone was still heading in and we were nicely spread out. On the way out was another matter. We were almost never out of sight of other people coming up the trail. You could especially tell when a shuttle bus had arrived to let 20 or 30 people start at the same time.
After a very easy kilometer we got to Nymph Lake.
There wasn’t even a hint of wind so the reflections in the lake were great.
Lots of yellow lilies.
Another kilometer and another 200 feet up.
At one viewpoint it looked like the clouds were spilling over the mountains far off in the distance.
To Dream Lake
On the way up there were less than 6 people at this viewpoint. On the way back…
There were lots of people fishing.
Walking around to the end of the lake.
Another kilometer and 200 feet up.
We climbed alongside the creek that joins the three lakes.
And finally to Emerald Lake. Again it was so calm that about the only way to tell the line between the lake and the ground was the change in angle of the lines in the rock.
Love those reflections.
By now it was only 10:00. We hadn’t bothered to bring a lunch so we sat and had our snack. It looked like Jennie had a throne.
There were chipmunks everywhere. They were very bold and would climb into your lap or try and get into everyone’s pack for food.
There was even a marmot that came begging.
More locals joined us.
I climbed up the pile of rumble beside us for a different view.
As it began to get more and more crowded we headed back.
Back at the parking lot there was a line of about 5 cars waiting for our parking spot. I am so glad we went early.
As today is our 32nd wedding anniversary we were going to go out to dinner tonight. However on the way back from Golden yesterday we were a bit late so we had stopped for some very good Thai food. Instead of going out to dinner again we decided just to have lunch. Another pig out of BBQ pulled pork and ribs. We are so full that we didn’t need any dinner.