After some quiet days with a lot of scattered rain, we hiked up to the Willow lakes. It was another 3000ft elevation hike, but we felt a lot better than before. Also the first time we really started in the dark (with headlamps), which was interesting. We didn’t run into any wildlife though. They were probably scared by all the (bow)hunters we saw. Fab trying hiking poles for the first time;)
After having a little recovery after the big hike, we did a small loop to Rainbow Lake after work. On the way back on Masontown trail we encountered Tony. Tony was generally friendly and didn’t say much. However, he was also quite adamant about us not continuing on that particular trail. We ended up taking a little detour. In case you’re wondering, this is Tony:
On the 6th day we finally did another big hike. We decided to go with a loop around Mt Buffalo (https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/colorado/gore-range-trail-to-meadow-creek-trail-loop). It ended up being 13.2 miles (21.2km) and 3400ft elevation gain (1036m), since we used a different trail head than in the linked map. We started before sunrise and had really beautiful views on the way up. This time with more pictures of Fab ;) Sunrise through the trees: Sketchy bridges: Mt Buffalo: Fab in front of Mt Buffalo: Looking towards Red Peak: Melting water lakes: Fab taking pictures ….
For the fifth day we decided to do a little exploring in the car. Since it is just a rental car (Kia Sportage), we didn’t want to go on any serious trails. That’s aside from the fact that the Sportage really isn’t equipped to do any interesting offroading anyways. Either way, we found some nice unpaved roads and roamed the rockies for a while. Even within a little bit over an hour driving distance the landscape changed quite a bit from the omnipresent mountains around Dillon.
On our fourth day in Summit County we decided to try and tackle Peak 1 and the Tenmile peak. Emphasis on ‘try’ as the altitude did beat us in the end we turned around short of Peak 1 summit. Of course not without having enjoyed a lot of great views past Victoria summit. Overall we still managed to do about 3400ft (1036m) of elevation in a little over 6 miles. Definitely felt a lot better compare to our short outing before.
On the third day we decided to recover a bit and went for a drive again. The highest paved road in North America is conveniently only about an hour away from Dillon. So we decided to pay Mt Evans a visit. While quite touristy, it still afforded us quite some nice views. At 14,271ft (4350 m) we felt the elevation quite a bit again and we were quite happy we didn’t try to hike it ;) Morning from our cabin: Observatory on top of Mt Evans: Wild mountain goat roaming through the parking lot: Another goat: Melting waters: We better get out of here:
On the second day we worked our regular East Coast hours, so we had some time to explore in the afternoon. For starters we went with a very short trail: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/colorado/meadow-creek-trail-to-lily-pad-lake We didn’t quite expect the elevation change to impact us so much, but as it turns out, we’re also dependent on our red blood cells for oxigen delivery. As a result even the little elevation change was quite exhausting. Apparently going from sea level (Boston) to 9000+ ft makes a difference in what we can do ;) Some more pictures: Fab trotting up the trail: Trail: Made a new friend: View onto Dillon: View onto Royal, Victoria, and Peak 1: Lily pad lake:
After finally getting our luggage at the airport, we took the shuttle to the rental car center. After a brief sting in downtown Denver (it was a bit crowded for us) we headed westbound on I-70 towards Dillon. Since we couldn’t check into our airbnb before 4pm anyways, we decided to do a little scenic loop after a short coffee stop. I70->24->91 Here are some of the pictures we took: