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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Lily Lake

July 30th, 2007 · No Comments

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I have got to the point where I just can’t stay away from the mountains — except on weekends, where the hikes are too crowded. Since I do still have to do some work, I can’t go every day. But from now to Labor Day, when it is warm enough in the mountains and too warm down here in the plains, I am doing my best to get into a pattern of hiking on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Today I set myself a much easier hike than Wednesdays. But I left even earlier, which was a good thing, because I got to see a group (a herd?) of five bighorn sheep along the road. I left home at 5:30 and came across the bighorn sheep just beyond Lyons at a little after six. Here is one picture that I took of them:

Rocky Mountain Sheep

Rocky Mountain Sheep

I was driving up to the Lily Lake area in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The next landmark I came to was St. Malo’s church on the Peak to Peak Highway near Allenspark. I used someone else’s photo of this stunning church in one of my “Diabetes Update” newsletter a few months ago. Here is one of the pictures of it that I took today:

St. Malo's Church

St. Malo's Church

Lily Lake is also right off of the Peak to Peak Highway and has an awfully easy inner loop. Too easy for my taste, and in fact I thought that the 2 1/2 hour hike that I took around an outer loop would be too tame. But it wasn’t. In fact, I actually lost the trail at one point. I wasn’t lost, but the trail was. I bushwhacked around the edge of the cliff for half an hour until I found the faint trail down. What a lovely hike!

Lily Lake is at 8,930 feet and has a great view of Longs Peak, which is 14,259 feet and is the highest mountain in Northern Colorado and the most challenging one in the state. Here is one view of the lake and the peak:

Longs Peak from Lily Lake

Longs Peak from Lily Lake

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