Today’s hike provided a surprising number of firsts, especially considering how many times I had hiked the first half. This was at least my fifth time to go back to Isabelle Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The hike to Isabelle Lake is a beautiful and easy four-mile round trip only 45 minutes from home.
Once before I hiked beyond the lake on the trail to Pawnee Pass. But I had never hiked to Isabelle Glacier until this glorious day of clear skies, no wind, and perfect temperature.
The firsts started even before I got to the trailhead. As I drove by Red Rock Lake, where I hadn’t ever stopped before, I noticed that it was beautiful as the first light hit it at 6:50 a.m.:
- Red Rock Lake, Elevation 10,157 Feet, at First Light
Then, passing Brainard and Long Lakes, I made the gentle climb to Lake Isabelle once again. But I never before saw it so still:
- Lake Isabelle, Elevation 10,868 Feet, Without Wind
Beyond Lake Isabelle the trail became steeper and much rockier until it ended at this pool below the glacier:
- Pool at Isabelle Glacier, Elevation 12,430 Feet
After lunching near the glacier, I began the trek back to civilization, not expecting much of anything. So I was delighted to see several yellow-bellied marmots, including this one in the typical marmot rocky home:
- Marmot and Rock
Then, to my great delight I got a good view for the first time of a pika. And I even got a photo of this really small mammal:
- My First Pika
While most wildflowers peaked a month or two ago, the mountain gentian is in full bloom. I don’t remember ever seeing this beautiful flower before, so it also counts among today’s firsts:
- Mountain Gentians with a Bee Coming in for a Landing
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Posted in: Hiking