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

Isabelle Glacier

August 30th, 2008 · No Comments

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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
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
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
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
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
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
Mountain Gentians with a Bee Coming in for a Landing
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