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

Old Ute Trail‏

July 25th, 2010 · No Comments

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Yesterday I returned to the Rockies, as is my wont. Back from Colorado’s prairies, I went with a Sierra Club group to hike the Old Ute Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.

This is one of my favorite trails, and I previously hiked it at least three times. Starting at 11,800 feet just below the Alpine Visitor Center, the trail descents gradually to the Continental Divide at Milner Pass, about 1,000 feet lower. The first half of the trail is on the tundra above tree line.

Each time in the past that I hiked the Old Ute Trail I hitchhiked back. But since I hiked with a group of a dozen people in four vehicles yesterday, we were able to position vehicles at both ends of the trail. That took some time and we left late, not arriving at the trailhead until 7:30. Consequently, we finished the hike well after dark, using headlamps for the last half hour or so.

I went with my neighbor, Nancy, in her car, since my SUV is still in the shop to get a new fuel tank. Her car’s thermometer recorded the temperature in Boulder at 82 degrees and at 52 degrees at the trailhead. The wind made it feel even colder, but I was dressed for the occasion.

Because of the late start, we had enough sun for photographs only during the first half hour or so. But these images were a satisfactory record of the trip.

A Pond at Forest Canyon Pass

A Pond at Forest Canyon Pass

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A Yellow-Bellied Marmot

A Yellow-Bellied Marmot

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A Well-Disguised Ptarmigan

A Well-Disguised Ptarmigan

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