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Lawn Lake, RMNP, June 29, 2013

August 17, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s been a long time since I last posted.  Been busy with a new project.  I’m about 2 dozen hikes behind, so I’ll try and do some catchup in the next few months.

Earlier this summer, yes, THIS summer : )  I hiked up to Lawn Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.  It’s about a 6 mile hike, one way, with lots of great views along the way.  And, of course, Lawn Lake at the end of the hike.  These are pretty small sized photos of the hike.  If you want to see much larger versions, and all of the photos, please check out my gallery here.

The hike up to Lawn Lake was very pretty.  Aspens were all turning green and there were lots of little streams full of water to cross.  Not too many people on the trail.  Here is the view of the upper basin.  Lawn Lake itself is just a couple of hundred yards further up the trail.

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Zoomed in a little.  Just enough snow left to make it look “alpine’ish”.

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First full view of the lake.  There were half a dozen or so people around the lake.  But, it is such a large area that I felt like I had it all to myself.

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The reason for a lack of flowers in the photos is because this was still early in the season at this altitude.  In another couple of weeks, all sorts of wildflowers will be bursting out of the ground.  But right now, just some early dandelions.  Still, they did add some color.

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I had planned on hiking up to the next lake above Lawn Lake.  Crystal Lake I think is the name.  I was feeling strong (relatively speaking : )  My feet were in good shape.  Partially due to my decision to “lighten up.”  That is, carry less weight on my back.  My son Conor had provided me with a new smaller and lighter pack (a camelback) that was working out perfectly to “force” me to carry less.  The other area that was helping were my boots.  Or, lack there of.  My other son Will had influenced me to acquire a very light pair of trail shoes the summer before.  The trail shoes were working great and weighed approximately 537 pounds less than the old leather boots I used to wear : )

Unfortunately for me, the weather had other plans.  The trail I wanted to head up to Crystal Lake was towards that distant ridge.  Yeah, the one where all those dark clouds are starting to appear.  It’s always difficult to predict, but in my experience those clouds meant rain and lightening.  I decided to head back down the trail.  It had been a great hike so far and I didn’t want to ruin it by getting fried by the thunder god.

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Saw this deer alongside the trail on the way back down.  I did my best (without leaving the trail) to see if I could locate a fawn nearby.  But didn’t see one.

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Looking back towards the area of Lawn Lake, I saw that my decision was, as far as I was concerned, a wise one.  The storm was fast approaching.

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I’d really like to take the trail to Black Canyon.  It intersects the Lawn Lake trail about 1/2 mile down from Lawn Lake.  You can end up at either the Cow Creek trailhead or the Gem Lake trailhead (what it calls the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead on the sign).  But you need to have worked out a shuttle system.

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And here is a view looking down the trail.  Yes, I did get rained on while hiking back to my car.  But that’s why I carry a poncho.  If you look at the big rock at the bottom of the photo, you can barely see a lonely red Indian Paintbrush.

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Great hike and not too far from Fort Collins.  Definitely recommended.  Just make sure you check the trail conditions in early June to see if the snow is melted enough to get up the trail.  And plan for rain.  There are times in the fall of the year when the afternoon thunderstorms are not happening.  But the storms are definitely a “feature” during the summer months.

– Geoff Weatherford

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. David W. permalink
    August 19, 2013 7:33 am

    Great to see you back posting! I was afraid illness or injury had knocked you off the trails.
    Our summer travels usually take us to the San Juans but it is nice to know of some trails closer to home (Nebraska) in case we want to take a short trip to the front range.

    • January 13, 2015 7:26 pm

      Yes, I’m back (again : ). I’m “close” to being at a point that I have some time to upload more hikes (I’m about a dozen behind). I’d like to get that done prior to this summer (when I should have “new” hikes to upload : )

      Thanks,

      GeoffW

  2. January 13, 2015 10:07 am

    Great post!

  3. January 13, 2015 7:24 pm

    Thanks, John. I’ve got a backlog of hikes to upload. One of these days : )

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