Sunday, June 9, 2019

Rocky Mountain June High

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado


Longs Peak with snow

Late May snow in Denver hint that  we’d find snowy slopes in the mountains in June. As we begin our hike, Longs Peak is displays snow as we’d anticipated.

Nymph Lake reflecting trees with a little snow and ice

First stop after considerable uphill climbing is Nymph Lake. A number of snowy patches on the trail, but Nymph Lake is open water except for shady spots.

Dream Lake with mostly open water

Second stop along the way: Dream Lake. The lower part is mostly open water. Overflow runs beneath the snow, filling the hike up with wet surprises for the unwary.

Open Water and Floating ice on Dream Lake

In the middle of Dream Lake, the ice is actively breaking up. Ice chunks ride the current, free and sparkling in the sun.

Greenish water and ice in Dream Lake, mountains in background

If I were naming Dream Lake, I’d call it Emerald Lake for its green glow. But the real Emerald Lake, at the end of the trail, is completely frozen so we can’t discern its color.

Closeup of greenish water in Dream Lake with snow and ice

More evidence of an emerald-ish Dream Lake. Middle of the lake is mostly open water, with a bit of melting ice at the edges.

Icy Dream Lake with small patch of greenish open water and snowy trail

As the trail continues, Dream Lake becomes icier. The upper part shows just tiny area of open water, surrounded by ice. And the trail has become 100% snow.

Tiny sliver of open water on Dream Lake

Leaving the Dream Lake to head uphill again, pausing to reflect. Looking back, the entire lake appears to have a thick blanket of ice, just beginning to break up. Onwards and upwards!

Rocky Mountain Peaks with scree and puffy white clouds at top of trail

The end of our hike, after quite a challenging upwards hike through the snow: Emerald Lake. The mountains at the top make a better photo than the lake, still encased in ice and snow.

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