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Blue Lakes Trail #201
12 Photosets

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48 by photographer avatarskatchkins
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Blue Lakes Trail #201West, CO
West, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2015
skatchkins
Hiking8.60 Miles 2,750 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles
2,750 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I hope you like flowers.
In between off-roading with the Jeep club in 2011, I planned some hikes. I wasn't disappointed then and I wasn't this time.
Last trip, I had the luxury of getting a drop-off at the Blue Lakes Pass trailhead to be picked up a day later on the other trail in from the north: [ photoset ]
This time with a one vehicle caravan, we decided on taking the Honda and doing an in and out from the north. It's always fun to come around the corner on a dirt and pothole pocked road in a low Civic to find two capable offroad trucks slow-going-it as if their suspension was use-upable like a overly-cautious Prius driver's gas. We were stuck behind them for a while and I was getting antsy to be on-trail.

We got to the packed trailhead (mostly day hikers) and started in. All I could remember from last time was the extreme switchbacks on the other Pass trail and this one being the easy option. I forgot there are some stretches of up, but nothing too bad if you aren't all packed out. Close to our goal, the skies finally opened up so we dawned our rain gear. It was good timing since the hail and harder rain came after. It settled a bit and then gave up completely once we figured out camp. I won't give away everything, but know that there is a kids-and-dogs side of the outflow creek and a quiet more romantical side. Choose wisely.

After we collected firewood, Noel settled in for a nap and I took off for the switchbacks to the upper lakes for color popping, cloud filtered wildflower pictures. Again, this year impressed more. I finally made it up to the lookout-and-over and chilled there for a while.

I came back down, we ate and campfired, and it was like we were the only ones out there. The next morning, the clouds dropped almost to our shirt collars so we hiked around the lake waiting for them to rise above the wildflowers. The dragging clouds made for some dramatic photos and again helped with the shadow filtering.

We became impatient and started up and the clouds seemed to rise with us. Noel got to see where I had been up to the day before and although I had already shot all the good wildflowers pics, she sillily insisted on taking her own.

We went on up to the upper lakes to chat with the marmots.
Once we reached the upper upper lake, the clouds dropped back down some and it looked like it could rain so we abandoned the plan to see the wildflowers on the first few switchbacks on the way to the saddle. On our way back down I gathered some dry firewood for night 2.

I should mention that an hour into night 1, my brand new sleeping pad failed. Noel had convinced me to ditch my thin hurtful Thermarest and lavish myself like I had her with her comfy air filled Agnes purchase. I was hoping for better sleep with my new one but I was on the ground every 30min with every reblow up. I finally gave up and even though Noel and I had our bags zipped together, the ground kept snuggle-robbing me of some of my heat. I reckon I'd rather wake up stiff and cold out there than wake up refreshed in this crotch-pot of desert though. I did give the company some loud words of unencouragement once I reached home.

Anyway, awesome first leg of the trip. We made it out in the morning and drove into Ouray for a burger and then on to my favorite part 2.
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May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
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skatchkins'
218 Photosets

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