Colorado, Southwestern US, Travels

Colorado Bucket List: Hiking to Ice Lake

Do a google search for “best hikes in Colorado” and you’ll inevitably stumble across Ice Lake within the first 5 minutes of your search. And let me tell you, there’s a reason this hike appears on the majority of such lists. It’s unbelievable! It’s also popular and crowded (let’s be real, most everything in Colorado… Continue reading Colorado Bucket List: Hiking to Ice Lake

Colorado, Southwestern US

Colorado Day Hikes: Columbine Lake

Alternate post title: Diana’s absolute favorite hike in Colorado! In a world of Instagram and photo filters and photo editing software, it’s common to see a photo of something that looks too amazing to be real. So it’s reasonable to be skeptical. I definitely was the first time I ever saw a photo of Columbine… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Columbine Lake

Colorado, Southwestern US

Colorado Day Hikes: Blue Lakes Basin

The title of this post was supposed to be “Colorado 14ers #2: Mount Sneffels” but, alas, the weather had a different set of plans. In fact, this post and the next two will be a three-part saga of a road trip that didn’t entirely go according to plan. The weather left a lot to be… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Blue Lakes Basin

Colorado, Travels

Colorado Day Hikes: Timberline Lake

As is often the case, I mistakenly assumed that because this hike was only 5.5 miles (8.9 km) round trip, it probably wasn’t going to be that great. And, as is often the case, I was wrong. Timberline Lake is beautiful! In mid-July 2020, Pat and I headed off for a weekend camping adventure near… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Timberline Lake

Colorado, Travels

Colorado Day Hikes: Strawberry Lake

The morning after summiting Mount Ida, we packed up our campsite and headed back to Denver… but not before squeezing in one more hike. The hike to Strawberry Lake is only 3.7 miles (6 km) round-trip and the trailhead is a 2.5 hour drive from Denver, which isn’t a very ideal driving/hiking ratio for a… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Strawberry Lake

Colorado, Travels

Colorado Day Hikes: Chicago Lakes

I think most lists of “best hikes near Denver” include Chicago Lakes. It’s not an easy hike – in terms of length or elevation gain – but it’s certainly worth the effort. Which also makes it extremely popular. We arrived at 6:30am on a Saturday morning to find the ample parking lot already approaching full.… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Chicago Lakes

Colorado, Travels

Colorado Day Hikes: Square Top Lakes

Fall arrived late to Colorado in 2019, thanks to the fact that winter persisted in the mountains until early July. Typically, fall colors peak in the mountains in mid-September, but this year they didn’t arrive until the end of the month. And then it promptly snowed all over everything, putting an abrupt end to the… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Square Top Lakes

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Thunder Lake

Obtaining a backcountry permit for Rocky requires similar levels of intensity as many Colorado hiking feats, including summiting a 14er or finding parking at a trailhead or snagging a front country campsite anywhere during the summer. Permits become available each year on March 1 at 8:00am. So on March 1, 2019 at 7:59am, I was… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Thunder Lake

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes

Welcome, once again, to my Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes series! If you’re only in Rocky Mountain for a day or two, or you’re visiting from lower elevation, this is my #1 hiking recommendation for you! It’s not terribly long, not too steep, and at a lower elevation than most of the other park destinations.… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Bear Lake to Fern Lake Trailhead

Welcome to hike #2 in my Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes series! Rocky Mountain operates a free shuttle system from May to October that allows you to leave your car in Estes Park or at the Park-n-Ride inside the park boundary and take the bus to the trailheads, eliminating the stress of arriving at 6:00am… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Bear Lake to Fern Lake Trailhead