We took a couple of days and headed off to Aspen to hike the Maroon Bells. This is the hike to Crater Lake. By the time we got there it was raining. The lake was muddy and the mountains were shrouded in clouds. Not quite the photo moment we were hoping for!
Hiking the trail to Crater Lake there were 4 washouts from the rain the previous day. The rocks and mud had slid down the mountain totally wiping out the trail. It was a little slippery crossing those sections.
This was a little lake that was near the start of the trail. It isn't raining here and the lake had a gorgeous turquiose color to it.
Here is the start of our hike at Maroon Lake. It isn't raining and the sun is even peaking out. We were hoping to also do the Maroon Lake trail loop but after the hike to Crater Lake and the rain still coming down and being sopped we decided to catch the shuttle back to the vehicle. You can only drive up to the Maroon Bells if you reach the ranger pay booth before 9:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. Between 9 and 5 you have to ride the shuttles. The shuttle is actually an interesting ride since the drivers explain the geographical terrain, point out avalanche locations and identify other points of interest.
Back in Aspen we ran into some interesting characters. You never know who you will run into while there. It is definitely a people watching town!
Due to the frequent rains Aspen has been getting, the flowers were absolutely spectacular around town. The crisp nights have resulted in brilliant colors and the flowers were popping out everywhere.
When we left Aspen we headed over Independence Pass. The climb on either side is 6.5% according to Wikiepedia and can you believe it there were 2,000 cyclists climbing it from Buena Vista to Aspen as part of Bike Tour Colorado. There are several switchbacks and at times it is so narrow that it is difficult for two vehicles to pass.
The view from the pass. I can't imagine riding a bike up these mountains. I was out of breath just watching those cyclists! Mom