Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thunder Lake

Recently we hiked up to Thunder Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Not exactly an easy hike as it was 13.6 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 2,075 ft. The lake is at 10,574 ft. What surprised us the most was that upon getting to the lake there were quite a few people fishing. We didn't expect to see so many people after hiking that distance. It was a beautiful weekend and I guess we weren't the only ones who thought a day in the mountains would be fun!

This was the first time that I had seen elephant head, Pedicularis groenlandica, growing in Colorado. There was a huge field of it near the lake. It would be amazing to see it when it is in its prime bloom period.

The fly fishing turned out to be really good and we didn't have to fight the wind since there were so many good spots to cast from. Since the water was clear it was easy to see the fish come to the fly...the only hard part was not getting so excited that we jerked the fly away before the fish took it. We only catch and release so all of the fish were returned to the lake.

They were nice sized greenback cutthroat. Very pretty and vivid in their coloring.

On the hike out I saw these very colorful toadstools growing. I didn't see them any other place along the trail. The hike up and back was quite a workout. The next time we are definitely backpacking and camping! Mom

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