Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snowshoeing to Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Snowshoeing Rocky Mountain National Park did not bode well at this point. The park was woefully low on snow at the time of our hike. We ended up carrying our snowshoes to Mills Lake.

Mills Lake iced over. The hike from the Glacier Gorge parking lot to this point is 2.5 miles with a 700 ft. elevation gain. The area looks totally different than it does in the summer....very frigid and barren looking now. There is enough snow at this point to put on our snowshoes after we walked across the frozen lake...creeps me out to be walking on a lake even though it was frozen solidly.

Snowshoeing past Mills Lake toward Black Lake revealed many downed trees...evidently a microburst had come through at some point in time. The trees are too green to be beetle kill.

After what was a very long and steep hike we finally reached Black Lake. 4.9 miles from the Glacier Gorge trailhead with an elevation gain of 1,440 ft. Snowshoeing up this elevation had us sucking air. The last 3/4 mile being intense with steep uphill climbs. This frozen tundra was even more barren-looking than Mills Lake with a stiff, cold wind and snow flurries. We grabbed a quick bite and then headed back down completing a 9.8 mile roundtrip hike/snowshoe excursion.

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