Mills Lake & The Loch in the Winter, RMNP

Mills Lake & The Loch in the Winter, RMNP

The other day we at The Trail Insider made a quick hike up to Mills Lake over the snowpacked trail from the Glacier Gorge trailhead. We arrived at the lake in just about 45 minutes after taking the winter fire-trail shortcut. This typical winter shortcut trail was pretty well set into place, although there are a few places to take care to not post-hole into the creek. Mills Lake itself was frozen over and the snow was blown off it…

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Bear Lake & Nymph Lake, RMNP Winter

Bear Lake & Nymph Lake, RMNP Winter

It was a pleasant day today in Rocky Mountain National Park, and we decided to drive up to Bear Lake and enjoy the snow and sunshine. Snow covers the ground all around Bear Lake. It’s mostly packed down along the trail, so microspikes on your shoes/boots are helpful to prevent slipping. There were only about 20 cars in the parking lot at 11am – not many for such a great weather day. Off we went up the standard trail toward…

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Estes Cone Hike in RMNP

Estes Cone Hike in RMNP

The other day we went for a hike over the snowpacked trail to summit Estes Cone. Using Kahtoola Microspikes was essential to avoid slipping. There were some pure ice patches on the final 1/2 mile steep uphill section, but other than that, it was pretty easy walking over the firm snow. We saw absolutely nobody else for the entire duration, which wasn’t too surprising for a weekday in late November. Highly recommend this hike. Pictures below.

Mummy Mountain, Rowe Glacier & Hagues Peak

Mummy Mountain, Rowe Glacier & Hagues Peak

I set out early from the Lawn Lake Trailhead at 6am and made quick work up to the Black Canyon Trail junction. I turned off here and about .2 miles later, turned left and followed some cairns up the grassy tundra of Mummy Mountain. Then I curled around the backside of Mummy & Hagues as I angled toward Rowe Glacier and Rowe Glacier Lake. I came upon two different black bears around 13,000 ft elevation who both ran away from…

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Chasm Junction Spring Hike

Chasm Junction Spring Hike

Today I hiked up to Chasm Junction from the Longs Peak Trailhead in RMNP. The trail is about 75% hardpacked snow / 25% dry for the first half mile, then is all hardpacked snow until the 2 mile mark. I would highly recommend snowshoes starting at the 2 mile mark near treeline (where the winter trail separates from the summer one, and goes steeply up). I didn’t bring mine but wished I did – lots of arduous post-holing above treeline….

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It’s definitely spring-time in the Rockies

It’s definitely spring-time in the Rockies

A few random updates here: The Lumpy Ridge Loop is “in”, as in the snow is all melted away for the moment (except maybe a tiny stretch in the woods near Dark Mountain) and the weather has been warm with highs in the 50’s to 60’s lately, although we’re expecting 4-8 inches of snow this weekend (should melt fast). I’ve been testing out the new Salomon XA Enduro trail running shoe. After about 15 miles in them I have a…

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Cub Lake Loop Winter

Cub Lake Loop Winter

Yesterday I went out for a winter trail run from the Fern Lake parking area to The Pool in RMNP. Upon arriving at The Pool (2.4 miles from winter parking lot), I was feeling pretty good so I decided to head left and up to Cub Lake. The trail was mostly snowpacked but faded out in parts which led to post-holing. Good thing I knew where I was going as that really helped; I ran by some people who had…

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