Hiking to mountain lakes is such a pleasure. While the trail may be steep or snow-covered in spots, fatigue seems to slide off when the lake comes into view. We don’t always hike to spots like this, but the trail is always a challenge and the view is always worth it.
This trail in Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the more well-traveled routes as it is a fairly short distance to hike up to Calypso Cascades, and even on to Ouzel Falls. There is just something about watching water roaring down that draws people to experience it. But we were going beyond the falls and on up to Ouzel Lake this time, just over 10,000 feet. The trail literally comes around a bend just after crossing the bridge below the falls. I’d never been beyond that spot in the trail, even as many times as I’ve hiked to those falls.
The rock wall around the bend rises up sharply on one side, while defending into the valley on the other. Shaded by pines, we ascended the path with Mt. Copland towering to the South. Ouzel Creek rushes along one side of the trail below us and eventually we end up alongside it as we hike the last half-mile or so to the lake. We hit much more snow on this hike, even as the tumultuous creek told us that snow was melting at a high rate!
I was happy to have my PB & J after I settled on a rock with Elaine and her friend, Karen. Although this is supposed to be one of the most popular fly-fishing lakes in the park, catch/release, we didn’t see anyone fishing. By the time we were heading back down the trail, we met up with tons of people hiking up to the cascades and the falls. No Meadow Mountain Cafe for us today, but what a glorious hike!