Saturday, July 13, 2013

Gem Lake

Mom and Dad had to move their coach this morning, to the site right next to mine.  While Dad was dragging the bikes, the kayak, the bike rack, and finally the coach across the campground, Mom and I did laundry.  This took most of the morning, but after lunch Dad and I did get in a great hike! 

Dad found a hike in the guidebook that looked do-able in just the afternoon and it was on Lumpy Ridge, which is on the other side of Estes Park in an area we hadn’t explored yet. 

We headed out, even as the storm clouds were beginning to build!  The area around Lumpy Ridge is nothing like the area around Bear Lake.  Here there are big rocks and few trees.  It’s very arid, there aren’t as many trees.  It kinda reminds me of Acadia with the big pink rocks and the rock formations.   It’s also a lot like the canyons of Utah – so says the guidebook and Dad!



P1140013Can you see the face? 

There were also amazing views of Estes Park and the mountains we’d been hiking in! 


P1130991We are pretty sure this is Hallett & Flattop  

It was only 2 miles up to the lake but it was a varied 2 miles!  Rock formations, outstanding views, and aspen groves!  Such variety is crazy!

The lake itself is very small – more like a pond or a puddle. 


The chipmunks around the lake are very habituated and will even crawl into your lap looking for a bite of your snack.


As we enjoyed the lake we could see the storm clouds organizing themselves just over the ridge and we decided to head on down.  As we descended the clouds gathered on the surrounding mountains.  Longs Peak disappeared from view!  We were almost back to the car when a trail split off offering us a chance to walk to the Twin Owls viewpoint – a detour of just a 1/2 mile – we took it!

The twin owls is a rock formation that from a distance looks likes two owls sitting next to each other.  We were too close to really see it. 



The route by the owls also gave us some great views of the valley and the other mountains.



As you can see from the picture, the storm clouds are brewing!  Thunder was cracking all around us, and getting closer!  There was some rain sprinkling, but hardly enough to bother with the rain gear.  We made our way back to the car and headed back to the campground. 

Once we arrived at the campground the storm moved in for real!  This was a real thunderstorm, not the usual 10 minutes and it’s sunny again!  Lots of thunder, lightning and pouring rain!  But after the storm the sun came out and we were treated to a long lasting full arch double rainbow!  The rainbow was in the sky for over an hour!


To view more pictures of the hike see my album on Google+, Gem Lake

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