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Glacier Gorge, Colorado - RMNP


 
   

Last week our friend called and invited us to go on a hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). We had just got a bunch of new winter hiking gear (mainly because we want to start doing some winter climbing) and we were anxious to get out in the snow. It wasn't so much a climb as it was more of a snowshoe trail, but we needed to see where we were at physically and just get out there. We left in the morning around 9:30 and parked at the Glacier Gorge trailhead (which was our original destination). After gearing up we realized we had forgotten our trekking poles, which was a bummer, but we set off on an amazing trail on an amazing day.

Glacier Gorge (Sprague Lake Trail)

Distance: 2.9 miles (5.8 miles round trip)
Difficulty: Easy (the snow made it more difficult however)
Month Hiked: June
Garmin GPS File: Glacier_Gorge.GPX

After a mile or two we realized we didn't take the correct path at one of the trail forks, but decided that the trail we had happened on to would be a good alternative and proceeded to Sprague Lake. The snow was deep and if you stepped off the foot to foot and a half area that had been packed down by snowshoe-ers you would sink up to your waist which made things exciting since we didn't have snowshoes. It wasn't a trail with a whole lot of elevation change, but the snow did make it pretty demanding - especially for me being so out of shape.

The area was very majestic and we enjoyed the scenery as we trudged along. We passed a small frozen lake that was had at least six inches of ice on it, so we walked out for some pictures. There were many cool snow formations on the rocks and I saw my first moose along the way. It was bedded down in the snow amongst the trees about 50 feet or so off the trail so we couldn't get a good picture, but it was still cool to see it. As the hike went on we definitely missed having our trekking poles and used our ice axes as at least some sort of support during the hike.

The way back was more strenuous as we were tired by then and our bodies were letting us know that we needed to be more active if we were going to start trying any climbs. It was a great time and we will get back out to the mountains soon - maybe a try at Chicago Lakes in the Mount Evans Wilderness. We'll see how far we make it on that hike since it has a lot more of an elevation gain and is twice as long of a hike.

Take care,

bigwhitefish.com

January 21st, 2014

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