Colorado 2017 in the Mighty Merc – Monday
After being cooped up in the truck for some time at this point, we figured that a break in the schedule was needed. We had planned on today being a hiking day with covering a bit of the Blue Lakes Trail, and the McCullough Gulch trail:
But before we even got to the trail head, we had to stop at the Dillon Reservoir again for some sunrise photos:
After seeing another beautiful sunrise, we set our sets on the Blue Lakes Trail hike, but I’m not entirely sure we actually hiked any of the trail. We were in the right area, but I think we just wound up wandering a FS road. Which worked out as there was a pretty waterfall at the end. Wandering up the grade:
We did end up at the Quandry Peak for a bit:
After wandering back down the lower lake and the supposed trail head:
We crossed a slightly sketch bridge to the trail:
Not much to see along the trail, but the falls were nice. Though I spent most of the time at the falls keeping the kids from falling off the edge:
And of course, there was some rock relocation action as well:
After goofing around a bit too long we found ourselves close to Lunch time, so we wandered down to Breckenridge where there was a pretty awesome playground, and grabbed some lunch:
With our bellies filled after lunch, we decided to head back up the hill to hike McCullough Gulch. This is where our hiking adventure turned a bit sour, but at least it happened at the end of the trail. This trail starts out at 11k feet, and climbs up to 12k feet. It is supposed to be about a 1.5 mile trail total. Well… not quite. Turns out it is closer to a 2.5 mile trail one way plus another quarter mile at least from the parking area to the trailhead. And way more rugged than either one of us expected. Rugged enough that we each fell twice, which is something neither of us have done (even with kids on our backs).
But all of that was ahead of us, and we ignorantly started out with gusto! The drive up to the trail head gave us vistas of more Aspens changing colors:
There was a ton of people in the parking area. Enough that we figured the trail would be packed, but it turned out that we saw very few hikers the whole time we were on the move. Which suited us fine:
We did find an older couple that grabbed a photo of the family. She’s carrying about 30 lbs of wiggles, and I’ve got about 40lbs of wiggles on my back:
The trail varied quite a bit (though it was always steep!) from wide areas, to forested areas, to boulder fields:
The views kept getting better as we went up in elevation:
We did take a little side detour to see some falls:
We kept on gaining elevation, and we were feeling it pretty good by now:
Eventually we made it to our destination, the lake below the summit:
We let the kids run around for a while as we caught our breath for a minute. Eventually we headed back down the mountain at a quicker rate than we ascended. About ¾ of a mile from the truck, the wife started feeling ill, which meant I got to carry both kids the rest of the way to the truck. Needless to say, I was pretty well done by the time we got everyone loaded up.
Heading back into Silverthorne, we had an unpleasant sight:
I should mention that this area (and the areas we’ve been exploring) are extremely dry right now. In the end, this little forest fire was controlled pretty quickly, and only consumed about 21 acres. It was interesting to watch the helicopters and other equipment fighting the fire from our hotel window.
That wraps up today fun, tomorrow we’re back in the truck for more exploring.
Link to slide show (Click Me!)