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Day-hiking Rocky Mountain National Park

by Scott Bacon

A long and fairly strenuous day-hike in Rocky Mountain National Park...

I started my day at the Bear Lake parking lot around 6:00am. An earlier start on this July morning would have provided better light for a sunrise shot at Bear Lake. I hiked down towards the Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead and then up to Alberta Falls. From the falls, the trail continues up Glacier Gorge to Mills Lake and on to Black Lake. From there, I backtracked to the junction of the Lock Vale and Haiyaha Lake cut-off trails. Take the Haiyaha Lake trail to the lake and then return to the Bear Lake Trailhead passing Dream Lake and Nymph Lake. I arrived back at my car around 3:00pm. If you plan to repeat this route, please keep in mind that your travel times may vary. I'm acclimated to Colorado's high elevations and I'm in pretty good shape, so I hike fairly fast. But in using a 4x5 field camera, I usually spend at least 1/2 hour making images at each stop, so this takes up considerable time. Also, keep in mind that severe afternoon thunderstorms are common. Its a good idea to finish your hiking before 2:00pm.

Mills Lake

Mills Lake

Nymph Lake and Hallet Peak

Nymph Lake and Hallet Peak

Ribbon Falls and McHenry's Peak

All images and text copyright Scott Bacon