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Bierstadt Lake + Bear Lake {RMNP}

Posted Jul 24 2012 12:24am

Friday’s Workout Wanda: Hiked 4 miles + ran the Underwearness 5K at City Park in Denver.
Saturday’s Workout Wanda: A 2 mile trail run than 1.5 hrs of bootcamp at Red Rocks.
Sunday’s Workout Wanda: A 1.5 mile run then lots and lots of walking around town!

I had a big weekend. A big weekend full of all sorts of exploring, running and boot camping. Basically, my Sunday night found me exhausted and rather sore. My legs are not loving the three flights of stairs I have to climb just to get into the house.

On Friday morning we got up extra early so we could drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park with enough time to get into the Bear Lake area that gets shut down to public traffic at 9am. We might play tourist but we are not willing to wait two hours for a shuttle ride! There was still some waiting in traffic and we didn’t quite make it to the parking lot we were aiming for but the hike was worth it!

…Amy + me at Bierstadt Lake…

Rather than wait in a long line for an undetermined amount of time just to get on a bus to take us further up the mountain we decided to hike uphill, for 4 miles! I talked to a guide handing out maps and was told we could hike up a trail off the park + ride lot, loop around a lake and then catch the bus back down to the lot. The catch was that the trail was uphill and “unimproved”. Amy, our visiting flatlander, was game so off we went.

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…hiking up the trail, thankful for monstrous hiking sticks and tree cover…

The trail wasn’t incredible difficult but there were some areas that were really rocky. Not to worry, Chris found the mother of all hiking sticks. Or trees, if you will. He is quite resourceful like that! We followed to trail up to Bierstadt Lake and were greeted with these views…

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…Bierstadt Lake in RMNP, accessed from the park + ride lot…

Absolutely beautiful. Everything I want in a mountain lake! It was calm, quiet and simply gorgeous. We had to follow some tiny trails off the main trail to get right on the lake but it was worth it. I have no idea what mountains are in the above photos but below is Longs Peak, the ominous 14er we will hike some day!

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…the highest peak with a flat, football field sized top is Longs Peak…

We continued on our way to Bear Lake than hiked around the lake, a nice, leisurely hike after the uphill climb for the last few miles! I’m sure Amy was seriously considering the Colorado definition of “vacation”! Of course Chris had to explain in detail exactly how I managed to face plant in front of strangers earlier this year on a trail near by. I’ll never live that down!

…Bear Lake from the north side, looking south…

Along the way we talked about continuing on to Alberta Falls and maybe Sprague Lake before grabbing a bus ride back to the car but once we reached Bear Lake we decided to wait it out for the bus. Mostly because I’d spent most of the hike talking about the candy-like sweet potato fries we were going to get at The Library Sports Grille in Winter Park. I may be obsessed. Or addicted. But I’m okay with that.

…flaunting some serious Saucony love at Bear Lake…

And in case anyone is eagerly awaiting an update on my new pretty new running shoes I would like to say that they really enjoyed their time in Rocky Mountain National Park. They even won a race up what was basically a rock slide. By won I may mean that we both gave up before tripping to our death, but they made it up the trail and they liked…and looked far prettier than Chris’s Merrill hiking boots!

We did manage to get back to our car, complete the drive through, eat at The Library and make it all the way back to Denver in time for the Undwearness 5K. Just in time. But more on that later, this chick needs some beauty rest. Or at least some be-slightly-less-grouchy rest….

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