Thursday, July 7, 2016
July 5, 2016 A Hike to Emerald Lake in the Morning and Alberta Falls in the Afternoon
"I got to say it was a good day" - Ice Cube
I started my day at the Bear Lake Trailhead. I headed out on the Emerald Lake trail but there are two lakes you hike past to get to Emerald Lake. The first one is Nymph Lake.
The trail takes you around the lake so here are the views of Nymph Lake.
After Nymph Lake the trail climbed higher to views like this one with mountain going on forever.
There is water flowing downhill all over these mountains. Sometimes you can hear it long before you see it.
This is the first snow I saw on a hike since I got here.
Looking further up the trail, another beautiful day.
Next stop, Dream Lake.
But first more photo ops.
Once again the trail leads around the lake...
...different views but still incredible scenery in every direction.
Now I am heading toward Emerald Lake, take a good look at that blue sky and white fluffy cloud.
This bull elk was just a few feet off the trail.
He didn't seem to mind the growing crowd on the rock across the trail.
After this picture he walked down to the trail, a few people ignored those warning them about the elk. eventually a woman stopped them from getting closer. A few minutes later the elk headed up hill and everyone continued up the trail.
By the time I got to Emerald Lake, the sky had changed...drastically.
I took a few quick pictures, then took cover under some trees as the wind blew hard across the lake. At first giant ice cold rain drops fell, then the rain increased. Then it hailed...
...and 25 minutes after it started. Blue skies returned...
...and I took a bunch of pictures
Since this is an out and back trail. I took more pictures of the same things on the way back.
Once I got back to the Bear Lake trailhead, I headed down another trail to Alberta Falls.
I think these are the first aspens I saw while hiking today. I am pretty sure this is Tyndall Creek. Once again I had to seek shelter as another twenty minute storm blew through this area.
I could hear Glacier Creek thundering downhill long before I saw it.
The views as the trail headed up Glacier Creek...
...to Alberta Falls.
A long exposure shot of Alberta Falls.
I took a lot of pictures, these turned out the best.
This local resident was entertaining the tourists but I think he was looking for a handout. He definitely wasn't afraid of all the people. I was happy to see that no one fed him. This trail continues past Alberta Falls but my legs were telling me I was done for today.
So once again I took pictures on the way down.
Since I started at Bear Lake, after hiking downhill to the Glacier Gorge split I had to hike uphill to Bear Lake. At first I rested often with my entire body telling me to stop. I wanted to push myself so I did the last quarter mile without stopping. I was happy that I did it but I was really sucking in the thin air. Most of this day was spent between 9500' and 10,000'. When I passed the ranger station one of them stopped me and asked if I was okay. Even though I wasn't sure I could make it to my car, I said that I was fine. That I purposely did this to myself. Then I told her, I love this place and I will be back tomorrow. I stopped for a late lunch on the way back to the hotel. After unloading my backpack, I flopped onto the bed and next thing I remember is waking up over an hour later. But like Ice Cube sang, "It Was A Good Day."