Monday, July 11, 2016

July 7, 2016 My Wonderful Hike to Ouzel Falls in RMNP's Wild Basin Area

"There's no evil, there's no good 
Only people doing as they should

There is life in love and sound
Get as much as you can keep around
Before they put you into the ground" -
'Compound Fracture' by My Morning Jacket

I came out to Colorado because I thought I needed to spend some time with myself in nature.
And I did need that time and I have enjoyed that time. I also realized that over the past few days, my favorite moments were spent with other people like my old friend Nick and his wife Mary, their friend Wayne from New Orleans who threw an incredible 4th of July party and the many people that I met while hiking every day. Since I have to be in Denver tonight for the Rockies game, I drove down to the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park and hiked out to Ouzel Falls on another picture perfect day. Early on the hike, I met three ladies who were older than me that go hiking together a few times a week. They were kind enough to let me tag along on their hike whenever our paths crossed which was most of the hike. This was my favorite hike of the trip because I spent it taking pictures and talking about hiking, nature and life in general with three wonderful, insightful and entertaining women. So here are my photographs from today's hike.

The trail follows the North St. Vrain Creek from the trailhead.

Some of these pictures will be wide shots...

...or close up shots of the same area. I was playing with my shot composition today. I really hope the different versions of the same scene will help show what it is like to be standing in such a beautiful place.

I was also practicing with exposure times especially with the flowing water pictures. I am pretty sure this is Copeland Falls.

This is the only picture I have of the ladies that I hiked with today. I am sure they would have let me take a group shot somewhere along the trail but I never asked. Now I wish I had. I am terrible at remembering names but one of them was Vicky. And the only reason I remember that is because she was an adviser for Colorado State University and one of her former students stopped her on the trail. It was a very cool moment as he introduced his wife and two young kids to her. 

As you can probably guess, the sound of water rushing down the mountain was heard just about the entire hike. That is such a relaxing sound to me. I can still hear that sound in my head as I look at these photos.

The Calypso Cascades

A nice hike through the forest...

...with wildflowers too.

When we reached Ouzel Falls, I incorrectly led us further along the trail to the right of the falls. I thought the ranger said it was another 0.4 miles to a great view above the falls. But the trail took us around the mountain and lower than the falls. We decided to eat our lunches in a beautiful spot below a huge rock wall. Apparently, I didn't take a picture of this great spot. So we headed back to the Ouzel Falls after lunch.

It turns out you have to hike up the left side of Ouzel Creek on a social trail over rocks to get to the top of the falls.

The water thundered over this cliff and then makes a hard left and rolls down the mountain.

I stood here for a few minutes with the cold spray washing over me. It felt so good.

This is just below the pictures from above.

This is an out and back trail so here's a few shots of my hike back down.

Another sign you do not see everyday

After seeing horse shit on the trails every day, I finally saw some horses.

On my way out of the mountains, I stopped to get a picture of the Roosevelt National Forest sign...

...and found a leftover hoofed leg from someone's recent dinner.

Great scenery and skies in the mountains.

Back in the city with a beautiful night for a ball game...

...Rockies beat the Phillies 11-2. 
 My night ended with a late night slice of pizza at Marquis Theater Pizzeria and a pint at Scruffy Murphys across the street.


  1. Gregg: How fun to read your post about our hike to Ouzel Falls. We enjoyed your company & visiting with you. Your photos are beautiful. Hope the rest of your trip was good & that you made it home safely. Our next hike is to Mills Lake in RMNP. Nancy

  2. Nancy, I'm glad you found my blog. Thanks for the kind words. I really enjoyed hiking with the three of you. Enjoy Mills Lake, it is beautiful. Take care, Gregg