Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake is what else a mountain lake. Located just south of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake was believed to be the dwelling place for the departed by the Ute people. Now connected to two reservoirs (Shadow Mountain and Lake Granby), Grand Lake is a recreational hotspot 2-3 hours west of Denver.
Each step is an important choice when hiking at higher elevations. A wrong decision could send you to the bottom in a hurry. Fortunately mother nature keeps us in check imposing frequent stops to catch our breath and plan the next move.
There’s a great view of the valley from the ski patrol shack atop Winter Park. The three hour climb requires breaks, water and plenty of gorp made with raisins, chocolate chips and roasted almonds.
A forest service road then a precarious deer trail provides inconvenient access to a ribbon of aspen spanning across a ridge along a Colorado mountainside near Fraser.
This time of year you’ll probably find yourself all alone on ski resort trails; a good place to enjoy the colors of a bubbling brook or yellowing aspen. As beautiful as it is the tight rings on a felled Douglas fir show how challenging it can be to survive at 9000 feet.