We’ve been itching to go camping here in Colorado since we’ve moved here and finally flexed out some time to do that on a limited budget. The last time we went camping was way back in 2010 in Arkansas for a kayaking trip, so we were super excited to finally get to do it again. I think we may make it a regular thing where we go a couple of times a year.
I stopped on the side of the road and took a couple of pictures. It had just rained and the fog was creeping into the mountains.
Originally we were planning to get up super early on Friday and get to the campsite and setup, but I called the ranger station to get some information and they advised securing a campsite on Thursday. I took a half day and drove up to get our site, which is the last of two available they had. Unfortunately I had to setup the tent in the rain and cold and we decided to go ahead and stay for the night, so once I was setup, went back down and got Crystal after work and we slept our first night at the park.
We really weren’t expecting it to be so cold, but due to the weather that day and the altitude at 10K feet it was in the 40’s that night, we were pretty unprepared for being that frozen in the middle of the night. It was a sleepless one for both of us I think, but luckily it was the only night that got down to that chilly.
In the morning we fixed some breakfast and headed out on our first trail hike. Since we were on a budget we decided to not board the dogs and they all came with us. It was a good test to see how they would do camping and how much hassle we would have to put up with by taking them. In the end it really wasn’t much hassle at all, in fact we enjoyed having them. They went on both big hikes and having Cooper, our German there was great since there was a real threat of bears and moose (little more on that later.)
We couldn’t have asked for a nicer place, we really picked it on the fly with just a google search and it turned out to be pretty awesome. There’s still a couple of trails we could’ve hit nearby that we wouldn’t mind tackling for the next time.
For our first one we did Rainbow Lakes trail. Pretty easy with some nice views and a little elevation. We both enjoyed exploring and doing this one. The lakes were nice and the end view was great.
This is one of my favorite images of the trip. I turned my iPhone upside down where the lens was closest to the water to get the reflection. It’s a neat little trick to get those.
Once we got to the end is was on top of a huge rock pile that overlooked a couple of the lakes and you can see the glacier off to the right on the side of the mountain. I took a pano to get a good view of everything.
After we hiked back down, we rounded out our day by eating some lunch and chilling around the campsite just enjoying the weather for awhile. Cooper decided that he wanted to retire to the back of the car whenever we were just chilling outside, so he usually stayed in the back in the shade sleeping. You can see him peeking out the back while we were fixing lunch in the photo below.
After hanging out for awhile around the site we got bored so we went into nearby Nederland, Co to see the town. It’s a nice little town with a lot of tourists and little shops, we drove around for a bit stopped and got some of the best home-made ice cream on the planet. It was this awesome tiny little bookshop/coffee/ice cream parlor. If you ever decide to go it’s 100% worth stopping in town just for the ice cream.
We drove around for a bit and got some ice cream and headed back up the mountain to the campsite, but not before I stopped at a couple of pull offs!
This particular stop off looks like a Bob Ross painting! I kinda couldn’t wrap my head around it, I swore he had been there before at some point, but he lived in Alaska before he became famous and scenes like this were so common for him and he loved them so much it’s just what he always painted.
The picture above was taken at the lake/dam and you can see the town of Nederland off in the distance there. This was the last stop and picture I took of the day. We finally made it back to camp, cooked up some dinner and went to sleep for a early hike the next day.
Look for part two soon!