Escaping The Nutshell
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Parking at Sprague Lake, we took the Glacier Creek Trail west to the Boulder Brook Trail. Heading uphill (south) on the Boulder Brook Trail, we entered a mountain paradise. The look and sound of the flowing water, the colorful aspen leaves with their unique smell, the warm flickering sunlight, and the chickarees finishing their cone harvesting, made for an environment we wanted to stay immersed in.
Topping out at around 10,330 feet, we reached the intersection with the North Longs Peak Trail. Turning right (west) on that, the trail soon reached the west branch of Boulder Brook. There we found a landslide, apparently from Sept 2013, that had widened and gouged out the creek, leaving a path of boulders, dirt, and battered dead trees.
We continued west on the North Longs Peak Trail. Incidentally this part of the hike was completely devoid of people. There was only the sound of the wind, chickadees, juncos, and chickarees. Reaching the Glacier Gorge Trail, suddenly the people showed up, as we headed up this trail to Mills Lake. The view from Mills Lake showed that winter had arrived further up the gorge, with the Keyboard of the Winds, Longs Peak, and Pagoda freshly dowsed with snow and ice.
We stopped for lunch on a rock perch overlooking Mills Lake, before heading back along the Glacier Gorge Trail, and then the Fire Trail. Near the Glacier Gorge parking area, we took the Glacier Creek Trail for the remaining 2.8 miles back to Sprague Lake.
Start/end times: 11:05/17:02
|Place Name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Position (lat,lon)|
|Intersection of N Longs Peak Tr and landslide||10336||23||40.28879,-105.61815|
|Parking at Sprague Lake||8759||23||40.32058,-105.60892|
© 2012-2014 Stefan Hollos and Richard Hollos
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