Escaping The Nutshell
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Parking at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead, we headed up the trail at about 10:34. It was an unnaturally warm morning for late October. We know this trail well, so on the way to Lawn Lake we made numerous diversions from the trail to make it more interesting.
From Lawn Lake we continued up toward the Divide, then turned left at the sign to Crystal Lakes. Ice in puddles along the way showed it was already getting quite cold here at night. The trail weaves by two smaller ponds before getting to the largest Crystal Lake, which we reached at about 13:50.
There are impressive views of the glacier that produced these lakes, now having retreated to a notch on the north side of Fairchild, and all the glacial erratics deposited on the smooth glacier polished granite. The boulders sitting atop the smooth granite give the impression of having stopped dancing at the end of a party, and just waiting until the party starts up again.
As the name suggests, the water of Crystal Lakes is crystal clear, with a green-blue tint. It was a bit windy, and on one of the smaller Crystal Lakes, we could see by way of the lake surface, the flow of the wind around a boulder protruding from the lake, which you can see on the video.
On the way down, we stopped for lunch, with a beautiful view of Lawn Lake below. Near Lawn Lake, we came across some deer who were munching on a salad of alpine plants. They were unconcerned about our prescence, and a little curious as we took pictures of them. We returned to the parking area at 17:55, just a few minutes before sunset.
Start/stop time: 10:34/17:55 Total trip time: 7 hrs, 21 mins Total distance traveled: 13.7 miles Altitude low/high: 8525/11574 feet Altitude diff low to high: about 3050 feet
|Place Name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Position (lat,lon)|
|Lawn Lake Trailhead||8525||26||40.40755,-105.62707|
© 2012-2014 Stefan Hollos and Richard Hollos
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