Escaping The Nutshell
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At the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, a park service volunteer informed us that all parking spaces are taken and that we're better off going back down to the shuttle bus parking area. Not that we didn't already know that: the flashing LED sign at the park entrance, then again on Bear Lake Road already informed us of it. Again spurning advice, we took our chances and went up to the Bear Lake parking area anyway, and sure enough there were no spaces, although we shortly snagged a space. Wasn't as crowded as a few weeks ago, but the summer parking crunch induces wistful thoughts of winter.
Starting from the Bear Lake parking area at around 10, we headed down to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead via the horsey trail at the lower end of the parking lot. Up the Glacier Gorge Trail, to the Fire Trail, then to Mills Lake. From Mills Lake to Black Lake, then above treeline to the magical tundra country of upper Glacier Gorge. The Spearhead, McHenrys Peak, Longs Peak, Keyboard of the Winds, and Pagoda Mountain enveloped us. Gave us the feeling of direct contact with the divine; of being in the original church.
We did a counterclockwise loop in upper Glacier Gorge, passing first by the Spearhead, then getting a closeup view of the north wall of Chiefs Head, at its base, remnants of the ice age glacier that once filled the entire gorge, patiently waiting to return to its days of glory.
Topping out at about 11,800 feet, we approached Green Lake from above, where we could see a pond on a terrace above it. There was no longer any ice in Green Lake, but its water felt barely above freezing.
From Green Lake, we returned more directly to Black Lake, and then the way we came, getting back to the parking place at 17:17.
|Place Name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Position (lat,lon)|
|Parking near bottom of Bear Lake parking area||9447||16||40.31157,-105.64342|
© 2012-2015 Stefan Hollos and Richard Hollos
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