Bradley's View

Bradley's View

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hanging Lake, Sleeping Outside, And The Highest Peak In Colorado

       On our way back to Leadville we stopped to pay a visit to Hanging Lake, right off of I-70.  Figured it was worth checking out, as it is said to be the most traveled trail in Colorado. 

Bike path, stretching the length of the Glenwood Canyon

     The trailhead is nestled in the Glenwood Canyon a couple of miles outside of Glenwood Springs and travels a little over a mile, gaining ~1,200 ft on its way up to the pristine and beautiful Hanging Lake.  As you can see in the video there, its pretty incredible.

Got some extra miles and vertical in on the Deadhorse Gulch Trail, which
heads up to the top of the Canyon, before meeting Mel at Hanging Lake

     We arrived in Leadville with ample time to find a campsite; and find a campsite we did!  We drove a couple of miles out of town into San Isabel National Forest in the Halfmoon Creek Area and set up a campsite where we spent the last 4 nights.  Here is a quick tour:

      Having a campsite nestled between the two highest peaks in Colorado really gets you itching to see what it looks like from the top.  So, Wednesday afternoon we did a little re-con, running two miles &1,200 ft up the Mt Elbert trail and back down to get our bearings a bit.  It is quite the workout powering oneself up above 11,000 feet, we quickly found.  But the experience left us no less eager to make the push up to the summit of Colorado's highest peak Thursday morning.

     After spending a little bit debating how many layers to bring and how many liters of water, we took off from the North Elbert Creek Trailhead at 6:45.

      The trail meandered through the woods for a while, featuring some wicked steep sections to get the juices flowing.  About halfway through, maybe 2.5 miles in, we reached the treeline and followed the trail over rocks and scree on the way up.

     We climbed and climbed, the final 2.5 miles gain about 3,500 ft of elevation.  It is absurdly steep at some points.  There were several sections where we walked upon snowdrifts a few feet deep, and,  as we neared the summit, there were large snowy sections which really added to the grandeur and majesty of Colorado's tallest fourteener.
Melissa heading up the the ridgecrest for the last stretch to the summit.

With some mountains in the back...

Enjoyed reaching the summit after 3 hours and 15 minutes of hiking.

And enjoyed the view...

     A few hours after we got back down from the summit we started our first day of work at City On A Hill Coffee & Espresso.  We're really excited to be a part of the team at the shop and the community here in Leadville.
    We're also delighted that we have found a place to call home that we'll move into next weekend- which means there remains only a finite number of days in which we'll be forced to sleep outside.  Which is nice considering it is snowing as I type this...

    Thanks for reading