I was super excited to go on this trip. It checked two of my boxes – Camping and Blue lakes hike. Just a weekend get away yet felt like a long trip. We started off on Saturday from Denver and drove towards Ouray. Oh the planning for the camping took more time than the drive to the place. Me and my friend Anusha were camping for the very first time. You can imagine the fear, excitement and the horrid thoughts about animals!
We stopped by at Black canyon and drove to the campsite. We stayed at KOA campgrounds near Ouray. It was a beautiful campsite (little bit like glorified camping, perfect for first timers). We enjoyed setting up tent, making fire and cooking food in the outdoors. Time just flew by, the sun set and we were still not done cooking. We cooked with our flashlights on, all in all it was fun.
We did all the camping must – dos. S mores, camp fire, star gazing and playing cards inside the tent. It was all super fun. We went to bed (sleeping bags) as we had to rest before our hike the next day. Now sleeping needed some getting used to. Even though i had the sleeping pad, it was still rocky beneath me. I was really tired so i was able to sleep through the discomfort. I must say it was not at all that bad as people scared us. Even with the fear of bears and insects and what not, i slept well and had a restful stay. In the morning one of my friend saw a bear crossing. I was a little sad that i couldn’t see a bear but glad i didn’t see one at night.
We packed up and left for the trail-head. This hike has raving reviews all over the internet and we were all ready to hike it. The Lower blue lake is 3.2 miles from the trail-head and has an elevation gain of 1500 feet. A stream was next to us as we started the hike. Through out the hike, we were enjoying the plants and wild flowers along the hike. In about 1.5 miles we reached a water falls. It was beautiful. A short trail lead closer to the falls. We enjoyed the beauty of it and got back on the trail. We crossed stream of waters at least some 4 times through out the hike. I like doing that. Being careful over the rocks or logs to get to the other side was fun for me and not so much for my husband. He is always scared that he or I will slip and fall.
The trail was narrow and steep but we somehow got to the lake without taking breaks. The Mountains were just making a gorgeous back drop to this beautiful blue lake. We had our lunch (Picnic! yay!) and had a bit of a photo-shoot as our friend brought his DSLR. There were plenty of wild flowers to form a bed of flowers.
We wanted to do the Upper lakes so we started moving up. We reached a point where we could see the blue lake from bird’s eye view and we were happy to go back home with that image in our mind. The 6 hour drive home had some part to play with that decision. Snapped a couple of pictures and started our hike back. Usually, i always find the way back easy and quick. This particular day, i found the way back not so easy. I felt like it was taking longer than when we came. I know its in my head.(i fell a few times! Oops) I guess i was just so tired. We finally, finished our 8 mile hike and came back home.
This hike is like what everyone says – Gorgeous. Many of the hikers have called it the best hike they have done; for the beauty of it – mountains, rivers, lakes, falls and flowers. It was all that but personally for me my best hike was to the Emerald lake, Rocky Mountain. We went during the winter with the lake being frozen. It was the opposite of this hike but I was in awe the entire time. I give this second place.