Have we ever mentioned how much we love Colorado? In the summer of 2012, Matt and I attended a college friend’s wedding in Denver and then went hiking and backpacking for two weeks. Last summer, I returned for my annual end of summer trip with my mother (sadly Matt was already back at work in Chicago and green with envy). My mother and I stayed just outside of Telluride, and, even though I only had a few days to explore the area, I was ready to convince Matt that we needed to sell the house in Chicago and move out there. As teachers, I am pretty positive that we wouldn’t be able to afford a house— much less a shoebox in Telluride—but we’re so smitten with Colorado that we might just be willing to live in a tent to make it happen. Ahh, another dream of moving out west…
Seriously, Colorado is the bomb. There are so many opportunities to do exactly what we love there: nature photography, hiking, birding, snowshoeing, etc. How can one state can be blessed with so much? Our next series of posts will spotlight a few of our hiking experiences in Colorado that have us chomping at the bit to live out there permanently. So let’s get started with our hike to Ice Lake.
Ice Lake is a gorgeous hike just outside the town of Silverton in southwest Colorado. The 7.0 mile roundtrip trail starts near the South Mineral Campground at 9,840 feet and gains elevation quickly as it heads up 2,340 feet to a glorious little lake framed by 13,000 foot jagged peaks—just the perfect spot for a picnic lunch.
We had fun photographing the fields of colorful Indian Paintbrush and diminutive Elephant’s Head before we were treated to our first experience with “graupel”—a local weather phenomenon common to the area that is best described as a mix of hail and snow—that forced us to pack up the cameras earlier than desired and head back to the trailhead. It was wild to see the trail littered with the small beads of snow. It looked like a giant bean bag had exploded on the trail!
Here are some of our favorite photographs from the trail. Be sure to click to enlarge them and view them as a slideshow.