Independence Trek

For the 4th of July this year, we decided to celebrate by doing a little 13 mile hike.  Ya know, nothing big – just a tiny little outing to get into the mountains and enjoy some nice weather before hunkering down with barbecue, beer, & fireworks later in the day.

Our destination was – as it often is – Rocky Mountain National Park.  (We’re fortunate enough to live only an hour away from the park, so why not use it!?)  We went a little further north on the east side of the park than we normally do for a change of pace, and in hopes of avoiding some of the summer holiday weekend crowds.  The destination: Lawn Lake.

The trail was long, but thankfully not very steep.  This was probably my first hike up there in years – if not ever – where I felt like I could keep a really swift pace without getting winded.  (If nothing else, it made me feel like all of the working out to build up my cardio over the last year or two is finally working.)

The hike itself was pretty and took us up along a mountain stream with some seriously steep drop-offs due to erosion, through some forests, and finally up towards treeline.  We got up to the lake around mid-morning and it was gorgeous!

Summertime Lakeside Snowcaps
Summertime Lakeside Snowcaps
Windy Reflection
Windy Reflection

As is our usual routine, we hung out on the shore of the lake and had our lunch while taking in the views.  We stayed at the lake for almost an hour walking around and exploring more of the area before having to turn around and head back.  We could’ve easily spent more time up there, but with summer storms bound to start building, a dog who’d like to see us before too long, and the 4th of July barbecue goodness and fireworks to be had, it was time to go.

Now that we know how easy that trail is and how we can make good time the entire way, that opens up a lot of possibilities for taking time for pictures and exploring the entire way without my shutterbug-ness slowing us down too much.  This is one hike we’ll definitely be doing again.

-JC

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