The photo above was taken on the first day of a 4 day hiking trip in the Rocky Mountain National Park. This was an all women's group, and ordinarily I would not go for that except that this was a trip that I really wanted to take. In the past, I have found such groups to be clannish and sometimes catty, but this was an exceptional group of very lovely women. We all got along very well and were the best of friends by the time the trip was finished. In this post and the following one, I will share some photos and text.
On our first day of hiking, we started at the the Bear Lake trailhead and headed to Alberta Falls, the most photographed waterfall in the park.
Then on to Loch Vale. It must be mentioned that the glaciers played a big part in carving out the deep valleys that created the many lakes in the park.
Here we are approaching Mills Lake, our final destination of the day.
And Mills Lake.
On day 2, we hiked a trail led us first to Fern Lake, and then on to Odessa Lake. This was probably the most memorable hike for me as a native plant enthusiast because of the abundant and interesting wildflowers on the trail. On one stretch alone, I was able to identify 5 different types of orchids! Below is a close up of the tiny blossoms of the white bog orchid.
Here we are at Fern Lake.
The trail that continued on to Odessa Lake was very shady and moist, and it was pure delight to take my time to stop and photograph the many small plants that lived in that habitat. Here is a heartleaf twayblade orchid.
One plant that I had never seen before was a pipsissewa. It is in the wintergreen family, and encountering this beautiful plant was like meeting fairies in the forest!
The final bit of trail to Odessa Lake went next to a lovely creek that was draining that lake.
Here we are at Odessa Lake.
This was a long day and a long hike. Probably about 9 miles round trip with quite a bit of elevation gain. On top of that, it rained on us a bit on our way back down. Fortunately, that was the only rain that we had to contend with that week. More on the trip in the next post.