Backpack to Mirror Lake

Sunday morning I embarked on a journey with fellow flickr friends Steve andJon that I've had my sights on for many years but didn't have the physical ability to accomplish. Ever since I saw images of Lone Eagle Peak reflecting in Mirror Lake I knew I had to go, there was a problem though, it is a fairly strenous hike that is supposedly a little over 7 miles, although our gps' clocked it at over 8 miles with 2000' of elevation gain. This was certainly the toughest hike I've done to date, and the most rewarding.

If you want to skip to the gallery of the best images from the trip clcik here Indian Peaks Wilderness, otherwise read on!

 

 

A self portrait with a look of dedication, or was that crippling pain? I forget.

 

Steve looking back as we near our destination, only a 1/4 mile left right? Right?

 

Cascade Creek lived up to it's name, a large section of the trail followed along the river cascading down the mountain, I've never seen so many waterfalls in Colorado.

 

(Click Image to see large or purchase)

(Click Image to see large or purchase)

 

(Click Image to see large or purchase)

Here we're finally getting a good view of Lone Eagle Peak, the adrenaline kicks in as we realize how 'close' we are, I think there were still a couple miles left at this point.

 

 

On to what you came for, the incredible majesty of Lone Eagle Peak.
 

(Click Image to see large or purchase)

Words cannot even begin to describe the beauty.

(Click Image to see large or purchase)

After quickly setting up camp the sun began to set and cast a golden glow upon the surrounding crags and a hint of light on Lone Eagle peak.

(Click Image to see large or purchase)

After the light on the peaks had faded I returned to a location I had scouted out earlier in the drainage of Mirror Lake to photograph the light of twilight. Using a blue and gold polarized helped turn the sky into incredible colors.

(Click Image to see large or purchase)

That night yielded little sleep for me as I was constantly looking out of the tent at the nearly full moon making it's way across Lone Eagle Peak, did I mention we had the lake completely to ourselves? It's so hard to escape from droves of people anymore this was complete bliss.

The next mornings sunrise was nothing to write home about so we ventured up to Crater Lake which is a short .2 mile hike from Mirror Lake. We found many wildflowers around the lake and the soft morning light was quite photogenic.

(Click Image to see large or purchase)

(Click Image to see large or purchase)

This trip was a major accomplishment for me and I'm amazed how far I've come in a year. I have many more backpacking adventures planned for the summer so stay tuned!

A special thank you to Steve who setup this trip, I may have never attempted it otherwise!