I forgot to post about my accidental summit last weekend!
I drove up to Denver Friday night and met my friend Becca at the Historian brew pub. Had a beer and caught up with her and her pals, and then we went back to her house and crashed. 4am came quickly and we all got up and piled in her friends rental car and headed to Estes Park (Rocky Mountain National Park).
The drive through was amazing itself but we had other plans 😊
We were planning on just hiking to the saddle, up above tree line and having lunch but Becca’s friend was intent on summiting Mt. Ida so we (of course!) charged on up to the peak🤙🏼
The path begins in the woods but because the trailhead is so high up, you pass treelike quickly. The trail was well worn and very clear for about 96% of the hike. we saw many people on the way up&down- though not enough to make it un-enjoyable.
The wind was OUT OF CONTROL near the top but that’s to be expected. There were some places we ducked behind rocks for a quick pee or snack break
The boulder field leading up to the summit was very solid, very little scrambling. Easy to lose the trail but impeccably marked with cairns.
Overall, a GREAT 13er (12,899?) for people maybe new to mountaineering, FABULOUS views and a gorgeous hike for everyone.
This past weekend I had planned on summiting a 14er with the pups but when I woke and checked the peak forecast it had changed overnight from partly cloudy to thunderstorms!
A quick search of state parks near me and I decided to go out and take a look at 11 Mile park- in Lake George.
We got there early- about 7:30 and had no problem parking in the Coyote Ridge lot on the east side of the lake. When we left at about 11, the lot was completely full.
The trails are not always labeled very well, so I recommend screenshotting the trail map on your phone or printing it out before you leave.
We started on the Coyote Ridge Interpretive Trail, on the north side of the loop. When we met up with the Midland Trail we headed east around the wetlands.
I’ll come back with a pal and climb those boulders another time – NEVER CLIMB ALONE! Even on easy climbs that you know you can handle – it’s just not a good idea.
The midland Trail takes you to a peninsula at its furthest most south point, and this is where we went off trail for a while. Staying on the east side of the peninsula, we found ourselves all alone at the waterfront! We spent maybe 30 minutes there hanging out, eating snacks and sunbathing and saw one boat the entire time! Gorgeous and secluded.
When the midland trail meets with the two-trackers to the backcountry camping sites things got less enjoyable. With no clear signage, we wandered down both directions of the two tracker only to come across tons of campers.
Turns out the black bear trails and the midland trail weave through the campsites. These campsites say “backcountry” but every cluster of them have smelly bathrooms and trash areas. The rest of the hike was crowded with family reunions, fishing excursions and lots of noise. All the people were really nice but it was a little shock to the system after spending the precious couple hours in silence with nature.
There are some spots I’d love to come back to with a buddy and boulder a bit off trail- almost all north of the wetlands but there were a few good looking faces on the SE-most section of the Midland Trail.