Nokoni Lake


Location: Rocky Mt National Park, central Colorado
Maps: 1:59,000 Trails Illustrated Rocky Mt National Park (#200)
Access: From East: From Interstate 25, take Highway 34 through Loveland and Estes Park to the Beaver meadows entrance, then follow the signs to Bear Lake.  From West: From I-70, take US40 north just east of Georgetown, catch US34 in Granby and head north to Grand Lake. Take Hwy 278 east into RMNP and follow the signs to North Inlet Trail. 
Bear Lake Trailhead: NAD83 z13 445112e 4462591n  Elevation: 9460'
Fees: $10 week pass/vehicle; $20/trip backcountry pass
Trail: Bear Lake to North Inlet Junction =  9.7 miles; 2800í up, 2700í down (net gain=100í) (4-5 hours). The route leads from lodgepole pine/spruce/aspen forest steeply uphill to timberline and alpine tundra, along the continental divide, then back down into spruce/lodgepole forest on the western slope. I've never hiked from it from Grand Lake, but it looks to be about 10 miles and 2600' elevation gain to Nokoni Lake.
Dogs: Not allowed on trails in RMNP
Weather: Current and recent conditions   Local Forecast



 
August 22   Monday

Under sunny blue skies I drove west along the winding road leading through the narrow canyon of the Big Thompson River towards Estes Park, the same canyon in which dozens of people died in a flash flood in 1976. Placards instruct, "In case of flood, Climb to safety", but there are long sections of vertical cliffs where only Spiderman could climb to safety. 

It had been a miserable drive in the old Toyota for the last 2 hours. I seldom drive the car, having the luxury of commuting exclusively on bicycle. Consequently, it sat in the garage for a couple of weeks, unused, and picked up a family of mice somewhere in the inner recesses of the engine. Three days before, I took the car out to the grocery store, not noticing anything. My working theory is that I smoked the entire family of mice on that trip by the engine heat, and they proceeded to rot in the car. By the third day, the were at full-bore decomp stage. If youíve never encountered the insidious odor of rotting mouse, you just donít know what youíre missing. The deafening roar of wind whipping through your hair at 77 mph on the interstate is a triviality compared with even minor wiffs of juicy runny mouse flesh, slow-roasting in the exhaust system. I worried that the smell would soak into my clothes, attracting bears and other critters while I camped. On the other hand, even a morning of noisy driving in a smelly car on your way to a national park is better than a great morning at work, so I couldn't complain, and smiled at my freedom from corporate responsibility. A full week off to explore the mountains...always welcome.

The road led into beautiful Estes Park, a gem surrounded by mountains, first settled by Joel Estes in 1860 with one lonely cabin and now littered from top to bottom with businesses and resorts. In the distance the bright peaks beckoned, showing ridges and detailed furrows that one never sees from the plains. The road led past hotels, motels, cabins, outfitters, grocery marts, auto dealers, gas stations, and every conceivable restaurant. Behind the main streets lay rows of houses extending up the slopes in the distance as far as human engineering can allow. The first proponents of Rocky Mountain National Park described the healthful air and scenic splendor of the area, the wildlife, the wildflowers, the conifersÖ..all gone from Estes Park. But for the action of the US Congress in 1915, Estes Park might have been included in the National Park, originally planned to be 1000 square miles, ending up being only 350.  Many people enjoy the quaint streets of Estes Park, no doubt, but there are plenty of places to build quaint streets across America, but very few places left to enjoy wilderness. Was wall to wall development of Estes Park in the best interests of this country? Personally I think no, but others are welcome to disagree. 

Just east of the park entrance lies the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. I stopped in and walked down a sidewalk about 200 yards through Ponderosa pines to the backcountry office to register my permit, as required. Reservations for popular parks like Rocky Mountain or Glacier are not only recommended, but typically essential. I had no reservation. I stepped up to the nice woman at the empty and quiet counter and told her so. 
"I have 4 days to backpack. Iíd like to go somewhere around here", I say, and vaguely flap a hand over the Fern Lake and Glacier Gorge area on the laminated map taped to the counter. "Whatís available?"
She surprised me with her apparent earnestness as setting up a great itinerary. Of course, the areas I had wanted were the areas everyone wanted and were all full. She recommended several options, then countermanded them before I had time to comment. She knew the park well and seemed to sense that I wasnít looking for a short loop, but a nice, long, rugged hike. Finally she suggested a particular route leading to the western slope and back that looked good and was sold well, so I signed up for it, reserving campsites at 2 different locations in two different watersheds. The fee for the permit was $20, which is a steal. I handed her a crisp $20 bill and she recoiled as if it was kryptonite. 
"Weíre not allowed to handle money", she said, and pointed down the counter. "You can put it in an envelope and drop it in there."
I walked to the end of the counter, pulled out an envelope, put my $20 in it and dropped it into the sealed metal box. They just donít trust their rangers around here. Even 7-11 allows its clerks to handle money (no offense to 7-11 employees, Iím sure theyíre a trustworthy crowd).

Back in the car, I drove through the entrance station, forking out an additional $15 for the right to drive my car as far as Bear Lake. I saw a sign as I pulled through:  "Bear Lake parking lot full. Use shuttle." I drove west through the woods and took a south turn towards Bear Lake.  The shuttle lot was on the north side of the road, and I pulled into a rather empty lot. I breathed the fresh air, enjoying the lack of mouse-rot odor, and got my stuff together. I worried as I left the car that some animal would come prowling around looking for the source of the decaying odor and rip up the car. 

On the shuttle bus we packed in like sardines. The bus was beyond full, with folks standing in the aisles, and yet we sat and waited for more and more people to board. Finally, when not a square foot of the bus was left unoccupied, we departed and cruised up the windy road towards Bear Lake. We stopped at the Glacier Gorge lot and let a few people off, then on up to Bear Lake where the parking lot looked suspiciously empty. Either I misread the sign or someone misread a radio broadcast because the parking lot was definitely not full. No matter. I hopped off the bus onto a crowded sidewalk and hoisted my pack onto my shoulders. Looking around, I noted a large map, consulted it as to the way to get started, and got started on the trail. It was 10:25.

To start out, I walked north along the eastern edge of Bear Lake on a wide, shaded trail. Many groups of people milled about in the dappled sunlight. The lake water to the west was calm and still, reflecting Hallet Peak like a tinted mirror. I stopped and took photographs, though I was anxious to get moving. As soon as I branched off for Flattop Mt, I suddenly found myself completely alone. What a difference 400 yards makes! I walked pleasantly along and took the left fork at the Fern Lake Trail junction. The trail climbed steeply up through lodgepole pine with several switchbacks. I was sweating mightily and huffing my way up the trail when the first clouds came over, softening the shadows of the pine limbs on the trail at first, then completely blotting them out. Before long the sun came out again for an interval that grew shorter and shorter between each passing cloud. I passed several people on the trail in my haste, and they must have thought I was crazy for going so fast, but I had become aware that the clouds were apt to bring rain, and rain in the mountains in August usually brings lightening, and I didnít want to be far from camp when that showed up. 

Gradually the trail broke out above treeline, and at one point I looked down to see Dream Lake in a chasm far below. I kept moving, and then I heard the thunder, far off and gentle. I quickened my pace. I met lots of people coming downhill. To the north the clouds grew like a shadow and enveloped the Stormy Peaks. I could clearly see the lightening strikes in the clouds and then I began to see the lightening hit the peaks like static sparks. The thunder was more a crack than a rumble now, and I was glad the storm was far north of me. Nevertheless, it was nerve-wracking being above timberline with lightening around. I decided to stop and lay low for a little while and see what developed. I found a low spot off the trail. It as 12:30, and seemingly very early in the day for thunderstorms. I took my pack off, grabbed an oatmeal-raisin Harvest Powerbar - not very good) and sat well away from the aluminum frame in a depression surrounded by a few large boulders. The sun was still shining on me, but the storm to the northeast was terrible. I watched from my eagle perch as the storm moved slowly into east into Estes Park and darkened it from view. Heavy rain came down in sheets and lightening pelted the valley helter-skelter. Once I was sure the storm was well past, I grabbed my pack and dashed uphill. Once I got to the continental divide, my hopes diminished as I saw a storm cell coming right at me from the west. I was far from cover going either forward or backward. I had to decide whether to dash onward or retreat. I regretted not getting an earlier start to avoid this mess. I dashed onward, literally jogging most of the way, trying to get lower before the storm arrived. The trail I was on, leading south along the Continental Divide, was deserted. I jogged along the thin dirt trail, admiring the magnificent grandeur of the surrounding peaks in spite of the danger. The rain came in a fine drizzle at first, and I was lucky in that it was not accompanied by lightening The trail descended into the Hallet Creek drainage and as I finally got into the trees and was able to relax. Ironically, the sun came back out around that time. 

I passed by July camp and two guys were seated by the trail watching a bull elk graze on aspen not 30 feet off the trail. It seemed wholly unconcerned about our presence. I watched him chew lazily for a few minutes, then went on downhill. The jogging had agitated my heels and the balls of my feet, such that the remainder of the hike was plagued by discomfort. The trail led steeply down 10 switchbacks that ground my toes into the tips of my boots with every step and made me long for a little uphill terrain. I reflected on how easy 10 miles sounded in the backcountry office, not thinking about the half mile elevation gain and loss that went with it. Despite this, the beauty and craftsmanship of the trail itself caught my attention. Each switchback was banked with a short wall of quarried rock, stacked neatly and covered with moss. Tons of quarried rocks stabilized the trail on the steep slope, and the grade was wide and smooth. The trails contrasted starkly with trails in the natural forest which, though they are beautiful in their simple way, do not compare in sophistication to the trails inside the park. Most of the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park were built and/or imporoved by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930's, by men who lived in the park in tent compounds and earned $1 a day for outdoor work. Not a bad way to spend the Great Depression, I'd say. Near the North Inlet Creek junction, I stopped at a falls on Hallet Creek and soaked my feet in the icy water. I lingered here for close to half an hour, enjoying the silence and solitude. It seemed as if I had chosen a route through the park that nobody else desired to see. I liked it that way. A new bank of stormclouds broke me out of my reverie and sent me once again downhill. 

I arrived at the North Inlet Creek campground at 3:30 and found it deserted. I scouted around and determined that site #2 looked the most secluded and quickly set up my tent. Almost immediately after that, the rain came. I threw on my rainjacket and hiked back into the woods to hang my food in the tent bag. The fast-paced hiking had made me forget to drink enough water, and I suffered from a bad headache. I washed down 600 mg ibuprofen with 2 liters of cold water.  I sank my 16 oz. bottle of Coke in the small creek nearby, filtered water into the empty bottles, then retreated inside my tent and took a nap. As I dozed away, the split of lightening periodically interrupted the gentle sizzle of the light rain falling on the tent fabric. 

I slept for 2 hours, and got up at 6 for dinner. It was sunny out, so I draped my wet shirt and socks on nearby spruce branches to dry. The rain left the air cool, wet and sweet-smelling. I cooked a package of chicken ramen noodles on the white gas stove and ate it with a few rosemary-tomato Triscuit crackers. This was excellent. I especially enjoyed the ice-cold Coke that I brought along. What a treat for a caffeine-addict woodsman! For dessert I downed about 4 oz of peanut M&Mís, an equal amount of dry roasted peanuts, and a Little Debbie Starcrunch. Something about long hikes make me crazy for sweets. 

It cooled down after dinner as the sun sank lower and it grew darker. Mercifully, there were hardly any mosquitoes out and I never felt the urge to apply bug spray. At 7:00 it was 50F. I cleaned up the dishes, brushed my teeth and hung the food, then slipped into my warm down sleeping bag in the tent and read my cheesy Jonathan Kellerman novel for a little while before falling off to sleep. The woods were perfectly quiet all night long.

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August 23    Tuesday

My watch alarm beeped at 4:30 and I got dressed in the dark, shivering. It was 40F, and a thick layer of dew covered everything outside. The moon was nearly full, and I was able to locate the hanging bag of food in the woods and pull down the pre-prepared bag I intended to take with me on the dayhike. I loaded a few items in my frame pack and set off on the trail to Nokoni Lake in the dark of pre-dawn at around 4:55. I walked quickly to keep myself warm. In the thicker sections of forest, I used my little keychain LED light to see the trail clearly. The air was perfectly calm, and despite the bright moonlight, the stars were very clear. At high altitude itís almost like thereís nothing between you and space. 

The eastern horizon lost itís blackness at around 5:30, and gradually gained color. The trail to Lake Nokoni gained 1000 feet over 2.5 miles from camp, utilizing many switchbacks. I arrived at the eastern shore at 6:10 in the still, cold twilight, anxiously awaiting the sun. The oily black water of the lake stretched out in perfect stillness west several hundred yards to a towering cirque wall almost devoid of trees. The trail to Nanita Lake continued south through the trees. Nokoni and Nanita are Arapaho names that predate white settlement. While the Arapaho don't appear to have lived year-round in the mountains, archeological evidence indicates that natives hunted and foraged in the mountains seasonally for thousands of years before white settlers arrived. In 1914, well after the last Arapaho had been removed from Colorado and sent west to reservations, the Colorado Mountain Club invited two elderly Arapaho to join them on a survey of the area as part of the effort to designate it a national park. Many addittional native names were given to landmarks in the area. Beatiful sounding names that give flavor to the mountains: Niwot, Neota, Nakai, Mahana, Tanima, Onahu, Haiyaha, Hiamovi, among others. I set up my camera on the shore under a sparse canopy of subalpine fir and waited for sunrise to illuminate the cirque.  Because I was on the western edge of the continental divide, the sun didnít actually hit the cirque until 7:00. Not a cloud was in the sky as I snapped my camera every few minutes, documenting this one sunrise of 100 billion this lake will see. I had my fishing pole with me, but the lack of fish ripples and my enjoyment of taking photographs compelled me to skip fishing and hike on over to the next lake, Nanita, at around 7:15. 

The trail to Nanita led southward up a small hill to a hump that separated the lakes. Instead of going all the way to the lake, I detoured and climbed to the top of this hump, from where I could look all the way down, 1200 feet or more, to the camp I had left 4 hours before. The sunlight was brilliant, star-like, but did not quite negate the chill that the fresh breeze brought. I found a notch in the rock on the eastern side of the rocky summit, sheltered from wind, and prepared my breakfast. I added 1 C water to 2C Cocoa Crispies and 1C powdered milk. Delicious! I sat in the sun and soaked up the warmth, then snacked on a few peanut M&Mís and Little Debbie Starcrunch..Iím telling you these things are dynamite on a camping trip. Remembering my folly from the day before, I was sure to drink lots and lots of water. I could see Lake Nanita in the valley below, and decided to skip it and head back to Nokoni, where I arrived at 9:15. 

The cirque was aglow in sunlight, and I sat by the lake to contemplate the rock and water. No humans were about. I actually could not discern any animal life at all around the lake. I filtered water, drank some, filtered some more. I struck out up the north slope from the lake and gained a flat plateau about 400í above the lake dotted with fir and spruce. It would be possible for the daring to continue on above the Nokoni Lake cirque, and possibly to summit Ptarmigan Peak. I chose not to. I walked to the north end of this wonderful plateau to see Pettingell Lake, but it was hidden in a sea of conifers. I walked around the entire perimeter of the plateau, unshaded under the glowing blue sky, admiring the North Inlet valley far below and examining as from an airplane the hiking route down Hallet Creek I had taken the previous afternoon. At one point I examined the map to find I was standing approximately over the 13.5-mile Colorado-Big Thompson diversion tunnel, the "Alva Adams Tunnel" that shuttled water from Grand Lake to the Wind River on the south side of the YMCA of the Rockies via a 10-foot tunnel completed in 1944. Two crews had drilled the tunnel from both directions for almost 7 years, and when they finally broke through they were misaligned by less than half an inch. The project started in 1937, and the first water flowed east to help irrigate the arid plains in 1947. Standing high up on the mountain, it was hard to imagine such a thing existed. I was glad it was hidden undergroun. I sat in the sun on the grassy, south-facing slope above Nokoni for half an hour soaking in the sun. At 11:15 it was 55F and breezy, but the breeze was out of the northwest, so the south-facing slope in the sun was quite cozy. Cognizant of the potential for early thunderstorms, I began to head back to camp shortly after, going slowly and taking short breaks to sit and listen to the sounds of the woods: unseen birds chirping in the firs, creaking boles of ancient spruces swaying, the occasional chatter of a squirrel starting at a high pitch and fading away, the soft multi-note chord of wind in evergreen needles. 

I stepped well off the trail around 12:30 and ate a small lunch of triscuits, cheese and peanut M&Ms. I added Gatorade powder to my water for variety and to try to ward off headaches due to dehydration. I applied moleskin to the hotspots on my feet which were still rather sore from the day before. Near camp, I unfurled my fly rod and fished the North Inlet Creek. I saw some very small trout flickering about and nabbing at the fly, but none every hooked. 

At 1:15 the clouds rolled in and blotted out the sun. I hightailed it to camp. I met two guys on the trail, and they were apparently going to stay at this camp for the night. They were nice, and we discussed the fishing opportunities briefly. At camp, I hung my food, unloaded my bag and filtered water. At 1:45, the rain, sleet, lightening and thunder all came as a group, and I was tickled pink that I was in my tent and not somewhere above treeline. My early morning rise had paid off, and I decided that would be my schedule for the rest of the trip. I snoozed under my sleeping bag and then read my book until the rain ceased at 3:30. I walked about the camp afterward, stretching my legs. The two fellows from before had set up their camp nearby, and I could see their brightly-colored tent through the trees. I was thankful that they were conscientiously quiet the entire time. I debated walking over and talking with them, but my reclusive nature won out and I stayed put in camp. At 4:00, I ate dinner of ramen noodles, triscuits, peanuts and M&Ms with water. It was very cool out from the rain, and even when the sun came out for a brief appearance around 5PM, it did not warm up past 50F. I didnít mind too much, as I was ready for bed at 6:00. I packed as much as I could into my bag so as to facilitate an early start, then went to bed. 
 
 

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August 24    Wednesday

Following the plan to avoid getting killed by lightening while hiking at high elevation in the afternoon, I got up with the alarm at 4:30. The cold, clear sky brought white moonlight streaming down into the clearing of my camp. Beautiful, and eerie. Everything was silver and black. I dressed hurriedly in the dark of the tent, and stuffed my sleeping bag and thermarest into their sacks before getting out of tent. I retrieved the food from the tree in the woods (no problem finding it in the moonlight). The tent was dripping with dew, and it would be hours before the sun was out in strength enough to dry it, so I shook off the fabric as best I could and stuffed it into its sack soaking wet, like it had just come out of the washing machine. My hands ached from cold while doing this. At 5:35 I walked out of camp, noting that a new tent had sprung up along the trail which I quietly walked around, wondering what its occupant might guess was prowling around their tent in the wee hours of the morning. 

On the shaded trail, I kept my LED light handy to guide me through dark spots, letting the moonlight do the rest. The switchbacks I had been dreading since coming down were actually easier going up, and seemed quite pleasant when hiked on a fresh pair of legs. I stopped several times to strip off clothing which had been essential in camp but was now suffocating. After the switchbacks came a long stretch on the north side of Hallet Creek up to July camp, which I passed at 6:30, just as the sky was turning light blue overhead. July camp is on the western face of the Continental Divide, so sunlight doesnít hit there in the morning until perhaps 10 oíclock. I crossed the shallow rushing water of Hallet creek and then began the switchbacks leading up the south side of the valley. The trail led through a section of conifers and then punched out above treeline. In the tall flowers that lined Hallet Creek, I saw a bull moose. He walked slowly away from me, but did not seem alarmed. I continued on and saw three more bull elk watching me, motionless, on the trail uphill of me. They too trotted off away from me. I continued on, watching them stop and stare at me. I managed the three or four switchbacks up the slope fairly quickly, and as I neared the top a slight breeze picked up from the west. Even this slight breeze at 37F chilled me, and I hastened to get to the divide where the sunshine was sure to warm things up. I stopped and pulled my knit cap out of my bag and put it on, no longer nearly so warm as I was in the still air of the conifers. In the quiet, I heard clicking sounds, like hollow pieces of wood knocking together. At first I assumed it to be noise from the July camp far below, then I noted that just over a rise in the trail, I could see the antlers of two elk bobbing and jerking in unison. I slowly crept forward and witnessed five bull elk on the slope just below the trail, two of them casually sparring only 30 yards away. All of them were very large, with 5 points on their antlers. Their necks had taken on the dark brown mane and their legs were black. Within seconds they were all aware of me, and the two stopped sparring. Two of the biggest began to walk away, but the other three just stood and stared. I slowly pulled up my camera from my shoulder and regretted having only a wide angle lens attached. Nevertheless I snapped a few shots as I slowly walked nearer to them. Soon, 4 of them were walking away as I slowly walked along the trail. The 5th elk, one who was originally sparring, stood casually chewing grass and glancing around. He seemed pretty relaxed, so I did too. I walked past him and snapped a few more shots. Then, realizing how cold I had gotten just standing there for so long, I hastened uphill, feeling very cold. The trail led out of the valley and onto the flat tundra of the divide. The sun was shining in a brilliant yellow light on the rocks and I picked out a large one well off the trail to have breakfast on at 8:00. Facing the sun, I added water to my powdered milk and cereal and wolfed it down, followed by a vanilla power bar and a Starcrunch (canít get enough of those). 

Back on the trail, I felt great and it was early, so I decided to take a detour and explore Loch Vale from above. Iíve always thought Loch Vale was one of the prettiest names in the Park. The going was easy, as it was mostly flat and there were no obstacles to obscure the route. I aimed for the lowest point between Otis Peak and Hallet Peak to begin with, and reached it in a driving west wind. From the edge of the precipice, I looked down into Chaos Canyon and Lake Haiyaha beyond. I stowed my pack near a group of rocks and took off with my camera towards Otis Peak. I entertained thoughts of climbing it, but the wind convinced me not to. Instead I picked my way across the jumble of boulders on the south side of Otis Peak and came out just above Andrews Glacier. A remarkable scene presented itself. Iíve hiked quite a lot in Colorado, but this seemed more like Montana than any scenery in Colorado I have seen before. The deep glacier cirque held a long glacier that fed into a tiny greenish tarn that shimmered in the sunlight. On the far side of the hanging cirque rose a sharp pillar of rock called the Sharkstooth. Thatchtop Mt rose up darkly behind that, and on the horizon stood the anvil head of Longs Peak. Wonderful. I dropped down below the lip of the cirque and found shelter from the wind behind a mound of rock. As on the day before, the south-facing slope out of the wind was very cozy, and I lingered for quite some time in the solitude and quiet. I looped around further west on the way back, and gathered my pack before heading towards Hallet Peak. I stopped along the way to change my socks which were damp with perspiration. Here again I stashed my pack in the rocks, grabbed a water bottle and my camera and walked to the top. Several others were at the summit, and one of them graciously took my photo. The wind was brisk, but the sun tempered the coolness. From the summit I could look back toward Ptarmigan Peak and pick out the plateau I had spent the previous morning on. In all directions, alpine splendor abounded under the bright morning sun. Intoxicated with the sweet thin air, I felt infinitely energetic, even after hiking 2800í uphill for 6 miles. Enos Mills, an early booster of the Park, wrote in 1917, "From wilderness the traveler returns a man, almost a superman." There on the summit of Hallet Peak I reached the zenith of physical well-being for the year. I just felt great, and thatís the best reward. 

From that highpoint of 12, 713í, I retraced my steps downslope to my pack, strapped it on and hiked along to meet up with the Flattop Mt Trail, nibbling on peanuts. The Flattop trail was sustaining heavy traffic, and I stepped off of it often to allow those going uphill to pass by. All sorts of personalities are encountered on the trail, from those who ignore you completely, to those who not only smile and nod but stop to chat. There are those who are clearly miserable, sweating and grunting their way uphill without thought for a rest break, and then there are those who wear their pleasure on their faces in a permanent smile, unbroken by heavy breathing or harsh sunlight. At different times, I have been all of these people, and they have probably shown all sides as well. The heavy traffic on this trail high above timberline presented one large problem: there is nowhere to stand unseen to relieve the bladder, and rarely an interval between hikers long enough to allow privacy. I held it long, but my insistence on drinking plenty of water all morning necessitated a pit stop. I chose my interval carefully, and stepped off the trail 10 feet. Nobody came along. 

The weather was more fair than the day before, and as noon approached, the sky remained non-threatening. I stopped at the switchback over Emerald Lake, just below timberline, for a lunch of tuna and crackers with a few squares of chocolate bar. The sun was warm and I dried my socks on a nearby spruce branch while I took a short nap. In the distance, Longs Peak dominated the landscape. 

The trail led back down into the large conifers, and I began to feel a bit drowsy and fatigued. At 1:30 I reached the junction with the Fern Lake Trail, and instead of heading back to the car, turned back west to walk back uphill to Odessa Lake, which is where I spent the third and final night of the trip. The narrative for that portion of my wonderful summer vacation is continued on the next page.

 

Hallet peak from Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
A thunderstorm moves east over Estes Park
A relaxing falls on Hallet Creek, Rocky Mountain National Park
Enjoying a Coke for dinner at camp, Rocky Mountain National Park
Dawn at Nokoni Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
Nokoni Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
Nokoni Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
Nokoni Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
Nanita Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
Breakfast over Nanita Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
North Inlet Drainage and Continental Divide, Rocky Mountain National Park
Uphill from Nokoni Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
Nokoni Lake outlet, Rocky Mountain National Park
Nokoni Lake and Ptarmigan Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park
The elk who didn't walk away, Rocky Mountain National Park
Chaos Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park
Andrews Glaier, the Sharkstooth and Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park
Looking back west to Ptarmigan Mountain from the base of Otis Peak
Looking North from Hallet Peak to Stormy Peaks, Rocky Mountain National Park
Lunch stop over Dream Lake with Longs Peak in the distance

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