Friday, August 13, 2010

Arapaho Glacier Trail

Say cheese

We did the Arapaho Pass Trail last year and you can see the photos and enjoy Strummer's tour here.  The first 2 miles of the trail are the same and it's interesting to see how much more snow was on the mountains in July which is when I went last year vs one month later in August of this year.  It's amazing how quickly the snow melts in the summer.

I almost didn't start the hike because the wind was howling so badly in the parking lot.  I'd brought warm clothes but not a hat and mittens because hello, August, hat and mittens never crossed my mind but it was a cold wind for no hat.  The trail starts at 10,120 feet and I turned around at about 12,200 feet/3 miles and the wind and these elevations can be brutal when it's bad.  But we'd braved the rough steep dirt road for 25 minutes and in fact Strummer had started whining maybe halfway up Boulder Canyon so after listening to 45 minutes of him carrying on I was going to have some kind of hike dammit.  Poor dog hates steep twisty roads and it's even worse if they're rough bumpy dirt.  Poor guy was a basket case when we got out of the car.  But as you can see from the photo above he quickly got over it and there wasn't a peep out of him on the drive back home.

This trail is famous for its wildflowers and even though it's a bit late in the season there were still plenty of beautiful displays.

Maybe you can sort of get a feel for the wind from the photos.

Here's a photo of the glacier.  At this point the wind was still not too bad.

If the trail gets faint just look for the cairns (heh)

Once the trail started getting well above treeline and more exposed the wind became much fiercer and colder.

The trail winds up this hillside.

Not a bad view to admire while having a snack so as not to pass out in the Boulder Chipotle.

This was my turn around point.  You can see the road I came up on and the very tippy top of the Eldora ski area to the right of and above the road.

The trail continues on up to the top of South Arapaho Peak shown here but I wasn't up for those shenanigans, especially in that crazy wind.

As it was a couple of my fingers turned white and started to go numb.  Luckily the descent went quickly and when I got back to the main trail the wind had died and it was nice and toasty.  Well, 60's anyway.

Heading back down.  You can see the Arapaho Pass trail down below and heading for the saddle which is the one I hiked last year.

Baby Ptarmigan
Mom and the other baby took off running when they saw us but this baby froze and decided to rely on his camouflage.

Giving me the stink eye.  At this point he was fed up to the eyeteeth with posing for photos with the wildflowers.

We were out for around 4 hours, I'd say 3 1/4-3 1/2 of that was hiking.  I stopped a few times for food/electrolytes.  What a pain but I've been feeling so much better for it.  The electrolytes help to balance the PH of the stomach so I don't get nauseous and I can eat more which also helps with the nausea and the not passing out.

DOCNA trial tomorrow, we'll see if I have any legs left.


  1. Beautiful scenery as always! Nothin' like my little piddly hike from wednesday that I'm about to post. Love the stink eye photo.

  2. Oops forgot to turn on "email me any other comments." Doing it now.

  3. Beautiful pictures!!! Diana

  4. Thanks you guys. And Elf your hike wasn't piddly. Every place has its own unique beauty I think.