Bear Lake Hike
With only a few hours to spend in the Rocky Mountain National Park, I decided to hike some of the trails leading from the Bear Lake trailhead. I had done the walk around Bear Lake the year before, when I
had some health problems, so this year I wanted to see some more of the lakes in the area.
The first thing to do was park at the Park & Ride area, near the Glacier Basin Campground. It is possible to find a parking spot at Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge if you are not there early in the day, but it is not likely. Much easier to use the Park & Ride system. And it has the added benefit of letting you recover before attempting to drive if you push too hard on your hike.
I talked to the Rangers at the Bear Lake station about options for hikes that fit my time frame. Talking to the Rangers is always good. They do not know everything about the park, but they certainly know where to find someone that knows what they don't. After considering my time limitations and physical abilities (or lack of same), I decided to hike to Dream Lake, and decide there between going on to Emerald Lake or Lake Haiyaha.
While it was not the easiest walk I have ever done, between the elevation difference and the lack of exercise I have been getting. Fortunately I had just spent a week in Denver throwing around boxes and walking, so I was at least partly acclimated. If I had started earlier in the day, and not tried rushing, I could have made the 6+ mile loop around to Glacier Gorge. But that will have to wait for another time.