Thawed lakes, wildflowers, green grasses, pond lilies. These are the things we can start looking forward too in a few more weeks in Rocky Mountain National Park. Were still not quite there yet and I’d say we are about a week or two behind our usual spring weather.
For example I have images in my files from last May 4th with aspen leafed out in Moraine Park. As of today the aspens in Moraine Park have just started to leaf out. Even so we have had a warm week of weather and this morning felt like the most summer, late spring day yet.
Sunrise looked very promising this morning and the winds were very calm when I arrived in Estes. Mild weather, a nice set of clouds hanging over the continental divide and the east of RMNP and I was ready to get out on the trail and get somewhere in the backcountry for sunrise.
One of my favorite early season locations in Rocky Mountain National Park is always Cub Lake. Cub Lake is at a lower elevation than many of the other lakes in Rocky so it’s thaws early and the trail up to Cub is free of snow much earlier than say the trails emanating from the Bear Lake trailhead. The hike up to Cub Lake is a great early season hike to get your trail legs back and get you back in the flow.
Once Cub Lake has thawed it also has a beautiful vantage point of Stones Peak reflecting in it’s waters if the winds cooperate. When I arrived this morning the wind was starting to pickup but the surface of Cub Lake remained smooth for the first 1/2 hour on sunrise. Sunrise didn’t pop like I had hoped it would be the clouds did take on some pink and purple hues and Stones Peak did catch the glow of sunrise.
Overall it was just about a perfect morning in RMNP. Cub Lake was placid at sunrise, beautiful clouds hung over the peaks of Rocky, and the trail is now free of snow. Were still a ways off from summer but this mornings hike into to Cub Lake felt like a summer morning in RMNP.