The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Lily Lake Summer Edition

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 in Colorado
Lily Lake Summer Edition

The last time I wrote about Lily Lake was in early May of 2013. At that time, a sprinkling of snow covered the surrounding landscape and the air was as icy and it was thin. But today, that day was a distant recollection—today Lily Lake was in full summer mode. I arrived at the lake early in the morning pleased to find the parking lot nearly empty. I’m not one to pass up a quiet trailhead with available parking spaces, so I decided to stop for a hike. As I started out, it was cool and overcast but that soon changed. The hot August sun soon burned its way through a puffy layer of clouds and quickly warmed the landscape below. The air was remarkably still and as a result the reflections on the lake were glassy and smooth. Perfect picture making conditions.

I hiked slowly around the lake, stopping for about ten minutes to let a family of ducks walk on the path in front of me. They created a traffic jam, stopping hikers in both directions.

I also came across several of these golden-mantled ground squirrels.

Trail Map

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Assortment

Nighthawk Trail
Nighthawk Trail
Near the Hall Ranch trailhead, you have the choice of either following the Bitterbrush Trail or the Nighthawk Trail. In the past, I’ve hiked the Bitterbrush Trail many times but I’ve only followed the Nighthawk Trail once, for a short distance.
Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock 1
There’s a path around Balanced Rock that is all fine and dandy when you’re on the one side, which I shall here refer to as the Sunny, Balanced Side. Simply put, Sunny, Balanced Side is the side toward which the rock isn’t leaning.
Lily Lake Summer Edition
Lily Lake Summer Edition
The last time I wrote about Lily Lake was in early May of 2013. At that time, a sprinkling of snow covered the surrounding landscape and the air was as icy and it was thin.